Kmail Crashing

OMG! I Crashed Google!

What the hell happened to my Kmail? This is beyond bizarre!

I got to work today, and I pulled up kontact to check the pile of annoying email that doubtlessly accumulated over the long weekend. The app loaded, but for some reason the preview pane refused to display the currently highlighted email. Furthermore, double-clicking on the email did not bring up the reading window. Gkrellem showed that my CPU usage was close to 90%. Then I got a phone call, and made myself busy only to find the KDE crash report window on my screen few minutes later.

I killed all kontact processes, and tried again. Same result. I repeated the exercise 3-4 times, and each time I got a halfway frozen kmail and then a crash that would kill the whole kontact. What’s interesting is that kalendar, kaddressbook and the rest of the suite was working fine. WTF?

My first suspicion was that over bloated mbox files were the cause of the crash. So I moved out my gargantuan bugtraq and spam folders out of ~/.kde/share/apps/kmail/mail/. Unfortunately that did not help. I moved all the index files forcing kmail to recreate them. Still same issue. Finally I renamed the ~/.kde/share/apps/kmail/ directory forcing kmail to re-create it (thus starting with no email archives whatsoever). That didn’t help either.

I figured that this just can’t be my email. Perhaps I installed some broken package when I did apt-get upgrade on Friday? Maybe there are other people suffering from the same issue? So I decided to hit Google for help. Unfortunately I did not find any bug report or help article that would even remotely resemble my strange problem. Perhaps I’m one of the first people to run into this, and the problem reports did not accumulate a good page rank yet?

I was about to post about my problem here, but first I decided to check out if any other bloggers run into this. Google Blog Search may yield some more up-to-date results. So I queried for “kmail crashing”. Funny thing is that Google Blog Search did not like that query and gave me 500 Server Error. Go ahead try it yourself as of Tue, January 03 2006, 06:55 PM this is still causing an error. This might get fixed later, so I’m posting a screenshot taken this morning as a proof.

That was around noon today. Since morning I managed to crash my kontact, and crash google blog search 😛 This was definitely not my day.

I spent several hours reading about every single kmail related issue I could find. It seems that there is some big issue with kmail supporting gpgp under Breezy. This was not directly related to me because I have Kubuntu which stems of Hoary and uses KDE 3.4.0. Still, I went into the kmairc and I eddited out every single line that had anything to do with cryptography, php or certificates. Fuck encryption. I just want to be able to read my email! Kmail was still crashing.

At that point I said “fuck it”. I removed kontact via apt, and reinstalled it. Guess what? No result whatsoever! At that point I gave up, and reverted to webmail and started figuring out which alternate email client should I use.

Both Evolution and Thunderbird seem bloated, and clumsy next to my slim, and functional kontact. Neither one of these apps can access the windows shares via the open/save menu. Finally, neither one can seamlessly import the maildir format which for some reason is the for kmail.

After I got home, I pulled out the laptop preparing myself for an evening of pain and suffering trying to either get kmail operational, or somehow import my emails to another client. I pull up kontact, and… It works.

At this point I’m speechless. I have no clue what the hell just happened. Maybe KDE needed to be restarted at some point? I’m pretty sure I rebooted 3-4 times in the morning, but perhaps one of the things I did later in the day fixed it.

I think this easily qualifies as the most annoying KDE related shit of the month 🙂


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