Setting up an ActiveSync client

Kolab supports the use of the ActiveSync protocol for client connection. This knowledge base article is a short generic description of the setup procedure followed by a list of articles that describes how to do so on some well known clients.

Common for them all is the requirement of support for TLS 1.1 and later in the client / OS.

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Creating GPG keys for end-to-end encryption with the desktop client

To be able to encrypt and sign messages with the desktop client, it is necessary to have GPG keys. If you already have some available you can use those, otherwise here is how to create a new pair.

Creating GPG keys using Kleopatra

Kleopatra is a graphical application that comes with the Kontact suite, and that allows you to create a new pair of keys. The wizard can be launched in the menu under “File”->”New Certificate…”.

The default settings should suit most usecases. The only thing you might want to change is to set an expiry date in the “Advanced Settings”, in the “Valid until” field.

Creating GPG keys on the commandline

The gpg2 commandline tool can be used to create a fresh set of keys as well.

Do not use the old gpg tool to generate the key as the key will be stored in an incompatible fashion, always use gpg2.

The creation dialog can be started with:

gpg2 --gen-key

The default settings should suit most usecases. The only thing you might want to change is to set an expiry date when asked for how long the key should be valid.

For more details please follow the RedHat documentation.

Using the key from within Kontact

To use the key go to “Settings”->”Configure Kontact”. In the “Identities” tab, edit your identity and select the created key in the “Cryptography” tab as “OpenPGP signing key” and “OpenPGP encryption key”.

How can I limit the size of Kontact/Akonadi debug output?

Kontact and Akonadi log a lot of data on stdout if started in a console. If that output is collected in a logfile, then the amount of data can become problematic.

The way to reduce the amount of debug messages printed is by using kdebugdialog to disable debugoutput for the relevant components. Searching for e.g. “akonadi” and disabling everything there can help in reducing the amount of messages printed by akonadi in particular, or alternatively you can also use the “Disable all debug output” checkbox. This should reduce the amount of printed data drastically.

kdebugdialog modifies the kdebugrc configuration file. To e.g. modify the configuration from a script, you can also directly modify kdebugrc.

The kdebugrc configuration file

The kdebugrc configuration file can be modified by hand if kdebugdialog is not available or inconvenient.

The file is located at $(kde4-config --localprefix)/share/config/kdebugrc, typically ~/.kde/share/config/kdebugrc or system wide under /usr/share/config/kdebugrc.

Here is a description of the file’s content:

There are four levels of output: Info, Warn, Error and Fatal
corresponding to kDebug(), kdWarn(), kError(), kFatal()

For every of them you can define a target by *Output=n
using the following numbers:

  0 = file
  1 = message box
  2 = shell (stderr)
  3 = syslog
  4 = off

For file output you can give a filename by *Filename=<file>
otherwise kdebug.dbg in the current directory is used.

example:

For the debug area 100 you want output of debug messages
to a file /var/log/dbg.log and error messages as message boxes.
Additionally the program should abort on fatal errors.

[100]
InfoOutput=0
InfoFilename=/var/log/dbg.log
ErrorOutput=1
AbortFatal=1

To disable debug output, set InfoOutput=4 for all relevant debug areas (e.g. look for areas containing “akonadi” using kdebugdialog). This is assuming it’s not warnings and/or error messages that are the problem.

To just disable all error messages use

DisableAll=true

at the top of the configuration file.