XP/Outlook to Linux/Thunderbird

Migrating from Outlook on Windows XP to Thunderbird 3 on Linux wasn't exactly easy, but I found a solution and thought someone out there might benefit from it.

1. In XP, install Thunderbird for Windows (this will enable the 'import from Outlook' feature in Thunderbird)

2. When running Thunderbird for the first time it will ask you if you want to import settings from another mail client. Choose 'Outlook' (or 'Outlook Express' if you're using that mail client)

3. After Thunderbird finishes copying the emails from Outlook, install the ImportExportTools Thunderbird add-on (Tools > Add-ons > Install...)

4. After the add-on is installed and Thunderbird has been restarted, select Tools > ImportExportTools > Save all mail files

5. Export the emails to a USB flash drive or some other media

6. Click on the Address Book button

7. Select the address book that contains your contacts, then select Tools > Export to save the contacts to a USB flash drive or some other media

8. In Linux, install/run Thunderbird. Note: As of this writing, Linux Mint 8 uses Thunderbird 2. I prefer Thunderbird 3 so I replaced version 2 with version 3 by using root privileges to archive /usr/lib/thunderbird and then delete the contents of /usr/lib/thunderbird and extract the contents of thunderbird-3.0.tar.bz2 into /usr/lib/thunderbird (thanks, James Pakele!)

9. Once Thunderbird is running, install the ImportExportTools mentioned in step 3 above.

10. Right-click Local Folders in the left-hand column and select Import/Export > Import mbox file. Choose the last radio button -- Select a directory where searching the mbox files to import (also in subdirectories). Locate the directory on the USB or other media where you backed up your emails. Select 'Yes' to import each email folder you are prompted to import. After the emails have been imported rename the folders to remove the random number suffix (i.e. Inbox468 -> Inbox). Once the folders have been renamed, restart Thunderbird.

11. After Thunderbird restarts and indexes the emails, click the Address Book button. Choose Tools > Import..., select the Address Books radio button, and search for the LDIF contacts backup file you saved in step 7.

12. You can now disable the ImportExportTools add-on if you wish. I also recommend you install the Lightning Thunderbird add-on for calendar events. Note: As of this writing, Lightning does not have a production release for Thunderbird 3 so you'll need to install the Lightning Nightly Updater (unofficial) add-on instead and then click 'Help > Check for latest Lightning nightly builds...' and click the 'Install' button.


KanakaTech said...

I'm stoked someone used the information I put up on that forum....


James Pakele

Mr. Blue Coat said...

Aloha and thanks again!

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