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-   -   Howto migrate from Thunderbird to Evolution (http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linuxanswers-discussion-27/howto-migrate-from-thunderbird-to-evolution-568172/)

SkyEye 07-10-2007 02:40 PM

Howto migrate from Thunderbird to Evolution
 
A new LA entry has been added:

Howto migrate from Thunderbird to Evolution

Quote:

I know some of you are asking why, rather than how, regarding migration from Thunderbird to Evolution. Maybe that can explain why there are lot of Evolution to Thunderbird migration guides, but not many vice-versa. Fear not, here is a guide to assist who dare to migrate from Thunderbird to Evolution. The techniques described here are tested with the newer versions of both the software, namely Thunderbirs 2.0.0.4 and Evolution 2.10.2.

UPDATE: I posted this also on my blog too, and it was recently updated with the collective information.

masinick 07-10-2007 04:48 PM

There are other worthwhile PIMs to consider as well
 
When using KDE, note that the KMail Email client has been around at least as long as Evolution. I recall the early days before IMAP functionality was added. That was MANY years ago already, so Over the past few years the KDE project has put together a very nice PIM around KMail. It is called Kontact. I have used it and found it to be stable, reliable, and it does things pretty much the way I expect it to. Like Evolution, it would be similar to Outlook in terms of functionality. If anything, I would suggest it is even closer than Evolution to replicating the feature set found in Outlook. In any case, it is certainly worth mentioning as "Yet Another Alternative" (YAA!)

If my memory is working today, I seem to recall a recent review in one of the European Linux mags, either Linux Format or Linux Magazine or Linux User and Developer. That review put Thunderbird and KMail very close in terms of features and they led the review. I'd give KMail an edge - you can integrate SPAM detection and KlamAV protection directly into the client, so if you interoperate with Windows users a lot and get attachments that you need to open, you leave yourself in a better place to validate your system with a KMail/Kontact alternative than you do with Thunderbird. If Evolution now has this feature, they are on even footing. Otherwise I would give a decided edge to Kontact. I like it. It has tight integration with Konqueror, the File Manager and Web Browser, it works with Calendar, Notes, has a Summary page like Outlook - so you have Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes, and Folders covered, just as you do with Outlook. But KMail seems to have a few security features enabled by default that may make it a better option than Outlook.

Give it a look. At least it is another alternative, and that is what I LOVE about free and open software!

SkyEye 07-22-2007 01:57 PM

Exactly, a plus of FOSS is the availability of many alternatives. So naturally he have alternative preferences. In my case, my call is to use Evolution.

I have no doubt that KMail is a great app, like most of the KDE apps. But as a matter of fact, I still prefer Evolution immensely over KMail.
Since
1) Evolution works for me
2) Evo is industry known and feature rich (I'd say it's well up to the industry standard, well on par with any commercial client)
3) I use GNOME (Only KDE/QT apps I use are K3B and Amarok),
I don't have an urge to switch away.

I encourage any user to try alternatives for the applications they use. Thanks for the comments. :)

arvana 12-11-2007 03:20 PM

The main thing keeping me from switching from Thunderbird to Evolution is that I have close to 100 email folders in TBird, and it would take me hours to import them all manually. I've been using Thunderbird for quite a while, and since switching to Linux it was just easiest to keep using it. But Evolution definitely looks to have a more complete feature set, as well as great integration into the Ubuntu desktop.

If anyone comes across a way to automate the T2E import process, I'd love to hear about it!

SkyEye 12-12-2007 10:42 AM

Hi, I'm kinda busy right now. So, I'm sorry I can't give a more detailed answer. But try this quick and dirty way. This was pointed to me by another reader. Thinking of which I think it should work. There are other ways. But here's it.

1. Copy everything from ~/.mozilla-thunderbird/xyz.default/Mail (only the mbox files) into ~/.evolution/mail/local/Inbox.sbd/
2. If there are *.msf files you can delete them. Then restart Evo. If it worked you'll find the folders there.

Just give it a try before you actually do the migration. As you've also said Evo is more complete and advanced than TB. I'm not saying TB's bad. I just prefer Evo as a PIM. It has calendar, tasks, memos, etc. and integrates with GNOME Desktop and Pidgin IM.

arvana 12-12-2007 07:16 PM

Thanks, SkyEye!
 
