KMail is irretrievably broken

Peter Humphrey peter at
Mon Sep 18 11:57:34 BST 2017

On Wednesday, 13 September 2017 15:52:52 BST Peter Humphrey wrote:
> Hello list,
> I've finally had to admit defeat. I cannot get KMail-2 to import my old
> messages, either from a KMail archive or from the corresponding directory
> structure. I created the directory by extracting the archive using Ark.
> I'm running Gentoo Linux, updated daily and backed up weekly. Many's the
> time I've created a new home directory for myself, arranged KDE-plasma the
> way I like it and tried to import the old messages into KMail. I've taken
> great pains to avoid doing two things at once, or going too fast, and
> I've rebooted at every sign of trouble.
> The only conclusion I can come to is that there are some damaged messages
> in the archive, such that KMail cannot handle them. But instead of being
> programmed defensively, KMail seems to assume blithely that every field
> is properly formatted. When it finds something that isn't, it throws a
> wobbler.
> Thinking that I might be doing something wrong in Gentoo, I even went to
> the trouble of installing the latest version of OpenSuse. I got the same
> thing again. In particular, numerous duplicates being created without any
> access to the Internet. When I say "numerous," I mean scores of
> duplicates of each of a dozen or more separate messages in various
> folders. It's chaos.
> The only thing I can do now is to start a fresh message collection,
> leaving the archive for searching with text tools.
> Somebody has let the side down, and badly.

Thanks to all who helped.

I think I now have a nearly stable KMail setup. I've spent about a week 
wrestling with the recalcitrant beast, and now it seems to be almost tame.

My discovery has been to use akonadiconsole to delete the akonadi cache from 
a troublesome folder, then restart akonadi. I have to synchronise the folder 
before deleting the cache, but it seems to work. I have lost a number of 
recent e-mails, but that's KMail life I suppose.

Akonadictl flush and fsck still don't do anything here.

One very odd thing, though, happens when I try to recover "Local Folders"/
Linux/Gentoo-User, either from the most recent archive or from the directory 
structure created by using Ark to extract the archive. I can make an archive 
of that folder alone, but archiving the whole of Local Folders fails at that 
same folder, saying "Can't get the message list" or some such.



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