Identities Page

You can find a quick introduction to the Identities page in the Getting Started section.

This page allows you to create one or more Identities, i.e. combinations of name, email address and other settings. For example, you can create one identity for business communication and one for personal communication. If you have more than one email address, you can create one identity per address. You will then be able to select an identity on a per-message basis.

The page consists of a list of identities and buttons to manage them. The identities list will always show at least one identity, which is then the Default identity.

To add a new identity to the identity list, click on the Add... button.

The New Identity Dialog

New Identity Dialog

New Identity Dialog

You have to enter the name of the new identity into the New Identity edit field. This will be the name shown in the identity list.

You can choose how the new identity should be initialized by checking one of the three radio buttons in the middle of the dialog:

With empty fields

All fields of the new identity are cleared or preset with standard values.

Use System Settings values

Uses the values from Account DetailsPassword & User Account in the System Settings category Common Appearance and Behavior.

Duplicate existing identity

Copies all fields from an existing identity. You can choose which identity to copy from by selecting the corresponding entry in the Existing identities drop down box.


Identity General

Identity General

The General tab allows you to specify some basic settings for the currently selected identity.

Your name

Enter your full name here (sometimes also called display name). Although this field is not strictly mandatory, it is recommended to enter the correct value here.


Enter your organization here. This field is optional.

Email address

Enter your email address here, i.e. something like

Example 4.1. Email address

So if your address is Joe User <>, you should enter Joe User into the Your name field and into the Email address field.

Email aliases

This field contains alias addresses that should also be considered as belonging to this identity (as opposed to representing a different identity).

Example 4.2. Email aliases

Primary address:

Aliases: and


Identity Cryptography

Identity Cryptography

The Cryptography tab allows you to specify OpenPGP and S/MIME keys associated with this identity, as well as choosing the preferred (cryptographic) message format to use.

OpenPGP signing key

Here you can select the key to be used when OpenPGP-signing messages written with this identity in effect.

For brevity, only the short key id of selected keys is shown. Hovering with the mouse over the key list will show more information in a tooltip.

To clear the label press the Clear button. To change the selected key, press the Change... button. A dialog listing all configured secret OpenPGP keys will be shown allowing you to select the one to use. If you do not have key configured yet, click the Start Certificate Manager to open Kleopatra. See Kleopatra for information on using Kleopatra to create and manage openpgp keys and certificates. Listed below is a brief description of the chosen key/certificate uses.

OpenPGP encryption key

Here you can select the key to OpenPGP-encrypt messages to when this identity and When encrypting emails, always also encrypt to the certificate of my own identity are in effect. This key is also used for the AttachAttach My Public Key function of the Composer.

S/MIME signing certificate

Here you can select the certificate to be used when S/MIME-signing messages written with this identity in effect.

S/MIME encryption certificate

Here you can select the certificate to S/MIME-encrypt messages when this identity and When encrypting emails, always also encrypt to the certificate of my own identity are in effect.

Preferred format

Here you can choose which cryptographic message format to use by default with this identity. You can either select any of the four formats supported by KMail or leave the option at the recommended default setting of Any, which will choose a suitable format based on the recipients of the message, or might even go so far as to create two copies of the message, one S/MIME signed and/or encrypted, the other OpenPGP signed and/or encrypted.


Identity Advanced

Identity Advanced

The Advanced tab allows you to specify some rarely used or otherwise specialized settings for the currently selected identity.

Reply-To address

Enter the address to which replies to your messages should be sent. Only fill out this field if it is different from your normal address (specified using the Name and Email Address on the General tab), since replies default to the sender's address anyway.

This field is only useful if you want replies to your mail to go somewhere else than your regular email address, e.g. if you are using this identity to send messages from an email address that cannot receive messages.


Note that some mailing lists overwrite this header field with their post address to make sure that replies go to the list instead of individuals. So the usefulness of this field is very limited and it should only be used in rare cases.

BCC addresses

Optionally enter addresses separated by a comma to which blind copies of your messages should be sent to. When you compose a message with this identity, the BCC field is filled with these addresses. If you want to send a BCC regardless of this setting, you should look at the Headers tab of the Composer page.


Select the default dictionary for current identity.

Sent-mail folder

Select the folder into which messages should be filed after sending when using this identity. IMAP users should consider changing this to an IMAP folder, so their sent-mail is stored on a server instead of being stored in a local folder. This way they can access these messages from a different location.


You can exercise more fine-grained control over where to file sent messages by creating a corresponding message filter that is applied to outgoing messages.

Drafts folder

Select the folder into which drafts should be filed when using this identity. IMAP users should consider changing this to an IMAP folder, so their drafts are stored on a server instead of being stored in a local folder. This way they can easily continue to work on their drafts at a different location.

Templates folder

Select the folder into which templates should be filed when using this identity. Please see Compose from templates for more information on templates.

Outgoing Account

Select or enter an alternative SMTP server to be used when sending messages using this identity.


You need to configure outgoing mail servers first, before you can choose them from the list. You can do this on the Sending tab of the Accounts page.


Identity Templates

Identity Templates

Here you can create and manage templates to use when composing new messages, replies or forwarded messages.

The message templates support substitution commands, either simply type them or select them from the Insert Command menu.

Templates specified here are identity-specific. They override global templates, but can be overridden by per-folder templates if they are specified.


Identity Signature

Identity Signature

This tab allows you to specify a signature (sometimes called footer or disclaimer) to be appended to each message sent using this identity.


This type of signature has nothing to do with the (digital) signatures for which you can select the keys to use on the Cryptography tab. It is just bad wording to call this a signature, but since the term is already used everywhere else, we keep this notation. Just keep in mind that these signatures and digital signatures are two completely different things.

Check the Enable signature option if you want to be able to append the signature when using this identity. To automatically append it to every new message you also have to select Automatically insert signature in the Composer configuration page.

KMail can obtain the signature text from various sources. The default is Input Field Below. Just enter what you would like your signature to be into the textbox.

The traditional way on Unix is to read the text from a file called .signature in your home folder. This file can be shared between several programs, so you get the same signature in each mail program you use. Select File from the Obtain Signature text from drop down menu. If you want to edit the file, click the Edit File button.

KMail can also read the signature text from the output of a command. Thus, you can use programs such as fortune to create a new signature text for every message. Everything the program prints onto stdout is caught and used as the signature text. To read the text from the output of a command you select Output of Command. Enter the command (preferably with full path) in the Specify command edit field.


On the Internet, signatures are by convention separated from the body of the message by a line containing only the three character -- (dash, dash, space). KMail will automatically prepend the signature text with this line if it is not already present in the signature text.

If you do not wish the separator to be prepended automatically by KMail, simply add it to the signature text yourself.


Identity Picture

Identity Picture

KMail can send a small (48x48 pixels), low-quality, monochrome picture with every message. For example, this could be a picture of you or a glyph. It is shown in the recipient's mail client (if supported).

Send picture with every message

Check this box if you want KMail to add a so-called X-Face header to messages written with this identity. An X-Face is a small (48x48 pixels) black and white image that some mail clients are able to display.

External Source
Select File...

Use this to select an image file to create the picture from. The image should be of high contrast and nearly quadratic shape. A light background helps improve the result.

Set From Address Book

You can use a scaled-down version of the picture you have set in your address book entry.

Input Field Below

Use this field to enter an arbitrary X-Face string. Examples are available at