multiple accounts in kmail

John Woodhouse a_johnlonger at
Wed Jun 15 23:49:33 BST 2011

----- Original Message -----

> From: Duncan <1i5t5.duncan at>
> To: kde at
> Cc: 
> Sent: Tuesday, 14 June 2011, 15:05
> Subject: [kde] Re: multiple accounts in kmail
>G ary Roach posted on Mon, 13 Jun 2011 19:10:09 -0700 as excerpted:
>>  I am trying to consoidate 2 email accounts onto the same machine but
>>  still keep them separated. I wish to use kmail. I am running kde 4.4.5
>>  on a Debian Linux operating system. My problem is this:
>>  I have two email accounts xxxxxx at and
>>  yyyyyy at Both send mail to and receive
>>  from They now reside on a Win2k box and a Debian
>>  linux box respecively. I wish to keep the two accounts completely
>>  separate but wish to put both on the linux box. In addition, I need to
>>  transfer my mail archives from thunderbird and iceweasel. I have read a
>>  lot of stuff on the net but have found most out of date and confusing.
>>  Can anyone lay out a road map that will allow me to set up  these 2
>>  accounts so they will co-exist with out being intermingled.
>>  My present file structure is:
>>  home/xxxx/.kde/share/apps/kmail/Mail
> First, let me commend you for both including critical version information 
> and technical detail, AND proper sanitation of irrelevant personal 
> information such as the exact email addresses and the precise name of 
> your user's home dir.  Few enough get the first part right; even fewer 
> BOTH get that right and properly sanitize the data they do post.  Your 
> post thus stands as a shining example of how to ask a question on the 
> lists the /right/ way! =:^)
> Beyond that... something you are likely already aware of, but the first 
> thing that occurs to me is that 4.4.5 is somewhat dated.  I've been 
> recommending 4.5.4 or 4.5.5 as very stable upgrades with a better overall 
> kde experience than 4.4 and earlier provided.  In fact, my repeated 
> position is that (the later monthly updates of) 4.5 was the first kde4 
> version I felt comfortable recommending to pretty much everyone -- what 
> SHOULD have been 4.0.  4.4 meanwhile was close, I've compared it to 
> release candidate quality, but not yet quite there.  So overall, you're 
> slighting your own experience of the best kde has to offer, by remaining 
> with 4.4.  (4.6, OTOH, I'd NOT recommend yet, except for those on 
> distributions which have already gotten rid of hal, and then I'd 
> definitely recommend sticking with 4.6.0 or 4.6.1, as 4.6.2 and 4.6.3 
> were buggy for many.  4.6.4 is just out and may be better, but I've not 
> had a chance to build (as I'm on Gentoo) and test it yet, so 4.5.5 for 
> those not yet migrated off of hal and 4.6.0 for those already migrated, 
> remain my recommendations, probably for another week or so anyway until I 
> can build and get at least a few days on 4.6.4.)
> That's in the context of kde4 in general.  As you may know, kmail/kdepim, 
> however, need treated separately, because they only had micro updates 
> during 4.5 and early 4.6, remaining at the 4.4 minor version level, with 
> beias you may know,ng the latest in that series.  The reason 
> behind this is that the planned upgrade to the akonadi backend was not 
> judged to be ready for general public usage yet, so in the meantime they 
> simply micro-updated in ordered to maintain compatibility with the rest 
> of the kde 4 platform as it moved to 4.5 and then 4.6.  (In this the 
> kdepim folks seem to have learned from the far too early christening of 
> kde 4.0 and the general declaration of 4.2 and 4.3 as ready for the 
> masses when that clearly wasn't the case, costing kde dearly in lost 
> reputation, and the kdepim folks chose not to repeat the same mistake, 
> erring if anything on the side of caution.)
> So until just this week, kdepim and with it kmail and kontact remained at 
> a bug-fixed 4.4 level.  Just this week, however, the long awaited general 
> release of the akonadified kmail/kontact2 occurred.  However again, I've 
> not done the upgrade myself yet, so will withhold evaluation thereof, 
> except to commend the kdepim folks for all their caution, with the 
> comment that I'm very optimistic, expecting a much smoother experience as 
> a result. =:^)
> The reason that bit, particularly the last about the upgrade to kmail2 
> (to go with kde 4.6.4 and later), comes up, is to point out that the 4.4 
> series kmail you're running now is a stopgap.  4.4 had already migrated 
> the address book to akonadi, and the integration between it and the not 
> yet migrated kmail wasn't as good as it might have been.  Further, active 
> development on that branch hasn't occurred for some time, as it was 
> considered to be almost wasted effort, since the new version was so close.
> As such, while what you have should be quite stable, keep in mind its 
