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Old 09-13-2010, 12:52 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2008
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Importing Thunderbird settings from Portable Apps Thunderbird

I am both showing how I did this and also asking if it will blow up in my face later on down the road...

So, I had a portable apps version of Thunderbird (windows) that runs off a thumb drive and wanted to take the settings and transfer them to my Thunderbird that's on my Linux computer.

This is what I did:

First, I installed thunderbird on my Ubuntu 10.04 Linux box and opened it, and closed it (so that it would create the /home/<username>/.thunderbird folder in the user account).

Then, I renamed the linux /home/<username>/.thunderbird folder to .thunderbird_ORIGINAL

Then, I created a new /home/<username>/.thunderbird folder

Then, I took the windows e:\ThunderbirdPortable\Data\profile folder and copied it to the /home/<username>/.thunderbird folder.

Then, I looked into the /home/<username>/.thunderbird_ORIGINAL folder and wrote down the name of the folder with the ".default" extension.

Then, I renamed the profile folder (that came from the windows e:\ThunderbirdPortable\Data folder) "<name-I-wrote-down>.default".

And then, I copied the profiles.ini folder from /home/<username>/.thunderbird_ORIGINAL to the /home/<username>/.thunderbird folder.

I opened up Thunderbird in Linux and everything seems fine! (I'll definitely be keeping a backup just in case)

My question is: is this fine and dandy, or a recipe for disaster?

Last edited by zensunni; 09-13-2010 at 12:59 AM.
Old 09-13-2010, 02:57 AM   #2
David the H.
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I don't see any real problems, as long as you copied everything at once. The profiles are basically the same no matter what the system.

The only thing that's really different about portable apps is that all the settings and extensions are configured to work only from inside the application directory, and not to touch anything outside of it (when at all possible). Intensive operations like caching are also disabled or highly restricted to reduce the number of write commands.

So other than maybe reconfiguring some of your settings, I'd say you're fine. It might be a different question if you want to continue to keep the new setup in sync with the portable one. But there are probably extensions that can help you there.
Old 09-14-2010, 02:56 AM   #3
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Registered: Nov 2003
Location: UK + France
Distribution: Kubuntu 12.04, Suse 10, 9.3, Ubuntu netbook remix, Windows xp, Windows 2000, Ubuntu 8 on desktop
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I keep it portable

Hi Zensunni, if it gives you any more confidence, I switch between Windows thunderbird and Ubuntu thunderbird all the time, though only with the Thunderbird 2.X so far. In a month or so I will check to see if Thunderbird 3 also works ok. I keep all my mail on a micro SD card which I carry with me. At home it plugs into WindowsXP and on the road into Ubuntu. I simply point both thunderbirds to the relevant mount name for the device.
The only thing I have noticed is some rebuilding of some index or other; I guess that the indices are not compatible. I have not noticed any end-user consequence of that. I hope that helps.


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