[kdepim-users] How to disable mail indexing with Akonadi search

Daniel Vrátil dvratil at kde.org
Mon Feb 8 09:15:55 GMT 2016

On Saturday, February 6, 2016 7:35:17 PM CET Martin Steigerwald wrote:
> Hello!
> Back in Baloo times it was easy to disable mail indexing. But with Akonadi
> Search which as I understand is basically a renamed Baloo for mail stuff I
> didn´t find a way yet. Can one disable it?
> I searched for an option in akonadi_indexing_agent settings, but didn´t find
> one.
> I excluded the biggest folders yet it still crawls Akonadi to a halt with at
> least 90-100% CPU load on mysqld for tenth of minutes or more up to the
> point where something happens that doesn´t happen with Akonadi + KDEPIM
> from master otherwise since all the performance improvements: KMail looses
> connection to Akonadi and is unusable unless I restart it.
> Also currently the mail index would grow to big that BTRFS gets into trouble
> with free space, up to kernel 4.3 even freezing up the whole machine with a
> kworker thread searching for free space (known issue in BTRFS, that may or
> may not be fixed in 4.4 or later).
> For now at least for the storage thing I did:
> touch ~/.local/share/akonadi/search_db
> then akonadi indexing agent does not create a directory there and no space
> is used up.
> As you know my mail setup is a bit crazy, so I know the index is big, but
> still after 5 GiB I keep wondering whether it needs to be that big,
> especially as I excluded at least the folders with LKML mails.
> For now until I have more free SSD space I just want to disable it.
> I help myself with repeating
> killall /home/kde/install/bin/akonadi_indexing_agent
> until Akonadi gives up starting the indexing agent after each time I start
> Akonadi by logging into a Plasma session or restarting it after a new
> compile from master.

You can prevent the Indexer from starting by modifying /usr/share/akonadi/
agents/akonadindexingagent.desktop, unsetting "AutoStart" capability.

You use maildir, so the main suspect why the IO goes crazy is that when 
indexing is triggered, we are forced to upload all the mails to Akonadi and 
index it, then Akonadi expires the data again and they are removed from the 
database - so you get maildir READ + DB write, then DB read, then Xapian write 
(super-IO-intensive) and again DB write (delete) - I suppose this together 
adds up to some insane IO numbers.

I am aware that this is extremely inefficient and I have a plan how to improve 
performance for local email massively by allowing direct access to the local 
remote storage by resources and applications with Akonadi only storing the 
usual metadata and path to the actual end-storage files (instead of the actual 
data). Unfortunately I don't know when I'll get around to start working on it. 
If you have some time and feel like helping, just get in touch ;)


> Also with indexing "disabled" like this Akonadi doesn´t auto complete
> anything in to address field. Not even from address book which is quite
> annoying. Only from recent addresses, but this is only mail addresses not
> the Name <mail at address> form I prefer.
> I am willing to look more closely at why indexing crawls down Akonadi to an
> halt at some time, but not now.
> So is there a way to just tell it not to indexing *any* mail? I think such
> an option is still important and if its just for people with low free disk
> space.
> So or so I get the impression since Baloo mail indexing has been renamed to
> Akonadi search and put into Akonadi repo no one really looked into it
> anymore. In KDE SC 4.14 times it really worked good. It still works fine on
> my KDE SC 4.14 based KDEPIM on the workstation at works. So I am a bit sad
> that it again is broken for me.
> Thanks,

Daniel Vrátil
www.dvratil.cz | dvratil at kde.org
IRC: dvratil on Freenode (#kde, #kontact, #akonadi, #fedora-kde)

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