In older versions of KDE, Kontact used to keep it’s data in portable formats. iCalendar files for KOrganizer and vCard for KAddressBook. But sometime ago Kontact moved to akonadi, a more sophisticated backend storage. By default (at least on my machine) Akonadi uses MySQL (with InnoDB) as the perssistent storage. I didn’t consider it thourghly when moving my data to Gnome, and I got stuck with the data.
To make things worth, somewhere along the update to KDE 4.6, I got some of the data moved to
~/.akonadi.old. Being stuck with the InnoDB tables, I tried the following solutions without much success:
- Loading the InnoDB tables to a MySQL server. Didn’t fare good, MySQL complained about weird stuff, and I gave up in search of simpler solution.
- I booted a OpenSuse virtual machine with KDE and tried loading my old data. Apparently, my
~/.akonadifolder, contained nothing interesting and Suse’s KDE 4.6 refused to load the data
~/.akonadi.oldafter I renamed it.
So being upset about Akonadi I did some greping and found strings from my contacts and todo lists in the following files:
Binary file .local/share/akonadi.old/db_data/ibdata1 matches Binary file .local/share/akonadi.old/db_data/akonadi/parttable.ibd matches Binary file .local/share/akonadi.old/db_data/ib_logfile0 matches
I opened the files with vim, and found out the contained vCards and iCalendar blobs in them. So instead of directly storing them on the file-system, where they are easily accessible, they are stored in the DB files. I figured it would be easiest to just extract the data from the binary files. I’ve used the following script:
import sys START_DELIM = "BEGIN:VCALENDAR" END_DELIM = "END:VCALENDAR" def main(): bin_data = sys.stdin.read() vcards =  start = bin_data.find(START_DELIM) while start > -1: end = bin_data.find(END_DELIM,start+1) vcards.append(bin_data[start:end + len(END_DELIM)]) start = bin_data.find(START_DELIM, end+1) print "\n".join(vcards) if __name__=="__main__": main()
It reads binary files from stdin and outputs iCalendar data that is embedded in it. If you change
VCARD instead of
VCALENDAR, it will extract the contacts’ data.
This migration, had me thinking how important it is that application’s data should be easily portable. It’s a thing, I feel not many projects have high enough on their priorities.