[Users] Suitability of using Claws instead of KMail ?

Tristan Miller psychonaut at nothingisreal.com
Mon Apr 24 21:45:07 CEST 2017

Dear Peter,

On Mon, 24 Apr 2017 16:40:25 +1000, Peter
<peter777 at users.sourceforge.net> wrote:
> Using Mail on Kubuntu 16.04.1 and there are LOTS of problems. Has
> anyone on this list changed over from KMail please ?  I have looked
> here and there regards docs about this, but doesn't seem
> comprehensive. Or I looked in the wrong places, .. lol
> Have installed Claws and it is now looking in my /home/****/Mail
> path, plus added a heap of files.  Anyway, I didn't want to get too
> bogged down initially with questions, but if there is a KMail/akonadi
> expert here, would much appreciate it.  (I have to restart the
> akonadi server many times each day, ..sigh).

I was a long-term user of KMail (since at least 2001) on my home
computer. When KMail2 came out, I held off on upgrading because of
several showstopping bugs I read about on the KDE Bugzilla.  Years and
years passed and these bugs didn't get fixed; meanwhile I was stuck
using an increasingly antiquated operating system (openSUSE 11.4, from
2012) since all newer versions of it packaged only KMail2.  Last year I
finally broke down and upgraded the OS to the most recent version.

Predictably, KMail2 turned out to be a nightmare.  Converting my old
mail folders was fraught with problems.  When I finally got that sorted
out, I was bitten by the infamous message duplication bug wherein extra
copies of messages would appear whenever the filters were run.  None of
the workarounds from the dozen or so bug reports worked for me.  I had
no choice but to switch to another mail client. Though I use Thunderbird
at work, its filtering system is underpowered and buggy. Claws Mail
seemed to be the only other option.

In KMail2, as in KMail, my mail was stored in maildir folders, so the
easiest migration path to Claws Mail was to set up a local IMAP server
-- Dovecot -- and copy over my maildir folders.  I then set up an IMAP
account in Claws Mail pointing at the local IMAP server.

I couldn't find any way of easily and accurately migrating my KMail(2)
filters, so I manually recreated them all in Claws Mail.  It took me a
while to get the hang of Claws Mail's filters and actions.

The only thing that I haven't been able to migrate to my satisfaction
is the address book.  KMail2 gets the address book from KAddressbook,
which uses vCards.  But Claws Mail supports neither vCards nor
CalDAV servers -- at least not very well.  I did manage to export the
KAddressbook entries and import them into Claws Mail, but almost all
the fields other than the name and e-mail address were lost.

At this point, I'm waiting either for better vCard/CalDAV support
in Claws Mail (in which case I'll consider my migration to Claws Mail
complete), or for KMail2 to fix their mail duplication bug, in which
case I might switch back to KMail2.


                  Tristan Miller
Free Software developer, ferret herder, logologist
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