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Old 01-13-2018, 07:27 AM   #1
Regnad Kcin
Registered: Jan 2014
Location: Beijing
Distribution: Slackware 64 -current .
Posts: 172

Rep: Reputation: 102Reputation: 102
Viewer for Thunderbird email files

I am looking for a way to open and view Thunderbird email files like old Inbox and Sent files.

There is a way to load such files into Thunderbird but it is very messy.

I am looking for a way to open such files and view them.

Such files are too large for text editors like kate.

(I can open the files with joe).

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Last edited by Regnad Kcin; 01-13-2018 at 07:47 AM.
Old 01-13-2018, 08:45 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2009
Location: Cloverdale, northern california
Distribution: Slackware 14.2
Posts: 176

Rep: Reputation: 140Reputation: 140
Slackware 14.2, I recently used kmail's importwizard to gather a bunch of sent-mail archives. kmail does show and index read-only mbox files just fine offline. I use mutt and notmuch with maildir folders currently, don't think I'll ever return to Mozilla.

The importwizard is a step-by-step thing, it is self-explanatory, hopefully. I had to wait patiently for a long time with no response from the gui (a few minutes with 8core CPU and 12G RAM, but eventually the import was complete.

importwizard --version
Qt: 4.8.7
KDE Development Platform: 4.14.32
importwizard: 4.14.10
These were thunderbird folders from 2009 burned to DVD...
I grabbed 7 files, smallest 567 messages, 35.8M. Every single one has a damned attachment. Aargh!
Largest file is 1704 messages, 107.2M again with the binary attachments. As far as I can tell, everything is there. Good job kmail.

Slackware 15.0 (current) Today I tried seamonkey -mail to open a 245Mb archive from 2005, attachments and all. I created a fake UnixMail account, restarted and browsed to the mbox folder. There are a bunch of blank messages but all the original data is intact. Good job seamonkey. Are they still part of Mozilla? If so, eat my words above. Thanks.

Last edited by EYo; 01-17-2018 at 07:47 AM. Reason: Add archive detail, seamonkey -mail
3 members found this post helpful.
Old 01-13-2018, 11:52 AM   #3
Regnad Kcin
Registered: Jan 2014
Location: Beijing
Distribution: Slackware 64 -current .
Posts: 172

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 102Reputation: 102
This info about importwizard was quite helpful and I was able to solve one serious problem of finding a long lost email that was in a thunderbird Inbox.

It imported the mailboxes into kmail quite quickly for me
after I realized I needed to specify a destination.

I have grown increasingly unhappy with thunderbird.

Surely there is something better.

Thunderbird seems to get clunkier and provide less freedom of access with each iteration of "development".

Last edited by Regnad Kcin; 01-13-2018 at 11:54 AM.
Old 01-13-2018, 12:21 PM   #4
Senior Member
Registered: Apr 2016
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 1,239

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There's always mutt, which "sucks less" than other mail clients. I have no idea if it imports emails from Thunderbird, though.


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