Recently, my hard drive crashed (click... click... clickly clickly click click...). I was using XP and do NOT have my install discs (lost them 3 moves ago...).

i make backups regularly and only lost roughly 3 days worth of material (nothing really important). On my other PC I've been running linux forever. I don't need windows and have installed a new HD in the PC and put fedora on there w/ no issues. Running like a champ.

Now historical email... There seems to be many workarounds for getting dbx files to mbox INSIDE windows, but how would I accomplish this task without a windows install anywhere (Virtual installs are out as I do not have any install discs for windows anyways). After a quick search, I only found one possible solution (in perl) and am looking for something that I don't have to program my self. I am a programmer by trade but have never programmed in perl (c++, FORTRAN, matlab, python... yes) and at this point, don't feel like learning new syntexs for this one problem (python has been my goto scripting language for everything linux...).

Any other ways around this?

EDIT: After looking at the comments, I've searched a lil more and here's a lil tid bit from mozillazine... Interestingly enough, BOTH links to tools to convert dbx to mbox are dead >:( and it only speaks of importing from Outlook Express directly... NOT from just the dbx files :(

Thanks for the ideas tho, keep them coming as I really don't want to use the perl lib to do it...

Also if anyone has a link to a c++ lib(link to documentation?) that does the same thing... I might take a look at that and make a gui for it... then release it for others...

  • Not an answer as I don't know for sure, but I could of sworn that Thunderbird had an import option that understand Outlook files directly? Nov 16, 2010 at 12:48
  • 1
    Thunderbird does have an option to import Outlook express files, IIRC
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    Nov 16, 2010 at 15:23
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    It only has an option to import Outlook express files IF you currently have express installed... which isn't viable in this situation... Or atleast that what i've seen when I have tried... and I have spent a long time trying...
    – g19fanatic
    Nov 16, 2010 at 20:48
  • the gpl dbxconv appears to be here now: ukrebs-software.de/english/dbxconv/dbxconv.html Dec 21, 2010 at 10:59
  • martin clayton: thanks for the link. I will have to take a look at it. Should have put this as an answer tho so you'd get some credit for finding a solution (if it does indeed work in the end).
    – g19fanatic
    Dec 21, 2010 at 18:14

2 Answers 2


Since no one posted a solution that was implemented nor throughly documented, I will post my solution.

As above, I simply went to a friends house who has windows installed and did the conversion the way that everyone else does it... on windows...

Another way to do this would be to run a virtual machine to do what you need but I did not have my discs as this wasn't a solution for me.


you can use undbx - a tool to extract e-mails from Outlook Express .dbx files.


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