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I have both a .thunderbird and a .mozilla-thunderbird from an existing installation.

I installed Thunderbird 3.0b3 under fedora 11, but it doesn't seem to see the email in either of those directories.

How can I restore my old settings & email?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You should be able to simply drop them into your home directory.


cp -r /media/USBStick/backup/.thunderbird ~
cp -r /media/USBStick/backup/.mozilla-thunderbird ~

make sure your applications also have sufficient read permissions to these files.

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That's what I thought, but for some reason it's not working. Permissions are OK, and it's finding one account, but none of the other accounts or sub-folders. – chris Aug 26 '09 at 2:51
try reconfiguring thunderbird with apt – John T Aug 26 '09 at 3:21

I always used [code]cp --archive SOURCE TARGET/[/code] to duplicate folder trees. The [b]--archive[/b] option does everything as [code]--recursive --no-dereference --preserve=all[/code]. Where [b]--preserve=all[/b] includes mode,ownership,timestamps, context, links, xattr.

There are too many soft links and ownership and permission details that a straight [code]cp -r[/code] does not accomplish.

~~~ 0;-Dan

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Basically the same as Saint DanBert, but I usually use tar.

  1. tar -cvzf thunder.tar.gz .mozilla-thunderbird/ .mozilla/
  2. move it to the new computer
  3. tar -xvzf thunder.tar.gz
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