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Thread: migrating from Outlook to Thunderbird on Linux

  1. #1
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    Default migrating from Outlook to Thunderbird on Linux

    I did this for a friend the other night. Actually this is not distro specific and there are good howtos out there, but since there is a bit of old information floating around and it's so easy, I thought I'd write a brief note here.

    Aim: To migrate a user's mail setup on Outlook to Thunderbird on Linux.

    Summary: This is done in two steps. Migrate from Outlook to Thunderbird on Windows, then migrate from Thunderbird on Windows to Thunderbird on Linux.

    The first step is fairly straightforward. It's described in a Mozilla KB article.

    1. Go into Outlook and compress the folders to speed up migration.
    2. Set Outlook to work offline so that no new mails will come in.
    3. Install latest Thunderbird for Windows. If already installed but not used, uninstall the previous version first. You might also want to remove the previous profile before installing. Look for the Mozilla kb article on finding %APPDATA%.
    4. If you have any Thunderbird addons, uninstall them now.
    5. Using Thunderbird import the profile (mail, addressbook, etc) from Outlook. Be sure to select the correct variant of Outlook (Express or not).

    The second step is where some postings disagree (based on information of various dates I assume):

    1. Shutdown Outlook and Thunderbird.
    2. Locate the %APPDATA% directory and the Thunderbird/Profile directory under that.
    3. There are two things you need to copy over to Linux, the profile.ini file and the profile data directory, which will be some random string followed by .default, e.g. 0e4yp7ea.default. Any copying method that suits you will do, Samba, scp, ftp, USB stick, etc.
    4. The destination on the Linux side will be $HOME/.thunderbird. Make sure Thunderbird is not running when you copy the files in. Move aside any existing profile.ini.
    5. Look at profile.ini from Windows Thunderbird, it will be something like this:

    Code:
    [General]
    StartWithLastProfile=1
    
    [Profile0]
    Name=default
    IsRelative=1
    Path=Profile/0e4yp7ea.default
    Just change that Path line to

    Code:
    Path=0e4yp7ea.default
    since it's now relative to the directory containing profile.ini.

    6. Start up Thunderbird and it will find the new profile. You may need to do some cleaning up of the folders, but it will all be there. Reinstall any addons, e.g. Lightning.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: migrating from Outlook to Thunderbird on Linux

    On 2010-11-27 03:06, ken yap wrote:

    > Aim: To migrate a user's mail setup on Outlook to Thunderbird on
    > Linux.
    >
    > Summary: This is done in two steps. Migrate from Outlook to Thunderbird
    > on Windows, then migrate from Thunderbird on Windows to Thunderbird on
    > Linux.


    Heh, heh... I wrote something similar years ago - but at the time I used
    Netscape for windows instead, because it could use outlook dlls to import
    email.

    Another method now would be, if outlook can connect to an imap server, then
    do so (to an imap server in the local network, if possible), upload the
    emails to it, then download from thunderbird in Linux.

    And another interesting posibility for those double booting is that both
    linux and windows version of thunderbird can share the same folders and emails.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.2 x86_64 "Emerald" at Telcontar)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: migrating from Outlook to Thunderbird on Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    Heh, heh... I wrote something similar years ago - but at the time I used
    Netscape for windows instead, because it could use outlook dlls to import
    email.
    I believe Thunderbird for Windows still uses the same technique to import Outlook data.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: migrating from Outlook to Thunderbird on Linux

    On 2010-11-28 08:06, ken yap wrote:
    >
    > robin_listas;2258620 Wrote:
    >> Heh, heh... I wrote something similar years ago - but at the time I used
    >> Netscape for windows instead, because it could use outlook dlls to
    >> import
    >> email.

    >
    > I believe Thunderbird for Windows still uses the same technique to
    > import Outlook data.


    Very possible.

    Reminds me that I have somewhere an exchange mailbox I could not import,
    because it seems encripted. It had to be first imported to outlook, then to
    netscape - and outlook failed. The recommendation at the time was to move
    the mail from the main exchange folder (inbox) to a secondary archive,
    which is accessible to outlook. I forgot to do that when I made the
    exchange folders backup, so that folder was lost (inaccessible). Ie, the
    main folder was lost, but all the auxiliary folders were converted.

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.
    (from 11.2 x86_64 "Emerald" at Telcontar)

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