Kontact email, calender and contacts setup.

Previously I have done guides on setting up Kmail and setting up Kmail with Posteo but I thought I should do one for setting up Kontact which is the personal information management application for KDE. Kontact is actually a group of applications consisting of Kmail, Korganizer and Kaddressbook wrapped together with a few other applications in a combined interface. Although this will be done on Kubuntu 18.04 it should be applicable to most Ubuntu based Kontact set-ups such as on KDE neon.

Installation

To install the Kontact personal information manager on Kubuntu 18.04 you can either open Konsole and type,

sudo apt install kontact

then press enter and then y for yes or you can open Discover from the menu and type Kontact in the search box on the left.

After installation you can find Kontact, or any of its sub applications, under the main menu’s Applications/Office/

Email setup

On starting Kontact for the first time you will be greeted by a screen similar to this asking for you to input your full name, email address and password. There is also a small checked box that gives Kontact permission to search for your email providers setting on the internet. As I am using Posteo I will leave it checked.

The Kontact account setup assistant.

Upon clicking next the Account Assistant will look up your providers settings on the internet and then, depending on who your provider is, will ask you some questions. In my case the only question for Posteo was whether I wanted to use imap or pop3 to download my email.

Confirm settings screen (I have redacted my details).

If all is well, click Add Account.

The next screen will ask you if you wish to generate an encryption key with GnuPG. It will also check if your email provider can publish your keys or whether you will have to use a public keyserver. Posteo doesn’t publish my keys so to use the service I will have to use a Public Key Server. If this is what you want to do then enter a password that you will always remember and then click next. Setup has now been completed and you may click Finish.

Kontact Account Assistant generate keys to encrypt your emails screen.

After clicking Finish the Account Assistant will disappear and you will be left at the Summary Screen of Kontact. To configure what is shown on this screen you can use the Settings menu at the top and then the Configure Kontact option. I will come back to that at the end of this tutorial though as we will want to configure more than mail.

On the left there is a menu where you can choose which part of Kontact you wish to view. The options are,

  • Summary
  • Mail
  • Contacts
  • Calendar
  • To-do List
  • Feeds
  • Journal
  • Popup Notes

To see how your email configuration has been applied click on Mail.

The initial Kmail screen after account setup.

Contacts setup

If you click on Contacts in the menu on the left you will be taken to the Kaddressbook part of Kontact. Here you can use the default address book to manage your contacts if you wish by ticking the box beside Personal Contacts. Afterwards you can import your contacts like any other program via LDIF, CSV, or Vcard by opening the File Menu and using the Import option.

If you use Posteo then you can also setup your contacts using CardDav to access and synchronise them. The online instructions are here.

To do so in Kontact, the easiest way is to right click in the white space of the Address Books column and choose Add Address Book (The other can be found in the File Menu).

Add Address Book

Since Posteo uses DAV groupware resource for contacts choose that option and then OK. The next windows will allow you to enter the URL and your credentials.

Login Credentials

Enter your email address and password for your Posteo account and then click next. Next you will be offered the option of using a preconfigured server or to configure your own.

Select configure the resource manually and then next. This will open the DAV resource configuration window.

DAV groupware resource configuration

At the top you can name the resource as you see fit. Your username and password should already be prefilled. Select Add under server configuration and then CardDAV as the protocol. For Posteo the Remote URL will be https://posteo.de:8843/addressbooks/john.example/default replacing the john.default part with the beginning of your email address (before the @).

Then select Fetch and your collections will be fetched from the server after which you can choose OK and then OK to finish the setup. Everything should then start to synchronise.

If you have any problems check here to see if anything has changed.

Calendar setup

To setup the calendar choose the Calendar option in the left hand menu.

Calendar view

Calendar setup is basically the same as setting up Contacts except that you choose CalDav instead of Carddev. Again, if you have any problems see if there has been a change at Posteo.

You can of course use the local default calendar by choosing the Personal Calendar but if you are on Posteo they use a CalDAV calendar that you can use to synchronise everything.

To add that calendar, the easiest way is to right click in the white space below Open Invitations and choose Add Calendar. This will bring the assistant.

Add Calendar assistant

Choose DAV groupware resource like with the Contacts setup and then enter your email address and password for Posteo and click next.

Again you should choose Configure the resource manually and then Finish.

DAV groupware resource configuration

Again, this will bring up the DAV groupware resource configuration. Enter your Display Name at the top and then click add under Server Configuration.

CalDAV will already be selected this time so all you have to do is enter the Remote Calendar URL. For Posteo this will be https://posteo.de:8443/calendars/john.example/default replacing the john.default part with the beginning of your email address (before the @). Then click Fetch and once the Calendar has appeared OK and then OK again. Your calendar will now start synchronising.

Summary setup

Having set up email, contacts and the calendar you can now return to the Summary view on the left hand menu. It is possible that some events will already have appeared from your Calendar but to change what does and does not, go to the Settings menu at the top of the screen and then choose Configure Kontact.

I generally start by choosing Summary under ‘Always start with plugin’. This means that each time Kontact starts it will start on Summary view.

Under Summaries you can choose which plugin summaries to show on the summaries page.For instance if you don’t use the Special Dates summary and need the space, uncheck it here.

Under the New Notes option you can choose whether notes show in the Summary view.

And probably the most important part is to select which email folders you want to appear in Summary view.

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