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Moving thunderbird mail

Problem:
Did a clean install of Linux Mint Debian edition on a laptop. Needed to restore the old emails on Thunderbird. The instructions below are what I did for a Linux to Linux move.

Solution:
1. Before formatting the machine. Backup the thunderbird folder. Locations may differ. Linux Mint Gloria uses /home/user/.mozilla-thunderbird/ while Linux Mint Debian Edition uses /home/user/.thunderbird
To know where your files are open thunderbird. Get to the Account Settings. Click on Server Settings. Look for the place that says Local Directory. That is where your files are. Make a note of that. Close thunderbird and copy the entire folder to a different computer.

shell> cp /home/user/.mozilla-thunderbird to /home/user/mozilla-thunderbird_old
shell>scp -r /home/user/mozilla-thunderbird_old user@remote_machine_ip:/home/remote_user/

2. Backup any other files you want to back up.

For the paranoid user.
Install ImportExport available here http://www.nic-nac-project.de/~kaosmos/mboximport-en.html. Use it to backup your thunderbird files. Save the files on a different machine.

3. Go ahead and format and install new system.

After new install.
1. Start Thunderbird and create a test account. Then find out the location of profile files by checking in Account Settings again. (Repeat step 1 above.)
2. Copy over the old mail folder.

shell>scp -r user@remote_ip:/mozilla-thunder_old .

3. Overwrite the new folder.

shell>mv mozilla-thunderbird_old /home/user/.thunderbird

4. Start up thunderbird. It should start off with the “old” account setting.

5. If that did not work then install ImportExport add on and use it to get the files you have previously backed up.

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