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Thunderbird mbox conversion to maildir

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shiku
 
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Post Posted March 20th, 2017, 9:25 pm

Please kindly advise/assist with the conversion of mbox email accounts to maildir. I have some users on mbox(POP3) and we intend moving to business gmail of which all accounts have to be in IMAP so i have to convert the POP3 ones to IMAP returning the emails and folder structure.
I could have recreated the email accounts and dragged the emails to the new folders but some of the users have too many folders and sub folders to take the manual route will be cumbersome.
I have ready on mb2md but i'm not too sure how to go about it on my setup, the conversion is done on the server ? then how does it work with the already created folders and downloaded emails by pop3. Is there any other go around this or how to with mb2md ?
The file path for my emails is /var/vmail/domain/user/ and its a postfix, dovecot setup.

Thanks

tanstaafl
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Post Posted March 22nd, 2017, 3:01 pm

There is no support for converting an existing account from one storage format to another. Thunderbird's maildir support is sometimes called maildir-lite because "You cannot point a Thunderbird account to a mail server directory. You do not get message flags stored with emails. You only get a single file per message, and nothing more."

You can specify in tools -> options -> advanced -> general the message storage format that should be used when creating a new account.

Google imposes a bandwidth limit, but you could upload messages from the POP accounts to the Gmail IMAP account simply by copying or moving the folders (or their contents if the folder already exists). That works with folder hierarchies, you don't have to copy each folder separately. However, if its too cumbersome to do it manually try the "Google webMail Filer for Thunderbird" utility at http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/E ... bird.shtml . That should let you automate it. I tried it about 5 years ago and added a paragraph about using it in http://kb.mozillazine.org/Importing_and ... _your_mail . Since the mbox file format hasn't changed and its a standalone utility, hopefully it will still work. See http://www.ghacks.net/2011/01/07/google ... underbird/

However, I'm not sure why you want to convert to maildir. Despite its inherent flaws mbox is more reliable than the current implementation of maildir. Thunderbird's maildir support is usable, but it is a work in progress. You have to be aware of what type of actions are risky. See https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/Maildir . If you are replacing some accounts with IMAP Gmail business accounts that shouldn't care what mail storage format Thunderbird uses.

shiku
 
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Joined: March 20th, 2017, 9:14 pm

Post Posted March 22nd, 2017, 3:18 pm

Thank you for the response, i think Google webMail Filer utility we do the job for more, i was under the impression, to move to Google, Thunderbird emails have to be in IMAP(maildir) format.
Using Google webMail Filer utility, i will still have my folder structures as there were ?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted March 22nd, 2017, 4:42 pm

Yes, the Google webMail Filer utility should preserve the folder structure when it uploads the messages.

When you create the Gmail IMAP account I suggest you keep using mbox. It doesn't matter if the Gmail server uses mbox, maildir, UW, MH files or a database to store the messages, that has no effect on Thunderbird.

shiku
 
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Joined: March 20th, 2017, 9:14 pm

Post Posted March 22nd, 2017, 9:33 pm

Thanks. The issue is these guys want to continue using Thunderbird, but i'm told to point to Business Gmail, everyone has to be on either MS Outlook(IMAP) and Thunderbird(IMAP). Therefore the need to convert all Pop3 accounts to IMAP on these mail clients.Some of them wont use the Gmail interface, there will stick to Thunderbird.

My question therefore is, those staying with Thunderbird(POP3), will they be able to use Business Gmail.

Thank you for all your help.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted March 22nd, 2017, 10:35 pm

G Suite (which I think is what you meant by Business Gmail, based on https://gsuite.google.co.in/intl/en_in/products/gmail/) supports both IMAP and POP. But its up to the admin to enable it. Another potential issue is if your organization wants to use one or more "public folders" (a way to share a mail folder among selected users or a team, without it having to be in their mailbox) that requires a IMAP account. "G Suite Business" used to be called "Google Apps for Work Unlimited".

https://support.google.com/a/answer/105694?hl=en
https://support.google.com/a/answer/7126147?hl=en

shiku
 
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Joined: March 20th, 2017, 9:14 pm

Post Posted April 19th, 2017, 11:15 pm

Thank you for the info.

Just one more thing, after checking on my server, the pop3 accounts are in maildir format on that server. But on the user PC they are in mbox format. I wanted to find out , if i have any options in converting the files on the user PC from mbox to mail. Thereafter i wish to just create the same account as imap and pick up the new maildir created files ?
Or is there any other option to get around this ? It seems the client wants it done this way.

Regards

tanstaafl
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Post Posted April 20th, 2017, 5:48 am

AFAIK there is nothing to be gained by having the email client and the server use the same message storage format. With TB 52.0.1 you can change the format used for new accounts. So if you wanted you should be able to copy the messages from the POP account to Local Folders, delete the account, change the new format to maildir, create the account again, and move the messages back to it. However, there is no support for you doing something like copying the maildir files from the server using a ftp utility to the profile and then try to have Thunderbird use those files. I'm not familiar enough with maildir-lite to know what issues you'll be running into if you try to do that but all that you are guaranteed by the maildir-lite implementation is that there is a single file per message. Its not real maildir. Tell the client its too risky.

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