Someone send me a .msg file skype, and somehow I just can't open this in Ubuntu

Is there a app in which I can open this file?

  • This could be many things...what type is this file? There are several different programs using the msg extension. – Bobby Jan 22 '10 at 13:11

This is an MS-Outlook format. There is a command line tool called MSGConvert (see which converts .msg files into .eml. You can open those with Thunderbird or Evolution. On Ubuntu you should be able to install the tool using

sudo apt-get install libemail-outlook-message-perl libemail-sender-perl

from a command line. Use

msgconvert *.msg

to convert every file in a directory at once. MSGConvert will produce copies of your .msg-files with the suffix .msg.eml. Regardless, your friend should learn how to send content properly.

  • 2
    Somehow msgconvert didn't appear in the path, but the following worked: perl -we 'use Email::Outlook::Message; print Email::Outlook::Message->new(shift)->to_email_mime->as_string' foo.msg >bar.eml – Dallaylaen Jan 28 '16 at 17:54
  • Just to note, on debian based systems the msgconvert script isn't in the package. You can get it from the repo however here: – PottyBert Mar 3 '16 at 13:58
  • Using the msgconvert tool from, the command line ./msgconvert file.msg produces nothing. You have to use ./msgconvert --outfile file.eml file.msg. – slowhand May 27 '16 at 15:53
  • 4
    If you already did apt-get install libemail-outlook-message-perl, you don't need to do anything more. That package already contains /usr/bin/msgconvert, at least on Debian 8 Jessie. – Axel Beckert Jan 4 '17 at 14:18

I ran across such a file as well (provided to me by a colleague who saved an email message in Microsoft Outlook). file(1) identifies the .msg file like so:

foo.msg: Composite Document File V2 Document

Georg Jung's answer regarding Matijs van Zuijlen's perl-based msgconvert(1) utility steered me in the right direction. Although my system does not at the time of this writing have the msgconvert utility packaged, the install instructions on Matijs' web page indicate using cpan as one way to install it:

cpan -i Email::Outlook::Message

The cpan URL is

Try running this command in a terminal to identify the type of file:

$ file foo.msg

The output should tell you what type of file it is. If it's a text file of some kind, you can open it in gedit or your favorite text editor.

It's not perfect but you can import .msg file with Mozilla Thunderbird (it works with on 52.1.1 on my Linux Mint). I had some encoding error but you can globally read the content.

In Thunderbird you click on File > Open > Saved message and select your .msg file.

Try this link :

I came to this post searching for an answer, found the above link which did the job for me. Hence wanted to share here.

If you are concerned about privacy, you can buy their desktop version and convert it.

  • Just curious, why all the downvotes? Seems like a perfectly good tool. – Duncan X Simpson May 9 '16 at 3:10
  • 1
    @VirtualDXS - Life is harsh, isn't it ? :) – bragboy May 10 '16 at 20:28
  • 3
    I also downvote this "solution", because it violates privacy. .msg files sometimes contain mail threads, which must be kept confidential. – slowhand May 27 '16 at 15:29
  • 1
    I don't get where the tool violates privacy. It's just a wrong statement. It's the same saying Winrar violates privacy because sometimes .rar files contain files which may be confidential. Or an SQLite client violates privacy because you can read Skype conversations from .db file. – Andre Figueiredo Oct 4 '17 at 18:45
  • 1
    @AndreFigueiredo: It’s the difference between an online tool and a local program.  When you process data with WinRAR or any other program on your computer, the data stay on your computer (unless it’s infected with spyware). But with this “coolutils” solution, you upload your file to their website and then download the result.  Do they immediately delete your data off their servers?  Are their personnel allowed to look at your data?  Do they sell your data to other people? Once you give it to them, it’s out of your control. – Scott Nov 9 '17 at 23:51

You can also proceed like this:

strings foo.msg |html2text

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.