Kmail + DavMail + office 365 - cannot sync big inbox


I'm making an attempt to set up Kmail and the whole Kontakt suite to work with office 365 - instead of evoluiton. The problem i'm experiencing is that Kmail is having problems syncing big folders. I see the following behavior:

  1. It starts the process of sync Inbox or sent items
  2. The process moves very slowly, sometimes advancing to 10% (sent folder did), sometimes not really.
    Davmail shows in the logs that is connected and starts loading items
  3. The Kmail sync process is getting killed by Kmail
  4. DavMail reports client disconnect and stops the session

So far i was able to partially sync some folders that are not having many items in them, but inbox cannot be synced up at all - sent items is stuck on 500 count
It feels like Kmail is just doesn't wait long enough for batch to get ready or something like that. I was trying to find if there is any setting that would increase IMAP timeout, but to no avail.
Currently i'm trying to cleanup my inbox using outlook on web, and possibly create mbox file via evolution to then migrate the bulk of the items to kmail in hope that this will unblock it so that it can start receiving updates.

I would really appreciate some thoughts on this. Thank you!

╰─λ garuda-inxi
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Failed units:

Also keep in mind that Office365 could be limiting the transfers, so there's that variable to consider.

One thing to try would be to sync in smaller amounts, e.g. sync the last 30 days, then 90 days, etc. of email and see if that will help it complete.

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it would be an option if this option would exist. I can't find anything like that anywhere in Kmail:(

As for transfers - evolution didn't have any issues syncing stuff - so the server is most probably not at fault here....

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I've tried numerous times to stay with just KDE apps for my plasma install but always end up just going back to Evolution because of the polish and feature set.


Same. It is always a "heated" opinion, but mine is that the Akonadi database is....:poop:. The whole Kmail/Akonadi system, especially the davmail/caldav/cardav system is utter rubbish. I have had a bug report that has been confirmed on there for AGES...and they never fix it. Tear it down, start over....rant ended.

I would recommend staying with Evolution (although it has issues as well, but at least works) or Thunderbird which now has internal davmail, etc. plugins incorporated.


@RodneyCK @khaneliman It's a shame though - one of garuda's "selling" points is beautiful KDE dragonized UI and Kontakt suite is looking way nicer and works with dark themes way nicer than Evoluiton.
But i do agree that the combination with DavMail + office365 is not performing on par with Evolution so far.
I'm inclined to give Thunderbird a go - but worried about Mozilla dropping it from support. Is it still actively worked on - any insights?

I don't think they are going to drop it. A lot of it was performed by outside add-ons, but now it works out of the box. I only use caldav/cardav from my mail client and it works perfectly, no more plugins needed. I have not used it with MS Exchange, but I hear it works.

If you do have issues, you might also want to check out BlueMail. I have never used it and its coding is proprietary, but then again, you are connecting to a proprietary server (Microsoft.) It is in the chaotic-aur and AUR repos.

Wow! at a first glance bluemail is spectacular! painless setup, quick sync - got to work right away, Calendar, contacts - everything is up and running with exchange ews.


Sadly that one seems even worse for my use case... I need something that lets me override user agent string to actually log into my company EWS server. So far, I've only gotten that to work on Thunderbird because I can set the user agent string of Thunderbird itself (But I've only found how to add the account using third party extension that's paywalled). Kmail lets me set it during the account setup, but it isn't respected during the login window that they use for Oauth2 so it's irrelevant... Evolution I don't have a way to set it at all.

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Is DavMail not able to help with that? I.e. eliminate the need to provide user agent string, because it can connect to EWS by itself?

Alright, hadn't tried using that before because the app looked unpolished and a pain to deal with... it definitely was and had some horrible bugs that I didn't know were causing issues with trying to change authentication settings... but after changing settings and relaunching a few times it finally worked... so, yes, I guess that allows me to bypass using the user agent string. :stuck_out_tongue: I dont know how much confidence I have that it wont give me a headache with things just randomly stopping working though after the setup process.

Glad to hear you got it to work. For what it's worth: the Owl for Exchange addon works wonders for Office365 + ThunderBird.

hmm, let me try that.

As for Blue mail - unfortunately it failed on calendar front "spectacularly". It started to load all meetings that i ever had sent to me that were recurring and push them to although they were cancelled months ago.... and the problem is - it doesn't allow me to delete those, becasue they were not created by me...

So, to summarize:

  1. My work exchange admin doesn't allow direct connection using OAuth from tools like Kmail and Thunderbird and so on. SO for those DavMail is needed to act as proxy, because it can connect "natively". Evolution-ews can connect natively as well.
  2. Kmail and Kontakt suite coudn't sync up via Davmail. Uninstalled the whole thing
  3. Thunderbird can't sync up calendar via Davmail. Sync is very slow. Most probably goes out the window too
  4. bluemail very promising from the start, bu then calendar is not workable. So, no go too
  5. Evolution is the best soltuion - it just works. BUT it sucks on UI front and especially to when working in dark mode and has bugs in HTML messages presentation.

That's the state of affairs for now.

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After some more testing - evolution doesn't solve it all :frowning:
It actually fails to sync contacts from outlook, so I can't compose emails and be able to "inline" search people. It also has problems consistently pulling addresses from emails - refresh does nothing - the only workaround i found was to parse an mbox file generated from evolution, pull all unique addresses and store them in local contacts. Not straight forward at all.

So , the only option that works reliably is to open up outlook web interface in Chrome and then create a shortcut, so it becomes a Chrome app, then use that as a replacement for email client. Outlook even knows how to open mailto links while working in that mode...


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Have you tried Prospect Mail Client?

I haven't used it, but it is a standalone new Outlook Interface that would probably be better than a Chrome app type situation. It is available in Chaotic-AUR and AUR as prospect-mail-bin. More about it here.

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