Problems After Upgrading to Kubuntu 11.10

I’ve upgraded a few machines to Kubuntu 11.10 recently and they have all suffered from the same problems after the upgrade. All were machines that have been upgraded from 10.10 so it may not be an issue if you start from 11.04. Likewise these issues probably don’t affect clean installs of 11.10.

Nepomuk Keeps Failing

Every time I logged in I would get this error message:

Nepomuk Indexing Agents Have Been Disabled

The Nepomuk service is not available or fully operational and attempts to rectify 
this have failed. Therefore indexing of all data stored in the Akonadi PIM service 
has been disabled, which will severely limit the capabilities of any application 
using this data.

The following problems were detected: 
Calling the Nepomuk storage service failed: 'Message did not receive a reply 
(timeout by message bus)'.

This is almost certainly being caused by corrupt settings and or Nepomuk database. The quickest and most painless way to fix it is to log out of KDE and switch to a TTY (Ctrl-Alt-F1) then delete the Nepomuk database:

rm -r ~/.kde/share/apps/nepomuk
sudo shutdown -r now

After the reboot you should find you are error message free.

Mail Dispatcher Agent

As with the Nepomuk problem above this is another one that bugs you every time you log in. The error message is:

Mail Dispatcher Agent: Could not access the outbox folder (Unknown error. 
(Failed to fetch the resource collection.)).

Surprisingly this is actually being caused by Akonadi. If you open System Settigs and then select Personal Information you will see Akonadi Resource Configuration. On the right is a list of resources that are being managed. There will probably be one called Local Folders. If you select this and then click modify you’ll probably see that it has no path set. The simplest solution is to just delete that entry and get on with life.

Closing Rant

Before switching to Kubuntu I used to run Debian. I never remember these sorts of problems when doing Debian upgrades. How come Kubuntu, which is basically Debian, is so flaky after an upgrade? The days when you used to just upgrade your system rather than perform a re-install to get the latest version seem to be long gone which is a shame because that was one of the things I really liked about Linux.