Can Thunderbird use existing mailfolders?

Rashkae ubuntu at
Tue Apr 29 16:26:06 UTC 2008

Karl Auer wrote:
> Hi there.
> After a long time using Evolution, I want to use Thunderbird, basically
> because the crypto integration is better.
> But: I have  lot of emails in a folder structure in maildir format. With
> evolution I just set up an account with the "Receiving emal" "server
> type" set to "Mailbox in maildir format", and away it went.
> I can't find anything similar in Thunderbird, but I don't know the
> software very well yet.
> Any suggestions? I'd rather not run an actual local IMAP server, since
> all the data is right there....
> Regards, K.

sorry, no, thunderbird does not read maildir format.

Your quickest and probably easiest route is to find a maildir to
mailspool conversion script.  (Evolution can do it manually, by copying
messages from one location to another.).  Once all your mail is in a
standard unix mail spool file, you can copy those files into your
Thunderbird profile directory and all should work.

That being said, I've become a big fan of running Imap server locally.
It makes it a snap to share mail between different mail applications,
and I find dovecot to be more efficient with *large* mail folders than
either Thunderbird or Evolution natively.  (And that's with mailspool
files, haven't bothered making the switch to maildir yet)

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list