As the title say. I need to move my whole Thunderbird setup to Linux Ubuntu. I want to move the whole setup with Mail and News accounts. Can I move the Config files ? Would the T-bird Linux version read the Windows files ? What files do I have to move ? I atleast need all the server passwords so I can fetch the old mail from the servers. Is there any easier way Like in Firefox (with the firefox account system)

Any help would be much appreciated.

Since someone Did not know what "Thunderbird" are I add some info. Thunderbird is a Mail and News software That have versions for different operating systems. In this case a Setup in Windows 10 and are going to be moved to a Linux Debian system (v20.x). The Thunderbird Version on Windows 10 Computer are v68.8.0 Windows 10 pro v1903


Yes, moving your profile folder from Windows to Linux will work:

  • Important: Make sure you run the same version of Thunderbird on Linux that you run on Windows.
    • If the version on Windows is behind of the version on Linux, go to http://archive.mozilla.org/pub/thunderbird/releases/, download and upgrade your Windows version to the exact same version you run on Linux. Do not upgrade to a newer version!
    • If the version on Linux is behind of the version on Windows, check if a newer version was backported.
  • Open Thunderbird on Windows.
  • Click on File > Compact Folders * and wait until all folders were processed (watch the statusline).
  • Click on Help > Troubleshooting Information *. Then hit the Open Directory button: Open Directory button
  • Close Thunderbird
  • Delete the pkcs11.txt file.
  • Go up one folder
  • Copy the XXXXXXX.default(-release) folder to an USB drive.
  • Open Thunderbird on Linux.
  • Click on Help > Troubleshooting Information *. Then hit the Open Directory button: Open Directory button
  • Close Thunderbird
  • Go up one folder
  • Remove the YYYYYYYY.default(-release) folder
  • Copy the XXXXXXXX.default(-release) folder from your USB drive.
  • Edit the profiles.ini file with an editor of your choice and replace each occurrence of YYYYYYYY.default(-release) with XXXXXXXX.default(-release).
  • Start Thunderbird on Linux - everything should be in place now.

* If the menu is not visible, hit the left Alt key on your keyboard.

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  • Thnx That worked fine accutually..Specially helped with microsoft mail accounts with long random passwords (mix caps and numbers 64 letters long) that is hard to write in manually and get right at first time entry. Verry helpful that the config files are possible to export between systems. – Stefan von straten Finne May 13 at 12:19
  • Doesn't work with actual thunderbird versions. Error is: this installation of thunderbird has a new profile. it does not share email data... – sneaky Oct 2 at 13:29
  • If You have the same error, just start thunderbird with parameter --allow-downgrade -p option, select Your 'old' profile. Usually, it works after that. See also: thunderbird-mail.de/forum/thread/… – sneaky Oct 2 at 13:36
  • Not working for me either. None of the existing accounts or folders of old messages show up. I can set up new TB accounts with old email addresses and can send new emails into these. But I need to retain old emails too. – Trunk Oct 23 at 17:00
  • @Trunk thanks for your proposed edit and the effort you put into enhancing this answer! However, I removed your advice to download and run Thunderbird from mozilla, since on Linux it is in general more advisable to use the distro's package manager to install software. I also removed your advice to only copy the contents of the XXXXXXXX folder, since this might interfere with certain add-ons. In turn I added a hint to make sure both versions of Thunderbird must match. – dirdi Nov 9 at 21:59

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