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Kmail breaking or freezing desktop

rgaelzer
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Kmail breaking or freezing desktop

Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:34 pm
My box:
Fedora 26 (KDE spin, fresh install, fully updated)

There is something seriously wrong with the Kmail version that comes shipped with Fedora 26.
Up to F25, kmail would frequently freeze for a limited period of time (that could vary a lot), but would eventually unfreeze.
Now, I installed a new HDD, and did a brand new installation of F26 from a live KDE spin. At first, kmail would "only" break, but that could happen up to a dozen times for each session. I would simply (and doggedly) restart the app and go on with my work.
Alas, now the whole KDE desktop is freezing at some point, at least once each session, and I suspect that the reason are the bugs in kmail.
The last couple of times this happened I was monitoring cpu usage (with top) and IO traffic (with iotop), while browsing through my emails. Suddenly, kmail would start demanding more and more of the cpu and when the load reached about 200% the desktop would just freeze, and in such a way that I could not even start a terminal session with Ctrl+Alt+F2 in order to kill the process.

Has anyone noticed this kind of problem lately?
I'd like to know what I could do to diagnose this problem. ???

Thanks.
rgaelzer
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Today I tried to run Kontact/kmail instead of a standalone kmail session.
For some minutes, kontact/kmail was running smoothly, but suddenly the cpu usage spiked again. Fortunately, I was able to close kontact before the desktop froze.
However, since then, every time I try to start kontact again it immediately crashes... >:( Seems to work even worse than kmail alone...

Guys, I'm really looking now at alternatives (evolution or thunderbird).
Anyone knows which one is easier to migrate to from kmail?

Thanks.
User avatar OlafLostViking
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I guess, I am experiencing the same problem (as long as KMail/Akonadi doesn't crash beforehand - not that stable lately :-\ ). But I have multiple mail accounts in KMail and it only happens when I enter the INBOX of one specific account.

Just like you, killing kontact "helps" :o . If I wait too long, the desktop is still running (popups, animations and audio still work), but the input seems to be grabbed by the frozen kmail. So I cannot do anything on the graphical desktop. Luckily, CTRL+ALT+F2 worked for me, so that I could kill it again.

Any idea how to debug? I called it with strace and the last messages before it froze after clicking on the INBOX folder were:

Code: Select all
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/home/USER/.config/kdeglobals", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = 106
fcntl(106, F_SETFD, FD_CLOEXEC)         = 0
fstat(106, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0600, st_size=6869, ...}) = 0
fstat(106, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0600, st_size=6869, ...}) = 0
fstat(106, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0600, st_size=6869, ...}) = 0
read(106, "[$Version]\nupdate_info=fonts_glo"..., 16384) = 6869
read(106, "", 9515)                     = 0
close(106)                              = 0
stat("/home/USER/.config/akonadi_imap_resource_1rc", {st_mode=S_IFREG|0600, st_size=4170, ...}) = 0
stat("/etc/xdg/akonadi_imap_resource_1rc", 0x7ffc8a77f900) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory)
stat("/home/USER/.config/akonadi_imap_resource_1rc", {st_mode=S_IFREG|0600, st_size=4170, ...}) = 0
openat(AT_FDCWD, "/home/USER/.config/akonadi_imap_resource_1rc", O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = 106
fcntl(106, F_SETFD, FD_CLOEXEC)         = 0
fstat(106, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0600, st_size=4170, ...}) = 0
fstat(106, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0600, st_size=4170, ...}) = 0
fstat(106, {st_mode=S_IFREG|0600, st_size=4170, ...}) = 0
read(106, "[SubscriptionDialog]\nSize=729,76"..., 16384) = 4170
read(106, "", 12214)                    = 0
close(106)                              = 0
brk(0x5555c28db000)                     = 0x5555c28db000
brk(0x5555c28fc000)                     = 0x5555c28fc000
brk(0x5555c291f000)                     = 0x5555c291f000
...
brk(0x5555c3232000)                     = 0x5555c3232000
brk(0x5555c3253000)                     = 0x5555c3253000
brk(0x5555c3274000)                     = 0x5555c3274000
rgaelzer
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Dear OlafLostViking,
I sympathize with your (our) plight.... :'(
The fact is... I got tired of waiting for someone from the development team to reply and gave up Kmail (after I don't know how many years...).

