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For the bookmarks, simply open Firefox and click on "Bookmarks >> Organize Bookmarks >> Export". Save the file as you wish and transfer that file to your Linux machine. Do the same thing again, but instead of "Export", choose "Import".
For the settings, I think(not really sure) you can copy your folder "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\defaults\profile" to your .mozilla-firefox (or whatever it is called) in your Linux box.
If you need to synchronize your bookmarks across two or more computer/Operating system, you may want to check Foxmarks, a Firefox plugin which will allow you to keep all your bookmarks synchronized.
It's pretty much the same for Thunderbird. Just copy your Thunderbird profile over to Linux and then edit the "profile.ini" or what ever it's called in the Thunderbird directory. Change it to point at your old profile (directory).
What these guys said is correct. Just copy the profile for each application, and make sure the profile.ini file points to the correct profile. Too simple.
A note to make, though. I made this transition with my Thunderbird installation, from Windows to Linux. The versions were slightly different, so at first my Linux Thunderbird balked at my profile. It took a couple of Thunderbird restarts, but it finally gave in and played nice. Haven't had any trouble since.
Just to add that there might be problems transferring the whole profile, since the profile contains some OS-specific data (such as file paths).
A better approach might be to create a new profile under Linux, then copy only the particular files that you want to transfer, overwriting the versions of those files created by the Linux program (you can generally tell from the file name what each file is for). There should be fewer problems if you only copy the files selectively.
OK. I'm just doing a Kubuntu 7.10 Live CD boot, not an actual install, to try things out. I've downloaded the Firefox for Linux folder but don't know which file to double click to get the installation going (I hope it's that easy).
On the Ubuntu 7.10 live CD and the Mint 4.0 live CD I couldn't find a .mozilla-firefox or a profile.ini. I did find a firefox folder with a profile folder with bookmarks.html on both and a profile folder in thunderbird just in Mint.
Is that cause it's the live CD and not a regular installation?