Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Migrating from KMail to Mozilla Thunderbird

Last night, I migrated my email and calendar from KDE's KMail to Mozilla's Thunderbird. While it wasn't the most intuitive process, it was simple once I figured it out, and everything transferred over smoothly.

Why did I want to make the change, after the pain-in-the-butt migration a month or so ago from Evolution to Kontact? Well.... it's all about features. I really like how Thunderbird organizes email, separating it by account. I use several addresses, and it's much easier to send mail from different addresses and manage incoming mail from different addresses in TBird than in KMail.

First of all, here are the links:
Mozilla Calendar Project: http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/

Mozilla Thunderbird Email: http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird/

First, the email migration. There's a little bit of work to be done in KMail to prepare for the move. First, you have to make sure that your email is stored in mbox format. Find this under Settings - Configure KMail - Misc. The line is: "By default, message folders on disk are:" Choose the dropdown for "flat files ("mbox format")"." Now, if your messages are already set up to use mbox format, you've got a bit less work to do. Mine weren't, and sadly, simply changing that dropdown does not convert your existing message folders. But, it will then create any new folders with the mbox format.

If your folders are already in mbox format, skip to the next paragraph. Otherwise, hang here! What I found to be the easiest way to do this was to create new folders for any folder I wanted to move over. So, I created them with the same name and added the number 2, like: Yahoo became Yahoo2, and so forth. Then I copied all messages from each folder into the new "2" folder. (If you plan to totally ditch KMail, you can move the messages to the new folders - I chose to copy, and then go back and delete the "2" folders when I was finished, just in case I go back to KMail. Now you should have a "2" version of every folder you want to migrate, each containing the email messages you want to move. (If you don't use subfolders to organize your mail, it's a much easier task - just copy all of your email into one new folder).

Now it's time to copy your mbox files from KMail to Thunderbird. By default, your local mail folders in Tbird are stored in your home directory. Mine were here:
/home/shelly/.thunderbird/default.r25/Mail/Local Folders

Your KMail mbox files should be in your home directory as well - mine were here:

Copy the mbox files for the new email folders you created in KMail from your .Mail directory to your Tbird Local Folders directory. (Make sure Thunderbird is not running at the time). Now, open up Tbird, and you should see all of your mail folders listed under "Local Folders" in the left-hand navigation tree. Sweet! Feel free to move your messages around, rename folders, and organize to your heart's content.

If you'd like to move your address book over, simply export your address book from Kontact via File - Export - LDIF, save that file, and then import that file into Thunderbird via Address Book - Tools - Import.

And that's it! :)

1 comment:

Alex said...

So,today I opened my OE address book and saw that some of contacts were deleted no one know how!! But I used google and found there tool-wab recovery tool,which helped me in this situation very quickly and free of charge.Moreover application demonstrated how it can retrieve corrupted contact entries from corrupted files of wa~ and wab format.