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For some reason, I have to remote ssh to my working station and access some emails. I am curious to know if there is anyway to access emails managed by Thunderbird(3.0) in console?

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Why not connect directly to the relevant IMAP server? Trying to remotely manage your client seems counter-intuitive. –  Oliver Salzburg Feb 7 '12 at 14:02

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Sorry for a negative answer, but I don't believe that what you are asking is possible.

The entire list of command-line switches for Thunderbird is contained in the MozillaZine article of Command line arguments - Thunderbird. This include a limited way for composing mail, but no switch for consulting mail without invoking the GUI interface.

Any mail-checking solution would involve configuring another terminal-oriented mail client to interface with the mail server (without using Thunderbird). But if you retrieve any mail through such a client, this mail may be missing when you later consult your account with Thunderbird.

If you wish to read mail from an existing mailbox, this thread offers some solutions that may apply on Linux :

  • mutt -f mailbox
  • configure an imap server, make symlinks on ~/mail to point to the files used by thunderbird, then use an imap compatible client to read those e-mails.
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