KDE PIM/Akonadi/Development Tools

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Akonadi Developer Tools

Akonadi Console

Akonadi Console is a tool for developers working with Akonadi or on Akonadi itself.

It provides GUI for

  • managing agents and resources
  • retrieving, checking and even manipulating data
  • monitoring communication between Akonadi server and its clients
  • convenience access to the database used by the server

Managing Agents


This facility is basically a GUI for Akonadi::AgentManager and Akonadi::AgentInstance.

It enables the developer to quickly add or remove agents from the currently running Akonadi system, to check an agent's basic properties and status, etc.

While most of these actions can also be performed through end user GUI, e.g. KDE's Systemsettings, this is usually quicker and it provides more detailed information.

The Synchronize action menu can be used to just synchronize the collection tree, basically a convenient way for a resource developer to call just the retrieveCollections() method.

Collections and Items


This facility shows all Akonadi collections, how they are organized as a tree and their items and enables the developer to perform actions on these entities.

Developers working on agents can use this perform the most common tasks such as

  • retrieving items: see the context menu of collection entries, basically a call to the respective resource's retrieveItems() method
  • retrieve item payloads: either by clicking on an item or, for certain type such as contacts by switching the item view's mode to the respective data type.
  • copy and delete items: see the context menu of item entries
  • modify items: e.g. by changing the serialized form of the item on the Raw Payload tab

without having to go through an end user application.

Developers working on end user applications can use this to simulate respective changes by other clients and to check whether changes done by the application itself are correctly applied to the shared data.

If a newly added resource's collections do not show up in the collection tree, it might be necessary to explicitly synchronize it. This functionality is available on the Agents tab.


Monitoring Akonadi Communication


This facility allows to monitor the Akonadi data protocol based communication between client sessions and the server. It contains commands, responses and the data transported between the two sides.

Since this can slow down operations it is disabled by default and has to be enabled manually when needed.

Access to the Server Database

Akonadi uses a SQL database for keeping relations such as which collection an item is in, properties such as MIME types, etc. as well as cached item payload data.

Since this is quite internal to the Akonadi server, it will most likely only be interesting to people working on Akonadi, not for developers working with Akonadi.


The database browser can query and display the database tables used by Akonadi.


The database console enables developers to directly send commands to the database engine.

Debugging Akonadi Agents

Agents are automatically started by the Akonadi server and thus are not debugable from the start on by the usual methods. A similar problem is known from KIO slaves, the solution is similar as well.

Attaching gdb at startup

Export the environment variable AKONADI_DEBUG_WAIT and put the agent type in there you want to debug. You only need to specify a part of the agent type, not the whole one. Example: export AKONADI_DEBUG_WAIT=knut

When starting an agent of this type, you'll see the following debug output by the Akonadi server which is pretty much self-explanatory.

ProcessControl: Suspending process akonadi_knut_resouce
'gdb -pid 1234' to debug
'kill -SIGCONT 1234' to continue

Running an agent in valgrind

Running an agent in valgrind is done in a similar way, you need to export AKONADI_VALGRIND and put the agent type in there.

Additionally, you can specifiy the valgrind tool to use by exporting AKONADI_VALGRIND_SKIN, the default is memcheck.

Akonadi Testing and Benchmark Infrastructure

The Akonadi Test project provides tools to run Akonadi tests in self-contained environments, i.e. separated from the developer's personal setup, as well as running automated tests, e.g. as part of a unit test suite.