KDE PIM changes in openSUSE Tumbleweed

Short version: the KDE PIM in openSUSE Tumbleweed is moving from 4.14.x to the KF5 based version. More details below.

Some history

As you may know, up to now the default PIM suite for Plasma 5 in openSUSE Tumbleweed was the KDE PIM 4.14, based on kdelibs 4.x. While upstream KDE has offered a KF5-based version since Applications 15.08, it has been originally marked as a technology preview, so we (the openSUSE community KDE team) thought it would be more prudent to stick with the 4.14 version (but offer the KF5 based PIM as an option for the daring).

Fast forward to today: KDE Applications 15.12.1 have been released, and we’ve been testing and using the KF5 based PIM suite for all these months with no issues. In addition, PIM developers have been adding interesting new features and impressive speed optimization (see the blog post by PIM developer Dan Vratil), and at the same time dropped support for the the 4.14 PIM suite.

What does it mean for openSUSE?

This means that from the next openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshot, the old PIM 4.14.x packages will be replaced by their KF5 counterparts. Most settings should be migrated automatically, and the mail store is set in a DE-independent location, so you should not lose any data.

You have two three options for upgrading. But bear in mind that Akonadi should not be running during the upgrade! To stop Akonadi, close all PIM applications, open a terminal and issue akonadictl stop. Alternatively, open the akonadiconsole program, and select Stop Server from the Server menu. Lastly, you can do the upgrade from a different user account.

Fully automatic

Just start up the new KF5 PIM after the upgrade.

Start from scratch

Simply recreate all your accounts in the new interface and redownload all your mail. This works best with IMAP (with setups and if you have enough bandwidth.

Use the PIM settings exporter

You can export all your mail from KMail: under the Tools menu, there is the option Import/Export KMail Data, which you can use to create an archive with all your mails and account configurations. You need to do this before upgrading, then use the same option in KMail after upgrading to the KF5 based version to have all your accounts, calendars and mail set up.


The 4.14.x and KF5 versions of the PIM stack are incompatible with each other. Therefore if you do not fully upgrade the system you will get strange issues. Ensure you update with zypper dup or with the equivalent option in YaST to ensure that all packages will be picked up.

What do we get with the new version?

There were many changes. The most user-visible ones, in my opinion, are:

  • Much faster data exchange between the PIM stack components: this leads to faster startup times and faster email sync
  • Faster display of larger threads: PIM developer Dan Vratil spent quite a bit of work on finding slow code paths and he massively improved thread and email display.
  • Some smaller new features: Gravatar support for email display - disabled by default , for example
  • All the goodes that the KDE Frameworks 5 brought

Plus many more that I may have forgot.


Bugs? What bugs? Software is perfect! ;)

Jokes aside, if you find a bug in the PIM stack, please report it to the upstream bug tracker. If instead it’s a bug in the openSUSE packages (missing dependencies, etc.), report it to openSUSE’s Bugzilla


Thanks go to the KDE PIM developers for their awesome work despite their small numbers (Laurent Montel and Dan Vratil deserve several beers each ;) and of course to my fellow KDE team members, in particular Raymond “tittiatcoke” Wooninck for his work in packaging the PIM stack.

Dialogue & Discussion