[kdepim-users] How do I turn off automatic compaction but still allow manual?

Ingo Klöcker kloecker at kde.org
Wed Aug 5 23:03:33 BST 2009

On Wednesday 05 August 2009, David Mills wrote:
> Hi,
> I used to have kontact and kmail that came with kde 3.5.9.  I'm sure
> that there was an option to turn on/off automatic periodic compaction
> for all folders.

No. There never was such an option.

> I have just upgraded to kde 4.2.4.  Kmail now hangs for long periods
> of time and chews through 100% CPU.  I can only suspect it was doing
> compaction.  It seemed to be doing it several times a day.
> I have a lot of folders with a lot of email so this process was
> taking a lot of time and chewing through most of my computer's
> resources.  At one point the kmail process got to 6 GB of memory used
> and I wasn't able to do much else with the computer.
> I cannot find a way to turn off automatic compaction with this new
> version - so I have set "Compactable=false" for all my folders in the
> kmailrc file. This seems to have fixed the issue of kmail using 100%
> CPU for long periods of time.  But now I am unable to compact folders
> even manually.
> How can I get manual operating but not automatic?  Or even better,
> automatic only to operate on a few select folders (i.e. the ones I
> use most)?

I cannot really add much to what you have already found yourself. 
Setting "Compactable=false" disables compaction completely. It is set 
by KMail in case a possible problem with the index files is detected. 
This is done in order to prevent the loss of mail during compaction due 
to broken index files.

Unless you have really good reasons to keep using mbox folders I suggest 
to convert all folders to maildir format. This will solve the problem 
of compaction since maildir folders do not need to be compacted. 
Unfortunately, there's no easy way to convert a folder from mbox format 
to maildir format. One way to do it is to create a new folder in 
maildir format, move (or copy) all messages from the old folder to the 
new folder, delete the old folder (after verifying that moving/copying 
was successful), rename the new folder to the old folder. 
Unfortunately, references to the old folder (e.g. as target of a 
filter) will be lost.

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