Tried Thunderbird first, but found out that its support for the maildir format is minimal, so I'm using Evolution mail now.
Evolution is all right, it supports maildir and does (almost) everything I was used with Kmail, but it's not as configurable and pretty as are KDE apps.

Of course, for each one (thunderbird and evolution), I had to spend about half a day learning how to use and migrating my emails...
User avatar OlafLostViking
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I'm sad to hear that. Even though I can perfectly understand it. The single most wished for improvement to the KDEPIM stack in the latest user survey (I think it's great they did that!) was, as far as I understood, to get rid of Akonadi. And guess which wish got rejected? ;) KMail is, as you wrote, so great. It's a pity it gets crippled by Akonadi.

But I'm a die hard fanboi - I cannot give up! I suffered so many years, I want my candy ehm... mails! :D
rgaelzer
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OlafLostViking wrote:I'm sad to hear that. Even though I can perfectly understand it. The single most wished for improvement to the KDEPIM stack in the latest user survey (I think it's great they did that!) was, as far as I understood, to get rid of Akonadi. And guess which wish got rejected? ;) KMail is, as you wrote, so great. It's a pity it gets crippled by Akonadi.

But I'm a die hard fanboi - I cannot give up! I suffered so many years, I want my candy ehm... mails! :D

Yeah, now that you mentioned it, I remember I took that survey, but never followed up on the results...
Do you know where I can get ahold of the survey conclusions?
User avatar OlafLostViking
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Sure, just check Daniel's blog. He says Akonadi had a bad reputation but they worked hard on it. I honestly believe him that! It must be very exhausting work to get through that massive code base. It's just that these improvements never reached me ;-)

All hail KMail! (Mh, could be a nice marketing slogan...)
rgaelzer
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OlafLostViking wrote:Sure, just check Daniel's blog. He says Akonadi had a bad reputation but they worked hard on it. I honestly believe him that! It must be very exhausting work to get through that massive code base. It's just that these improvements never reached me ;-)

All hail KMail! (Mh, could be a nice marketing slogan...)


Thanks. I'm curious for part 2 of his blog on the survey...
I can tell you that when (and if) they can get those issues fixed, I'll gladly return to Kmail... it's just that I can't have my desktop freezing on me all the time...
jgruetzner
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After almost a week of the kmail/F26 problems described in this thread, it was actually a comfort to find out that I wasn't alone with this problem. :-\

I've used kmail for years both at work and at home. However, the bugginess was such that when my wife and I started a home-based business, we chose Thunderbird for its email. Thunderbird has worked well. I've resisted the temptation to shift work kmail to something else, but with this latest problem--and the fact that I have three office computers now, with one running kmail (crashes), one Outlook (yes, alas), and one free--I have a reasonable opportunity to check out a different mailer.

Thunderbird has been OK for the business at home--low volume, several accounts--but I see Evolution is recommended here, so that's what I'll be trying. Appreciate the recommendation.
rgaelzer
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jgruetzner wrote:Thunderbird has been OK for the business at home--low volume, several accounts--but I see Evolution is recommended here, so that's what I'll be trying. Appreciate the recommendation.


There are several reviews about linux email clients that you can find on the net in order to help on your decision-making process. Here's some of them:
http://www.techradar.com/news/software/applications/best-linux-email-client-5-reviewed-and-rated-1041236
https://www.lifewire.com/best-worst-linux-email-clients-2204889
http://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/best-free-open-source-linux-emails-clients
https://www.slant.co/topics/7960/~linux-email-clients

 
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