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I'm converting to Linux from a Windows based desktop in a corporate setting that uses Outlook. Evolution runs nicely and can get enough communication with the Exchange servers that I'm happy with the current mailbox. However, I've got a couple of older offline .pst files in which some mail is sorted and stored for easier access.

One method I believe I've seen referenced is to have Thunderbird and Outlook running at the same time to have TBird suck the messages from Outlook, then have Evolution import the TBird files. Is there a better way?

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You can use an intermediate IMAP server, where you do it inside Outlook and then connect via Evolution to download them. That sucks though. I'm not putting this as an answer because I don't recommend it. I think your method is the better option. –  user3463 Oct 16 '09 at 22:30
    
@Randolph - I have a pretty large PST file, well beyond the limit on my mailbox size. This would probably work if it was just a few MBs. –  Shannon Nelson Oct 18 '09 at 3:37
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4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

So here's what I found worked for me:

  • Start up Outlook so that you can use it's DLL access to the data
  • Start up Thunderbird and use the File|Import wizard to import mail from Outlook. This creates a bunch of mbox formated files inside a directory structure that matches the Outlook folder structure from which they came.
  • Exit Outlook and Thunderbird.
  • Copy the new mail files and directories from the Thunderbird profile Mail directory into the Evolution profile Mail directory. In my case, this meant copying to a whole new machine. I put them under the local mail directory.
  • Start up Evolution. If all went well, Evo should notice the files and directories and show them as mail folders in the "On This Computer" folder.

Thanks to these websites for hints:
http://www.debuntu.org/how-to-import-thunderbird-emails-to-evolution
http://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/answers/Applications_GUI_Multimedia/Howto_migrate_from_Thunderbird_to_Evolution

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http://outport.sourceforge.net/

Or try Out Port?

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No, Outport isn't a good option. From number 4 of their FAQ: "Unfortunately, Outport doesn't support moving your email from Outlook into Evolution." –  Shannon Nelson Oct 18 '09 at 3:33
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Ah, sorry I missed that, glad you worked it out. –  AdminAlive Oct 21 '09 at 16:44
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I use Thunderbird for converting from Outlook to plain unix mailboxes. From there I bet that you can find a solution for almost any other mail client.

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Emailchemy has been my tool of choice for a loong time for converting email from many different formats/clients

http://www.weirdkid.com/products/emailchemy/index.html

From their site:

About Emailchemy

Convert: Emailchemy converts email from the closed, proprietary file formats of the most popular (and many of yesterday's forgotten) email applications to standard, portable formats that any application can use. These standard formats are ideal for long term archival, database entry, or forensic analysis and eDiscovery.

Migrate: Emailchemy includes an embedded IMAP mail server from which any IMAP-compatible email application can import your converted email. Emailchemy also includes a utility for uploading converted mail up to a Google Apps email account.

Manage: Emailchemy provides utilities for splitting, sorting and merging email archives, and harvesting email addresses from email archives.

Features

  • Convert proprietary email formats to standard formats based on RFC-2822 (formerly RFC-822) -- the official Internet standard for email messages that has been around since 1973.
  • Cross-platform solution; versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Reads native email file formats;
    • no need to re-install or run old email programs
    • convert Windows email files on a Mac or Linux computer, and vice-versa
  • Convert all your old mail formats with a single product
  • Industrial-strength accuracy relied upon by law enforcement and forensic agencies around the world
  • Embedded IMAP mail server to simplify importing email into most email client software.
  • Upload converted email to Google Apps email accounts.

Supported Email Formats

Emailchemy can read most email file formats and convert them to open standard formats. Emailchemy can also host converted mail on an embedded mail server, providing a universal method for importing email into any IMAP compatible email application.

Emailchemy can read:

  • AOL for Windows ("PFC" files)
  • Claris Emailer for Macintosh
  • CompuServe Classic for Macintosh (aka "MacCIM")
  • CompuServe 2000 for Windows
  • Entourage (Database, .RGE Archives and cache files)
  • Eudora
  • Mac OS X Mail
  • Mozilla
  • Mulberry
  • Musashi
  • Neoplanet
  • Netscape
  • Opera
  • Outlook for Windows (.PST and .OST files)
  • Outlook Express for Macintosh
  • Outlook Express for Windows
  • Outlook Express for UNIX/Solaris
  • PowerTalk/AOCE for Macintosh
  • QuickMail Pro for Macintosh
  • QuickMail Pro for Windows
  • Thunderbird
  • Yahoo! Mail
  • any UNIX-style or mbox-format mailbox

Emailchemy can write:

  • RFC-2822 mailboxes ("mbox" format, mail spool, or "UNIX-style")
  • Folders of .txt or .eml files (RFC-2822 message files)
  • Comma-separated value files (.csv files)
  • IMAPdir (Binc IMAP maildir)
  • Maildir++ (Courier IMAP maildir)
  • IMAP email account and folders usable by o Outlook o Outlook Express o Entourage o Mac OS X Mail o Thunderbird
  • Variations of the RFC-2822 mbox mailboxes that are directly usable by: o Mac OS X Mail ("Mail.app") o Entourage (.rge archives) o Thunderbird System Requirements

Emailchemy runs on:

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  • Linux, Solaris, or UNIX with Sun Java 1.5 or higher
  • Minimum 1GB system memory (RAM) recommended
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