kmail and kwallet

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Sat Feb 9 02:25:30 GMT 2013

P .NIKOLIC posted on Fri, 08 Feb 2013 16:56:01 +0000 as excerpted:

> On Fri, 8 Feb 2013 11:26:10 -0500 Gene Heskett <gheskett at>
> wrote:
>> On Friday 08 February 2013 11:24:05 P .NIKOLIC did opine:
>> Message additions Copyright Friday 08 February 2013 by Gene Heskett
>>> Claws Mail is every bit as good which is where i am now .

>> I have considered claws, but there seems to be no way to import the
>> kmail message corpus. Thats a show stopper as it goes back over 10
>> years. Thats in the 10Gb range here.

> i seem to remember there is an import utility for Claws mail  but not
> sure if it could handle that much mail i have about 1.5Gb  here that
> went across ok   , Let me dig thru the archive here see if i can spot
> the utility i used ..

It's definitely possible to import mail kmail -> claws-mail.  There's 
actually several methods I've seen people report having used.  However, 
there's not a built-in importer, as there is with other clients.

kmail can (could?, I /think/ the akonadified version, where it's actually 
akonadi handing it, still does) actually handle two different formats, 
mbox and maildir, with the default having changed over the years.

mbox is the simplest, as claws-mail actually has an mbox plugin and can 
read it directly if that plugin is used.  However, mbox format is all the 
mails for a mail-folder lumped into a single massive file, which doesn't 
tend to be particularly robust (if the filesystem screws up that 
file...), so both kmail and claws-mail discourage its use.

Both the maildir format that kmail uses, and the mh format that claws-
mail uses, are single message per file, with each mail folder an actual 
filesystem directory, and as such, *MUCH* more robust (a lost or 
corrupted file is just that one message gone).  However, the filenaming 
is different, and maildir uses subdirs for new messages, etc, that mh 
doesn't have, so they're not directly compatible and a converter/importer 
of SOME sort must be used.

On the claws-mail web site (linked from the help system inside claws, 
among other places), there's a whole "Tools" section devoted to user-
submitted helper scripts.  One of these is a kmail/maildir importer 
script (, written in perl.  That's actually 
the method I used, altho the perl script itself is about a decade old 
(well, last modification of the on-site version was 2007, it says) and I 
had to modify it slightly to get it to run with current perl.  I don't 
claim to know perl and have forgotten the details, but the errors it spit 
out were easy enough to figure out and fix, for someone reasonably 
comfortable with ANY kind of scripting (I'm reasonably good with bash).  
Once I had done that, however, it worked fine, converting all my kmail 

Another method I've seen people post that they used successfully, is a 
temporary installation of mutt, which can understand and convert between 
maildir and mh format.  This should work very well for people who have 
some mutt experience already, since they won't have to read so much of 
its documentation just to figure out how to do the convert, then uninstall 
it again.  For those who have never used mutt, this method would be 
rather more difficult.

The third method I've seen mentioned works well for those who already 
have access to an IMAP server.  Basically, they simply upload everything 
to the IMAP server in kmail, then access it (either redownloading it or 
direct from the IMAP server) from claws-mail.  One guy even mentioned 
locally installing and configuring dovecot, an IMAP server, just long 
enough to do this.  Once he had everything back in local (non-IMAP) claws-
mail, he deleted the claws-mail IMAP accounts, and shut down and 
uninstalled dovecot once again.

So there's at least three different methods to get kmail's maildir 
mailboxes into claws-mail, in addition to the mbox plugin that can be 
used for that.  All three of the methods are a bit fiddly if you haven't 
any experience with any of them, but given the quite wide coverage of the 
three, many people will find at least one of the three methods reasonably 

For you specifically, Gene, given that I know you know scripting well 
enough to have already done some custom scripting with kmail, I'd guess 
you'll have little trouble with the perl script that I used, even if you 
do need to modify it a bit, as I did.  That's assuming you don't have 
mutt experience and/or IMAP access and/or dovecot (or whatever) 
experience, and with your background, I'd not be surprised if you had at 
least one of those covered those as well, thus giving you your pick of 
methods. =:^)

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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