> status and that yet another major upgrade and database conversion is in 
> the cards for whenever you upgrade to later kde 4.6 or 4.7 or whatever.  
> Depending on your situation and on the Debian upgrade timetable which I 
> don't know, being on Gentoo, it may be that you wish to hold off on that 
> migration until you can do it to the new akonadified version, thereby 
> avoiding having to do yet another conversion presumably soonish 
> thereafter.  I'm not saying DON'T do the migration now.  I'm simply 
> pointing out some factors you will likely wish to keep in mind.  You may 
> know about them already or not, and it may affect your current decision 
> or not, but it's good information to have in any case.  And you mentioned 
> out of date and confusing information... this is a heads-up that it just 
> got MORE so. =:^(
> To the question, then... assuming you're continuing the conversion with 
> kdepim 4.4.
> I'm rather unclear on what you mean when you say you wish to keep the 
> accounts "completely separate", but with the implication and tone of 
> the 
> question being that you intend to access them in the same kmail instance 
> in the same Linux user account.  To me, that doesn't seem to be 
> "completely separate" at all.  To me, "completely separate" 
> would be 
> accessed from two "completely separate" Linux user accounts, two 
> different home dirs (/home/xxxx/ and /home/yyyy/ to use your sanitized 
> terminology), etc.  To me, accessing them both from the same kmail 
> instance isn't what I'd call completely separate, but rather, simply two 
> different email accounts accessed from the same kmail, with the same 
> local storage, yet that seems to be what you're implying.
> It's definitely possible to have two "completely separate" 
> accounts, but 
> then I don't see the problem.  You'd have two separate users, each with 
> their own login and each with their own separate local kmail config and 
> storage, so what's the problem?  Thus, I can only assume you do NOT mean 
> the "completely separate" you so clearly stated, but instead, want a 
> combined local config, but maintaining the separate email addresses and 
> possibly separate inboxes, etc.
> This too is quite possible, with the degree to which the mail from the 
> separate accounts is kept separate, locally, entirely up to you.  In 
> fact, it's much the way I run here, with several separate public mail 
> accounts, most on one domain, one on a former provider's domain, and one 
> entirely local-machine account handling mail from local machine cronjobs 
> and the like.  Incoming from the multiple addresses on the main domain is 
> all from the one server (corresponding to your, 
> with the other domain's server polled for that address separately (and 
> the local machine mail appearing in a special maildir folder I have setup 
> for the purpose).  Outgoing for both the main domain and the old one goes 
> thru the same main domain outgoing server, with only the from address set 
> to the old domain, for mail I wish to send with that address.
> Incoming mail is sorted using the same common set of filters.  One filter 
> for each address adds a header to the mail indicating which address it 
> came in on, just in case the mail itself doesn't list that.  Rather than 
> a single inbox, however, or even one per mail address, I use filters to 
> sort all incoming mail by sender (family, friends, work, etc), subject, 
> etc.  However, it's entirely possible to sort into inbox based on address 
> the mail was sent to, if desired.
> The key to it all, however, at least from my perspective, is filters.  
> Get your filters properly setup for what you want to do, and you 
> shouldn't have problems.  Screw that up and you'll never get the 
> separation you want.  But how/what you filter on and what you do with 
> those filters (adding additional headers, sorting into separate folders, 
> forwarding, etc) is of course up to you.
> -- 
> Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
> "Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
> and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman
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I'm using kde 4.6.0 - opensuse 11.4. No real problems or irritations really except kmail filters but a base lib update seems to have fixed that. The filters are now working as far as I can tell. I use them to split off a number of email addresses, my wife's for instance and further splitting on contents. This isn't really treating them entirely separately.  One thing that may not work is trying to run 2 instances of kmail. This was a problem in the past and I suspect it's now trapped out even in cases where there would be no conflict.  2 users would definitely work and keep everything totally separate.

;-) A crippled mount-cifs has been the only major irritation.
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