Thanks! Your technique worked, with a little tweaking.

Instead of creating an Inbox.sbd folder in ~/.evolution/mail/local, I made one called zFolders.sbd (the 'z' is so it floats to the bottom after Inbox, Sent, etc).

The files and folders to be copied are in
~/.mozilla-thunderbird/xxx.default/Mail/Local Folders/Folders.sbd

I also copied my Inbox, Sent, etc from
~/.mozilla-thunderbird/xxx.default/Mail/Local Folders

Now I just have to bring over my address books and Lightning tasks & events, and I'm good to go.

Thanks again!

arvana 12-15-2007 02:57 AM

Argh.
 
Well I got everything set up in Evolution, only to be plagued by constant error messages. Evo doesn't seem to handle multiple email accounts well at all; I think the errors came from trying to connect to multiple smtp servers in parallel rather than one at a time, which my ISP doesn't seem to like; and I couldn't find any way to configure it otherwise. Much Googling has shown a number of people with this issue but no solutions, though there is an open bug report on it.

Also, some of the advanced email handling functionality that I've come to expect hasn't yet made it into Evolution. Message filters, for example, still need more development to be very effective. And junk mail options are limited; my preference is to filter junk by collected addresses, and this feature isn't available.

My verdict: Evolution has a better overall feature set, but Thunderbird is better specifically at handling email, unless you have pretty basic needs. So it's back to Thunderbird for me.

I look forward to the evolution of Evolution -- I'll give it another try in a version or two.

SkyEye 12-21-2007 02:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arvana (Post 2991184)
Well I got everything set up in Evolution, only to be plagued by constant error messages. Evo doesn't seem to handle multiple email accounts well at all

Well, I'm using Evo to manage 4 mail accounts and having no problem with it. And I'm subscribed to a couple of active mailing lists. That make my mail volume fairly large.

Quote:

Originally Posted by arvana (Post 2991184)
I think the errors came from trying to connect to multiple smtp servers in parallel rather than one at a time, which my ISP doesn't seem to like

That's a bummer.

Quote:

Originally Posted by arvana (Post 2991184)
Also, some of the advanced email handling functionality that I've come to expect hasn't yet made it into Evolution. Message filters

I'm using filters quite extensively.... again it works for me.

Quote:

Originally Posted by arvana (Post 2991184)
My verdict: Evolution has a better overall feature set, but Thunderbird is better specifically at handling email, unless you have pretty basic needs. So it's back to Thunderbird for me.

Well,.... can't say something over your preference. I used to use TB, but made the switch a few months ago.... and works exceptionally well for me. The new backup feature is also cool.

I really like Evo both as a PIM and a mail reader.

Quote:

Originally Posted by arvana (Post 2991184)
I look forward to the evolution of Evolution -- I'll give it another try in a version or two.

Great.... I guess I'll be around to welcome you back. :)

And BTW, welcome to LQ! Have a nice time with the awesome LQ community.

Paris is Burning 01-01-2008 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arvana (Post 2991184)
Well I got everything set up in Evolution, only to be plagued by constant error messages. Evo doesn't seem to handle multiple email accounts well at all; I think the errors came from trying to connect to multiple smtp servers in parallel....

First of all, great thread, thanks so much to the original poster. Really saved me a lot of time moving from Thunderbird to Evolution.

To reply to the above comment, I am finding NO problems with Evo and I am a VERY heavy email user. I have about TEN email addresses spread out over different domains, and Evo is working great.

However -- and this may be the solution for you -- I was having a problem with some of my domains being blacklisted because we unknowingly signed up with a web host that they allowed their email servers to be used by a huge number of the world's email spammers. Even after dumping them immediately, the blacklist "stuck" as it propagated to flag our domain NAMES. It's been a mess, and was recently solved by moving our SMTP to a paid SMTP provider.

Long story short, using the single SMTP for all the various accounts has worked like a charm, and I would bet your problems may be solved by either using a single SMTP server whether a paid service, or just by indicating the same, single SMTP account for all your email addresses.

