Configuring KMail

When KMail is started for the first time, a Mail folder is added to your home directory. This folder contains some basic mail directories (inbox, outbox, drafts, sent, and trash). Go to Settings -> Configure KMail… to enter the information needed for sending and receiving messages. All configuration options can be accessed under Configure KMail (wrench icon).

Defining Your User Identity

You can manage several e-mail addresses (e.g., your private e-mail address and your business address) with KMail. Select from the defined identities when writing e-mail. To create a new identity profile, select New... and enter a name for the profile, such as “Private” or “Office”.

Click OK to proceed to a dialog in which to enter some additional information. Under General, enter your name, organization, and e-mail address. Under Advanced, enter your OpenPGP key, specify a default BCC field or reply-to address, and determine the folder in which your messages should be stored. Under Signature, define a signature footer to use for every message. To use this feature, select Enable signature. Insert the signature from a file, an input field, or a command output. Confirm your profile settings with OK.

Setting up Network Connections

The settings under Network (in the Configure KMail menu) instruct KMail how to receive and send e-mail. There are two tabs, one each for sending and for receiving mail. Many of these settings vary depending on the system and network where your mail server is located. If you are not sure about the settings or which items to select, consult your Internet service provider or system administrator.


Create outgoing mail boxes under the Send tab. Add gives the choice of either SMTP or sendmail. For most purposes, select SMTP here. After making this selection, a window appears in which to enter SMTP server data, such as Name, Server, and, if needed, the required authorization. A preprocessing command to run before sending each message can be entered in the corresponding field.

Security settings are under the Security tab. Specify your preferred encryption method here. If uncertain about which one to choose, click Test server capacity. The respective settings are then tested and applied. If necessary, consult your system administrator.


Make settings for receiving e-mail under the Receiving tab. Use Add to create a new account. Choose between different methods for fetching mail, such as local (Mbox or Maildir format), POP3, or IMAP. Usually POP3 is suitable. After making your selection, a window appears in which to enter the POP3 server data. Enter the name of the server in the field at the top. In the other fields, enter the values provided by your Internet service provider or your system administrator. The fields User, Server, and Password are required.

The Extras tab offers several methods of encryption and authorization. If you are uncertain about which options your server provides, try Test server capabilities.

Configuring the Appearance of KMail

Under Appearance, customize KMail according to your preferences. Use the Fonts tab to configure the fonts for the various displays, such as the message text and first-level quoted text. To do this, activate Use custom fonts.

To customize the colors, activate Use custom colors in the Colors tab. Double-click an entry to access a dialog box in which to select the colors.

The Layout tab offers options for splitting the KMail window and for displaying a MIME tree. A MIME tree shows all the attachments to a message.

The Header tab provides options for general settings, like displaying the file size or encryption symbols. Also, customize the date display and message grouping.

Profiles is responsible for the administration of default appearance presets. Some standard profiles are provided already, like those for users who prefer high contrast.


Selecting a profile overwrites the current layout settings.