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… http://thomasmcguire.wordpress.com/2009/10/03/akonadi-nepomuk-and-strigi-explained/ and http://vizzzion.org/blog/2010/08/demystifying-akonadi/ . This is also a nice article “Akonadi misconception #1: where is my data?“: http://blogs.kde.org/node/4503 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 LinuxQuestions.org 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 https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=259355

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: http://userbase.kde.org/Akonadi_4.4/Troubleshooting

Cheers, Eric

11 thoughts on “kmail terminates during startup with “Failed to fetch the resource collection”

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

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


  2. 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.


  3. 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.

    Eric


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  7. 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!!!



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  9. 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 .


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