The new 10.04 release of Ubuntu/Kubuntu bring on a lot of improvements over previous versions. Unfortunately, they also bring a little bit of suck with them as well. This page will document the problems I've run into, along with what I've done to fix them. I will update as new issues are found.

We'll Start With Thunderbird issues and move on to KDE indexing. Shall we begin?


1. Thunderbird 3

This issue is not specific to Ubuntu/Kubuntu, it should be the same for anyone using Thunderbird 3.

I've been using Thunderbird for years. As an KDE fan, I always struggled with not using the native KDE mail client, but every time I tried it I went back to Thunderbird. Quite simply, Thunderbird was relatively light, had good performance, great IMAP support, and didn't mind if I had it running in 5 places at the same time. Until Thunderbird 3.

Version 3 brought message indexing and tagging. It also brought the ability to synchronize your IMAP data on your local PC. Last, it added more features to the build-in junk mail filters. I think these could be great features for some folks. One problem - they are all enabled by default. What so bad about this? if you have a lot of mail on your IMAP server, and you're running Thunderbird 3 in more than one instance, it will happily saturate your internet connection for hours at a time from each place you're running it.

The Indexer will download all your messages and build a datbase of keywords to let you search through them. This is great, except IMAP already has search capability. In the interest of making searches a little faster (provided your workstation is faster at it than your IMAP server), you will be downloading all your email, in its entirety.

The Message Synchronizer lets you keep a copy of your email on your local PC. Presumably, this is so you can read your old email while you don't have an internet connection. In theory, it also means your IMAP provider can delete all your email without you actually losing it. For this, you will download all your IMAP email a second time.

Junk Mail Filters are a great idea, if you're one of the 3 people in the world who don't have server-side junk mail. Ok, thats a bit of an overstatement, but if your email provider isn't doing a good job at blocking spam, you can get another one that does for free. In order to "train" the junk mail filter, it will download all of your IMAP mail and analyze it.

So out of the box, with default settings, you will download all your email 3 times to each installation of Thunderbird. This is almost exactly opposite to the idea behind IMAP. IMAP was designed for folders, searching, concurrent access, and minimal bandwidth usage. To say I'm disappointed would be an understatement.

So what can we do to fix it? Well, there are 2 ways. I haven't decided yet which is best.

Fix A: Downgrade to Thunderbird 2. The new look of 3 hasn't grown on me yet, so this doesn't seem like a bad option at all. You can get the latest version at in .deb format, which installs perfectly on the new 10.04 release. Unfortunately, the Thunderbird developers say this is the last release so any future security issues will go unfixed.

Fix B: Turn off the new features. With this method, you still get the benefit of Ubuntu distributing security updates. You still get to adapt to the new layout and style, and if you add another email account in the future you have to remember to disable them again. The process looks like this:

Edit->Preferences->Advanced. Unclick "Enable Global Search Indexer", click OK

Edit->Account Settings

Then, for each of your IMAP accounts:

Junk Settings->Unclick "Enable adaptive junk mail controls for this account"

Synchronization And Storage ->Unclick "Keep messages for this account on this computer"



2. KDE Indexing

Is it just me, or does everything want to index everything? This one is particularly annoying, as the GUI option to disable it doesn't seem to do anything! I don'[t know about you, but MOST of the space used on my system is in my home directory. I've got music, movies, pictures, source code, ISO images, you name it. Hundreds of gigs worth.. Maybe I'm the edge case, but its not useful *to me* for there to be a process that runs pretty much constantly, reading all my files and building a database of everything in them, which is multi-threaded (for performance!) so it can bring your multi-core system to its knees while you're trying to do actual work. Guys, if you're going to implement something like this, make it a little more sensitive to what the user might be doing at the time! Having your desktop go unresponsive for minutes at a time because that solaris 10 dvd iso needed to be indexed is a great way to get your fancy new feature turned off.

Maybe thats why the GUI option to disable it doesn't work? You'll have to do better than that, guys. For good measure, lets turn it off via the GUI anyway. From the K menu, choose System Settings. Under the Advanced tab, click Service Manager.  Uncheck the NepoMuk Search Module, then highlight it and hit Stop. I'm honestly not sure if this did anything other than make me more mad when I saw it was still running. Once you finally do resort to just killing the process manually, you may not even notice that it was also starting a SQL database called Virtuoso. From what I have read, this is also used by the KDE PIM suite, so if you use those apps it may not be a good idea to do this next command:

sudo apt-get remove virtuoso-nepomuk

kquitapp  NepomukServer

Unfortunately, I haven't found a way to prevent the nepomuk service from starting with KDE. If I find it, I will update this page. until then, we use KDE's Autostart facility to shut it down (ironic?)

Open the KDE File Manager (Dolphin). In your Home directory, hit ALT and the period, this turns on viewing "hidden" files. Open the .kde directory, then Autostart. Right click and choose "Create New->Link To Application". under General, put in a friendly name like "Stop Nepomuk".  Under Application, in the Command field, put in "kquitapp NepomukServer".


This is all for now, I will update as time progresses!