Manual Configuration Quickstart

The Configure window consists of six sections: Identities, Accounts, Appearance, Composer, Security, Misc, and Plugins.

To begin sending and receiving messages you will only have to change some settings in the Identities and Accounts pages.

Setting your Identity

The settings in the Identities page are fairly straightforward. Select your default identity and click Modify. Fill in the Your name field with your full name (e.g. John Doe) and the Organization field (optional) with the appropriate information.

Next, fill in the Email address field with your email address (e.g.

If you are using PGP or GnuPG you can set your OpenPGP keys and/or S/MIME certificates in the Cryptography tab.

Optionally, go to the Signature tab and enter your signature. This is a short text that will be automatically appended to all your messages. It has nothing to do with digital signatures.

Setting up your Account

The Accounts page contains the settings that tell KMail how to send and receive your email messages. Many of these settings can vary greatly depending on the setup of your system and on the kind of network that your mail server is located in. If you do not know what setting to choose or what to put in a field, consult your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or system administrator.

Sending Messages

The Sending tab provides a list of ways to send messages. The first item in the list is the default way to send messages. Using the Add... button you can fill in the Name field with a descriptive name (e.g. My Mail Account). Click the Create and Configure and fill the Outgoing mail server field with the name and domain of your mail server (e.g. You will probably not need to change the Port setting (the default is 25).

The way of sending messages configured here will be used for your default identity and for all other identities that do not have their own way of sending messages. You can use different ways of sending messages for different identities by selecting the Outgoing Account check box in the Advanced tab of the Identities page.

A description of the other options can be found in the Configuration chapter.

Options relevant to Kolab server

When configuring an SMTP account with a Kolab server Host, you need to check the Server requires authentication option and to fill in your Kolab user's email address and password in the Login and Password fields. Then select the Security tab and click on the Check What the Server Supports for automated setup of your Security configuration. The default should be TLS/PLAIN. The Kolab server supports SSL/PLAIN as well. These settings may of course be configured manually.

Receiving Messages

By default the Local Folders (inbox, outgoing, sentmail, trash, drafts and templates) with data from a local Maildir folder are predefined on this tab. Using the drop down box you can select the Retrieval Options for these folders.

To set up an account so you can receive mail, press the Add... button in the Receiving tab. You will then be prompted for the type of your email account. Most users should select POP3 E-Mail Server or IMAP E-Mail Server. If you want to use a local mailbox file, please see the FAQ about file locking.

You will then be presented with the account settings window. First, fill in the Account name field to name your account. You can choose any name you like. Username, Password, and Incoming mail server should be filled in with the appropriate information from your ISP or system administrator. You should not need to change the Port setting (the default for POP3 is 110, the default for IMAP is 143).

Options only relevant to IMAP

If you check Automatically compact folders KMail removes the messages you deleted from the server as soon as you leave a folder. Otherwise the messages are only marked as deleted and it is up to you to compact the folders manually by using the menu item FileCompact All Folders.

If you check Show hidden folders, folders whose name starts with a dot are also displayed.

Options only relevant to POP3

Select Leave fetched messages on the server if you want to leave your messages on the server after you downloaded them.

Select Include in Manual Mail Check if you want to check this account whenever you use FileCheck Mail. If you unselect this option you can still check for new messages on this account with FileCheck Mail In.

Select Enable interval mail checking if you want KMail to check for new messages automatically. The interval can be specified below under Check mail interval.

inbox is the default folder for incoming messages. If you want to change that for some reason, you can do so with Destination folder. But what you probably want is a filter, which has nothing to do with this option.

With Pre-command you can specify any program that KMail will execute just before fetching mail. Please specify the full path (do not use ~) and note that KMail will not continue until the program returns.

In the POP Settings group you can select Use pipelining for faster mail download if this is supported by your server. You should carefully test this to make sure it works safely.

Options for both IMAP and POP3

KMail supports encryption via SSL/TLS and STARTTLS (SSL/TLS should be preferred if it is available).

For POP3 KMail supports:

  • Clear text,

  • PLAIN,

  • LOGIN,

  • CRAM-MD5 (recommended if DIGEST-MD5 is not available),

  • DIGEST-MD5 (recommended),

  • NTLM,


  • APOP authentication.

DIGEST-MD5, CRAM-MD5 and APOP are secure on their own, the other options are only secure when used together with SSL or TLS. You should only use Clear text if your server does not support any of the other authentication methods. Additionally, for IMAP Anonymous is supported, but APOP is not. Use the Check what the server supports button on the Security tab to automatically select the most secure settings supported by your server.

You are now ready to send and receive mail. For IMAP, just open your folders in the folder tree in KMail's main window. KMail then connects to your server and displays the messages it finds. For POP3 use FileCheck Mail.