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The problem

You are using the Contacts address book from KDE 3.5, and one fine day all your addresses have disappeared.

The cause

This seems to be a bug in the KDE address book kabc, which is triggered under certain circumstances, such as a program crash.

The solution

If you discover this error, you must act quickly and do not start the programme again. Kabc stores the address book in your home directory under the path .kde/share/apps/kabc/std.vcf. It also keeps seven backup copies of it with the names std.vcf_1, std.vcf_2, etc. It creates a new copy each time the program is started, renumbers copies 1 to 6 and deletes the oldest copy. You can recognise the deleted (latest) address book by the fact that the current file is very small, but the backup copies are large:

user@linux> cd .kde/share/apps/kabc/std.vcf
user@linux> ls -l
-rw-------  1 mk users    127 2005-06-13 10:32 distlists
drwx------  2 mk users    376 2006-01-30 10:57 lock
drwx------  2 mk users     48 2004-11-28 11:23 logos
drwx------  2 mk users     48 2004-11-28 11:23 photos
drwx------  2 mk users     48 2004-11-28 11:23 sounds
-rw-r--r--  1 mk users    402 2006-01-30 10:58 std.vcf
-rw-r--r--  1 mk users    534 2006-01-30 10:57 std.vcf_1
-rw-r--r--  1 mk users 180157 2006-01-24 09:36 std.vcf_2
-rw-r--r--  1 mk users 179387 2006-01-25 22:09 std.vcf_3
-rw-r--r--  1 mk users 178989 2006-01-26 21:01 std.vcf_4
-rw-r--r--  1 mk users 178989 2006-01-27 22:43 std.vcf_5
-rw-r--r--  1 mk users 178927 2006-01-28 11:58 std.vcf_6
-rw-r--r--  1 mk users 177766 2006-01-08 08:53 std.vcf_7

In this situation, close Contact, copy the most recent intact backup to std.vcf, and then restart the program:

user@linux> cp std.vcf_2 std.vcf
user@linux> kontakt &

In this situation, close Contact, copy the most recent intact backup to std.vcf, and then restart the program:

Linux knowledge

These articles were written by the founder of Checkmk many years ago.
They are still valid though and thus we keep them on our website.
Mathias has since then developed a monitoring software called Checkmk

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