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I use Mozilla Thunderbird 2.0.2 and would like to backup my e-mail account settings. I don't want to backup the actual e-mails.

I have found a software called MozBackup which is running on Windows only. Is there a way to do that under Linux?

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Any particular reason you're using 2.x instead of 3.x? – digitxp Dec 4 '10 at 16:55
Most likely because Ubuntu 9.04 only has 2.x officially supported. – user54114 Dec 4 '10 at 19:20
up vote 0 down vote accepted

You have (at least) two options:

You could try to use MozBackup with wine. Wine is a compatibility program to use Windows applications on Linux and Mac. There is no entry for MozBackup in the compatibility database yet, so no idea whether it's going to work or not. If you take this approach, please create a testing report for others to see.

Your second option is to just copy everything residing in your profile folder except the folders Mail and ImapMail. This is what MozBackup does internally, it just creates a zip file with your data in it. The profile folder is in


where id is a randomly generated string. Just look around and identify the folder with your emails in it.

Update: I just tested MozBackup with wine. It seems to install and run well, but I didn't test the backup integrity, so beware. Steps:

  1. install wine via synaptic
  2. download Mozbackup
  3. Install Mozbackup with wine
  4. Open a console
  5. Generate a symlink to your thunderbird folder:

    ln -s .thunderbird thunderbirdlink

  6. Run MozBackup, select "Portable" when choosing your profile.

  7. Navigate to your Home Folder, choose "thunderbirdlink" and then your profile folder within.
  8. Select the stuff you want to back up, do your backup
  9. remove your symlink with

    rm thunderbirdlink

For another backup or restore, repeat steps 4-9. Or just leave the symlinks alive and only do steps 6-8.

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