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newtovanilla 11-15-2008 03:08 PM

Thunderbird 2, save emails to disk, delete old email?
Ubuntu 8.04
Thunderbird 2

There are a couple of things that I want to do and am trying to figure out how to do it.

1) How can you save email to your local disk, in a format easily readable, using Thunderbird 2?

2) How can you delete the old email so that it is not readable after you delete it? I am using the ext3 file system. If I simply put the email into the Thunderbird trash and "empty" the trash, it doesn't permanently delete it, does it? Doesn't the ext3 filesystem leave copies of it on disk? How can I delete it from the disk?

Peerbunt 11-16-2008 04:41 AM

Easy done ...
1. The best way to store emails in the best readable form is in my opinion: print them as a PDF to your storing media (intern or extern harddisk, usb-stick or the like). Just right-click on the email, choose 'print', then choose 'post-script' as printer, and it will be printed to a folder called 'PDF' in your 'personal folder'.
2. What Thunderbird actually saves or not, find it out this way: Open your 'personal-folder', then press Strg and 'H' together, and you will see all hidden folders, including /home/yourname/.mozilla-thunderbird.
Open it, then open /home/yourname/.mozilla-thunderbird/ymn7k9o4.default
and check the 'mail' folder. There you find, what thunderbird stores and how it does.
But I don't know any other way to export emails, which is easily readable, other than PDF,.
If you want to save all emails including your configurations, i.e. if you are installing a new system or just for saving purposes, or if you want to export them in a way that it is easy to reinstall, just copy the whole .mozilla-thunderbird folder to your storing media. Once you installed a fresh thunderbird, just reimport this folder back in your personal folder, and everything will be done as before, nothing to configure.
If you just want to store the emails, you could also try to check the inboxes in .mozilla-thunderbird, but I have not done it, as the above way is much easier and faster and safer too. If you want to try anyway, watch out: How many inboxes you have and where you find them, depends on how you get your mails. Imap? Pop3? You don't have to bother, if you save the whole folder.
The other thing is, that your provider may store your emails, or in some countries he has to for a certain time. I don't trust my governement, do you?
Think about encryption (one nice easy one click provider: freenigma Or add 'enigmail' from synaptic to thunderbird (include enigmail-locale-your_language). It allows you to sign your mails, in order to make sure the recipient knows, YOU wrote this mail. Enigmail allows you to create keys for strongly encrypted, safe and unreadable communication with others. Even if the mails are stored or spyed out, nobody than you and the chosen recipient will be able to read them, they'll only get numbers in case they try. But same for you, if you loose your key (Print the mails to PDF ...)
But the ones you want to exchange encrypted mails with, have to do the same, in order to be able to exchange keys and exchange encrypted emails and to be able to open and read them.
Hope I could help.

newtovanilla 11-22-2008 11:19 PM


then press Strg and 'H' together,
What is "Strg"?


choose 'print'
Yeah, thanks. I had asked this question after finding out how long it takes to print each and every email to save it to takes too long! How can I automate it, make Linux automagically print each and every email to pdf and save all my email that way?


just copy the whole .mozilla-thunderbird folder to your storing media.
but then I can't read it unless I use Thunderbird?

Peerbunt 11-24-2008 01:34 AM

Try this ...
1. What is "Strg"?

'Strg' in German means 'Control' in English

2. How can I automate it, make Linux automagically print each and every email to pdf and save all my email that way?

No idea. Maybe there is a way, I don't know, or you have to write a little add-on for Thunderbird. A good idea might be to search for existing addons:

It is always a good idea, to check google for such things too (like 'thunderbird addons').
Found one addon in German:

You will have to check and try, in which format they are stored. Some allow only reading, others are uggly to read and so on - pdf is nice and optically satisfying to me.


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