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pwardy 12-03-2004 06:15 AM

outlook to evolution conversion

I'm trying to convert my (considerable) amount of Outlook 2003 data from Windows XP to Evolution 2.0.2 on Linux. I've read a lot of posts but had no conclusive answers. Certainly none that work as described. This is what works so far.

Re Mail:
I installed Mozilla Thunderbird 0.9 on both my Win and Linux environments, imported Outlook to Thunderbird on Win and then imported the Thunderbird data to Evolution (very slow process, must import each folder individually) on Linux.
This seems to work BUT ALL attachments and images (HTML) are LOST (on both the Win and Linux versions of Thunderbird). This is of no use to me. Would be OK if you just needed to transfer text email though, and even better if you only keep a few folders (I have about 50).

I also installed a nice little tool called Outport under Win. Mail is exported from Outlook as either text, rtf or HTML and attachments are associated in a separate folder in their native format (.doc etc). This is pretty cool, at least you have all of your mail and attachments out of Outlook, but I still haven't worked out how to import them to Evolution yet! Tell me if you know how!

Re Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes and Journal
I again used Outport and exported the Outlook data for Calender, Contacts and Tasks to Evolution format, then copied the files into Evolution as specified. You get a .ics and a .xml file for Contacts, Tasks and Calender. These can be copied directly into the Evolution directories as specified. You MUST shut down all Evolution processes or reboot before you can see them but it works fine.
Notes and Journals are created as text files. These are not supported by Evolution anyway but again you have them out of Outlook.

Has anybody managed to transfer their Outlook 2003 data to Evolution 2.0.2?
Can anybody tell me what I have done wrong or give me any other suggestions?

As many others have commented, this is my last hurdle before I can can Win entirely.



hob 12-04-2004 01:29 PM

I tried the Outlook > Mozilla > Evolution route but some of the Outlook messages were lost. The Contacts export from O > M worked 100%, though.

Mozilla doesn't store Contacts data in the same way as Evolution, so I then Googled around and found a script that automatically converts an LDIF file from Mozilla into a vCard file that Evolution will accept.

Evolution will import mbox mail files, so anything that correctly turns Outlook mail into mbox will work. Thunderbird and the other Mozilla mail programs use mbox files for storage - it may be that Thunderbird is a bit more buggy than the mail program in the Mozilla suite. Eudora also uses mbox, but I've heard that Eudora mbox files aren't entirely standard.

The only other suggestion I have for the mail is round-tripping through a server - both Outlook and Evolution 2 support Exchange 2000 and IMAP servers, so mail moved to a server by one should be accessible by the other without having to push the data through various file formats.

Since the HTML used in mail from Microsoft clients is Microsoft's idea of HTML you may not be able avoid a few import or display problems.

Simon_6162 12-05-2004 06:51 AM

pwardy 12-05-2004 11:58 AM

Thanks, but if you read my post, I used Outport and Mozilla (Thunderbird) which is all the Ximian page suggests.

winsnomore 12-05-2004 01:25 PM

Could you please elaborate how did you get Ximian 2.0 ? Is it with NDS/Suse of you built/installed it on a different distribution. I have tried to do the latter without success .. thanks

pwardy 12-06-2004 02:15 AM

Sorry, some misunderstanding here. I am using Evolution 2.0.2 which came with my Fedora Core 3 distro. The previous post was simply referring to a help page on the Ximian site which is supposed to help with Outlook to Evolution migration.

By the way, I believe I have solved my problem by using Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0 Release Candidate which has"Migration improvements for Outlook 2003, Eudora and Mozilla Suite users". It seems this WILL import the HTML and attachments which Mozilla Thunderbird 0.9 did not. I'll post full details after I have completed testing.


jeavus 12-10-2004 06:25 PM


I tried to do the same thing you did. I went from outlook to thunderbird 1.0. So far I am able to see all my mail with attachments and folders intact, but I don't know how to import the mail over to evolution. The import function just tells me it can't find any mail on the system. How are you getting the mail data from thunderbird to evo?

Jeavus (newbie)

pwardy 12-12-2004 08:15 AM


1.Download Thunderbird 1.0 (for Windows) from and install. You need this to import your mail from Outlook into Thunderbird format.
2.Download Outport (also a Windows program) from You need this to export your contacts, calendar and tasks into Evolution format and your notes and journal into text files.
3.In Windows run Thunderbird and use the import function and specify you want to import from Outlook. Simply follow the instructions. You must then copy the files which are poduced (Documents and Settings.user.Application Data.etc.etc.Thunderbird) to somewhere you can access them from Linux.
4.Run Outport and export your contacts, calendar and tasks to Evolution format and your notes and journal to text. Don't bother exporting your mail folders. Again copy the files produced to somewhere you can access them from Linux.
5.Run Linux and start Evolution. Go to File Import Import a Single File and point at the Thunderbird mail files. These are all the files WITHOUT the .msf extension. There will be 1 file for each Outlook mail folder. You must import each file individually. Yet again just follow the prompts, it is straightforward and you can create new folders in Evolution as you go.
6.Copy the files created by Outport into Evolution. This is explained in Outport, but essentially it will be a .ics and a .xml file for calendar and tasks and a .pb and .xml file for contacts. These go into the calendar/local/system, tasks/local/system and contacts/local/system files of the .evolution folder for your user (e.g. /home/fred).
7.Evolution does not support notes or the Outlook journal, but you will find that Outport has created text files for these.

That's it. There is plenty of doc with Outport and the Thunderbird import and Evolution mport are farily self explanatory.
It seems that there was a problem with various releases of Mozilla and Thunderbird which previously did not handle HTML mail or attachments but everything seems fine with Thunderbird 1.0

Hope this is of some help



hob 12-12-2004 08:33 AM

Cool - well worth knowing.

If you're feeling generous, you could post this on the Wiki, or as a LinuxAnswer :-)

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