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Importing emails in KMail.

November 6, 2007

Importing emails with KMail is easy – there are several ways to import email from different mail clients (e.g Thunderbird, Evolution, Microsoft Outlook Express, etc…)

Recently I tried importing my old (kmail) emails from my old Kubuntu OS. I made sure to back up the entire /.kde/ folder, but all you really need is this folder

~/.kde/share/apps/kmail/mail/ … this is where all your emails are stored

To import them you go to „File“ –> „Import Message“ and then this window should pop up:

Kmail Import

It’s german, but basically tells you where your KMail E-mails are stored – as said before this same window exists for Outlook Express or Mozilla Thunderbird E-mails as well.

My problem was that I had backed up my old E-mails onto a different hard drive, because I needed to reformat my current hard drive – and as soon as I moved them back to my new system all user permissions and the ownership had changed. That was the reason, why my E-mails couldn’t be read anymore and turned into a mess. Suddenly the subject, the sender’s or receipt’s name and the date of the email disappeared into „Unknown“. Ouch.

I managed to fix and reconstruct the missing information of my Emails by typing the following into my konsole:

sudo chown -R $USER.users ~/.kde/share/apps/kmail/mail

This basically changes the ownership (chown = change ownership) of the KMail folders to the username you’re currently using. My imported E-Mails were only readable and writable to root, but not to my own user account.

If other KDE configuration files or folders behave the same, then simply do:

sudo chown -R $USER.users ~/.kde/

This changes the ownership of the entire KDE configuration folder.

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