But like I said, I can get a hundred legitimate emails a day over ten accounts, and Evolution hasn't skipped a beat. It is definitely the best alternative to Outlook I've seen, and far more robust than Thunderbird w/ the Lightning plugin.

wan3 02-28-2008 07:53 AM

migration from thunderbird to evolution via alpine for all folders in one step
 
I installed the package alpine, which is the successor of pine. It is a pure text based mailer, which uses the mbox mail format as well as thunderbird does. I did not really work with alpine. I just copied my local thunderbird mails in the mail folder of alpine. It is /home/user/mail. Then I used evolution to import all mail archives in one step: Just use the pull down menu point evolution/file/import and say to the widget "import data and settings from older programs". Select mail and the import tool will read in any of your archives in the mail folder of alpine. This should work not only for thunderbird, but also for other mailprograms, which are using the mbox format in a similar way. Possibly it is not necessary to install pine or alpine. I did not try. But eventually the existence of mbox files in /home/user/mail could be enough for the evolution import tool.

The only thing I had to do manually was to delete all the .msf files, which Thunderbird uses for indexing. I did this with (user is the username):

cd /home/user/mail
find . -name *.msf -delete

The next thing I had to do was concerning folder with have a mixture of mails and subfolders in them. For those folders the import tool from evolution lost the subfolders. But afer I moved the mails inside the folder as an extra mbox file, so that this mixture of mails and subfolder is avoided all worked fine. I had quite some folder hierarchy. But this task was manageable with the help of:

cd /home/user/mail
find . -name *.sbd
for the found ocurences where you have a file without .sbd on the end and mails in it do for example:
mv ./orders/PayPal ./orders/PayPal.sbd
for shorter names I removed the .sbd
mv ./orders/PayPal.sbd ./orders/PayPal

By this way you get folders with only subfolders in them no mails. All the mails have moved in a subfolder with the same name as the parent

But after this procedure, which could be automated if you have to do this more often evolution can import all your folder hierarchy in its own mail archive, which is located under /home/user/.evolution/mail/local

good luck

SkyEye 03-19-2008 04:08 AM

Interesting discussion has been on this thread and interesting ideas came up.

I posted this sometime ago on my blog (Gaveen's Blog), and it was recently updated with the collective information. I'm posting this link since there seems to be no easy way to update the original answers section in LQ.

m_pahlevanzadeh 09-19-2008 01:54 AM

Thank you.I perform to your recommendation & i can do it.But i made my filter by hand.

ptroke 03-26-2009 11:09 AM

Thank You
 
Thank you so much for making something that seemed so difficult very easy.

SkyEye 03-27-2009 04:15 AM

Glad it helped you. :)

Check the blog post I linked in my previous post too, if you need more info.

Thetargos 05-03-2009 12:57 PM

Wow... More than a year later and I find this thread, oh well.

Thank you to the OP for posting this guide, I was looking for a way to get this but had been stopped in the past due to many reasons, like:
  • Perceived lack of time
  • Sheer ignorance
  • Volume of e-mail (I tend to keep a local "archive" of messages from many mailing lists)

Anyway, after reading this guide I can only come up with one single question: "What about Message Filters"? Even though it was already asked by one of the others, I don't think the answer fully addressed my concern: Will all my message filters in TB be also migrated to Evo when I move the mbox files over? For some reason I hardly doubt this will be the case and I'd have to re-generate all the mail filters I already have in TB. Like others I am a heavy e-mail user, and have many accounts and manage a LOT of mail, much of which I let TB to do the sorting with automatic filters, which means I have well over 100 different mail filters in place distributed across all my different e-mail accounts... Getting them back together after the migration would be no minor task (not difficult, but laborious).

I recently had to rescue my distribution and re-installed the system, which meant that I did it in a "default" manner (i.e, pretty much no distribution has TB as the default mail client, that is left for Evo or Kmail), so I currently do not have TB installed, and thought it might have been a good reason to start thinking about the migration. In my case, and though I do not have much of a need for that, as I do have spare resources on this machine, I want to use Evo due to two things: It's smaller memory fingerprint (and no memory leaks) and its integration with GNOME, which is my DE of choice, TB is excellent, but it indeed can be a resource hog, hopefully in time Mozilla will use TBird as the basis for a true groupware application, instead of releasing other modules to integrate into one half-baked solution.


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