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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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kmail terminates during startup with “Failed to fetch the resource collection”

One thing that keeps boggling people’s minds when they use KDE is Akonadi, the framework used to access PIM-like data. PIM being “Personal Information Management”. Akonadi leaves me in the dark too, sometimes!

If you want to know a bit more about how Akonadi sits at the core of your personal data management in KDE, you might want to read these articles first, one being two  years old and the other a bit more recent… and . This is also a nice article “Akonadi misconception #1: where is my data?“: which is definitely worth checking out.

In the meantime, there is an issue I wanted to discuss with you, considering Akonadi. When you upgrade to KDE 4.7.x coming from Slackware’s KDE 4.5.5, the upgrade process is not always smooth. The PIM suite in KDE 4.7.x is now using Akonadi as its backend, meaning your PIM data (kmail, kontact etc) are migrated over to the Akonadi storage the very first time you start your new KDE. This migration is not always proceeding perfectly.

There’s a thread on about kmail crashing on startup with a very specific error message “Failed to fetch the resource collection“. I provided the solution in that thread but thought it would be good to document it here in the blog as well. The bug is fairly old, it is being discussed in

What you have to do if you encounter this issue, is the following:

  1. Launch Akonadi Console (for instance by pressing “Alt-F2” to open krunner and typing “akonadiconsole”).
  2. In the “Agents” tab, select the “Local Folders” resource.
  3. Select “Configure > Configure natively…”.
  4. If an error appears indicating that “the current folder does not exist” don’t worry. Select a new directory which does not yet exist, for instance: /home/<USERNAME>/.kde/share/apps/kmail/mail/

This should fix the issue with kmail.

You can fix it the hard way, by removing all of your “.kde” directory content but that is so rude, and you lose a lot of other configurations besides your mail.

A whole section of the KDE User Base is devoted to Akonadi troubleshooting, I recommend you check that out if you run into Akonadi related issues:

Cheers, Eric


Comment from Saivnoba Sumati
Posted: November 13, 2011 at 04:05

Hi Eric,
Thanks for the solution and for this blog post.

The links are very informative. However, both of them have same url ( I had to manually type in wordpress link address.

Comment from Helios
Posted: November 13, 2011 at 13:46

I think a good solution is to disable entirely akonadi, and not use PIM and other programs depending on it. I did this when I realized that it used too much CPU ressource for what it is supposed to do.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: November 13, 2011 at 13:55

Hi Saivnoba

Thanks for reporting that. WordPress editor mangled my text halfway when I wrote this post, and I thought I had fixed it all… but did not see that incorrect URL. It has been corrected now.


Pingback from Links 15/11/2011: Linux still Rules HPC | Techrights
Posted: November 15, 2011 at 17:18

[…] kmail terminates during startup with “Failed to fetch the resource collection” […]

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Posted: November 24, 2011 at 00:44

[…] kmail terminates during startup with “Failed to fetch the resource collection” […]

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Posted: November 25, 2011 at 10:00

[…] kmail terminates during startup with “Failed to fetch the resource collection” […]

Comment from Robin
Posted: December 31, 2011 at 13:03

Dear Eric, Just migrated to Suse 12.1 and was unable to start Kmail. Use Akonadi console as per your instructions above and all is now well. Many thanks for your help!!!

Comment from alienbob
Posted: December 31, 2011 at 13:28

Hi Robin, glad that I could help users of other distros as well.


Comment from cata
Posted: November 20, 2012 at 11:23

me, for one, i restarted akonadi server and kmail worked; happened after resuming from sleep mode. kde 4.9.2, possible conflict with the LAMP stack (?). 64bit OS .

Pingback from Migrando para o kmail2 » KDE-MG
Posted: April 19, 2013 at 23:57

[…] to fetch resource collection”. Depois de algums pesquisas no google eu achei esse blog que explica como resolver o problema (é realmente fácil). Depois eu tive um problema de enviar […]

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