Migrate (import) settings and messages from Evolution

Bug #975054 reported by Alexander Kallenbach on 2012-04-06
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Mozilla Thunderbird
evolution (Ubuntu)
thunderbird (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I want to migrate to migrate from Evolution to Thunderbird, the new standard mail-application in Ubuntu. I installed the addon ImportExportTools ( and have chosen the Inbox mbox in /home/user/.local/share/evolution/mail/local_mbox and imported the mails (already not really user friendly!)
But in fact I've lost a lot of my Emails. In fact I've got all my Mails up to October 2011 (I think I've updated there to Oneiric Ocelot) but mails I received and send afterwards were not imported.
I then opened Evolution again and my mail was still there. I tried to save my Inbox as an mbox-file but it seems to produce enormous files (in my sent-folder there are 1500 mails and my free available disk storage of 170 GB wasn't sufficient to store and produce this mbox). What can I do? How can I import my mails?

From my point of view there should be, after a decided change of a core application, a migration tool which makes it easy to continue to work with the hole system.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.04
Package: thunderbird 11.0.1+build1-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.2.0-22.35-generic 3.2.14
Uname: Linux 3.2.0-22-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
AddonCompatCheckDisabled: False
AlsaVersion: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Driver Version 1.0.24.
ApportVersion: 2.0-0ubuntu4
Architecture: amd64
BuildID: 20120402171722
CRDA: Error: command ['iw', 'reg', 'get'] failed with exit code 1: nl80211 not found.
Channel: release
Date: Fri Apr 6 13:20:51 2012
ForcedLayersAccel: False
 auto lo
 iface lo inet loopback
 lo no wireless extensions.

 eth0 no wireless extensions.
Profiles: Profile0 (Default) - LastVersion=11.0.1/20120402171722 (Running)

RunningIncompatibleAddons: True
SourcePackage: thunderbird
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)
dmi.bios.date: 10/16/2008
dmi.bios.vendor: Phoenix Technologies, LTD
dmi.bios.version: ASUS IPN73-BA ACPI BIOS Revision 0105 Targa
dmi.board.name: IPN73-BA
dmi.board.vendor: ASUSTeK Computer INC.
dmi.board.version: 1.XX
dmi.chassis.asset.tag: 123456789000
dmi.chassis.type: 3
dmi.chassis.vendor: Chassis Manufacture
dmi.chassis.version: Chassis Version
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnPhoenixTechnologies,LTD:bvrASUSIPN73-BAACPIBIOSRevision0105Targa:bd10/16/2008:svnSystemmanufacturer:pnSystemProductName:pvrSystemVersion:rvnASUSTeKComputerINC.:rnIPN73-BA:rvr1.XX:cvnChassisManufacture:ct3:cvrChassisVersion:
dmi.product.name: System Product Name
dmi.product.version: System Version
dmi.sys.vendor: System manufacturer

I would like to see it possible for thunderbird to migrate messages and
configuration from evolution 1.4.x and 2.x.

I choose all OS because evolution win32 is in the making :)

I guess it goes without saying, but migrate addressbooks, too.

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I use Fedora Core 5, with the GNOME desktop environment. Evolution is the default mail client, and is deeply integrated.

I want to use Thunderbird again, and would like to make a smooth transition to it. Unfortunately, other than a "Duct tape and bailing wire" solution found on the Internet, there doesn't seem to be any way to do this.

*** Bug 354208 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

(In reply to comment #4)
> I use Fedora Core 5, with the GNOME desktop environment. Evolution is the
> default mail client, and is deeply integrated.

I wish I could save the 2 hours I spent today migrating from (and dealing with incompatilbilities between) evolution to thunderbird... + time to file bugs even though this was known for 1,5 years.

*** Bug 428272 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

I'm going to tentatively take this patch on--I already have a prototype address book settings import working, although getting the build system fu in place is probably a bit beyond me.

Created attachment 377506
Patch, version 0.2

This is a very alpha version of the patch. All it supports at the moment is address book import, but, in the meantime, I had to patch configure.in and a few other things to support that much. I'm still playing around with the namespace stuff (dmose suggested mozilla::messaging, so I'm seeing how that works out).

I still need to tackle mail import, and I want to add some tests as well. Since I've learned a lot about import, I'll also write up documentation, so don't expect to see a comprehensive, review-ready patch for a while.

*** Bug 627218 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

I think this bug need to be solve if Thunderbird wants to be the default mail app in Ubuntu... Because easily importing old mail and contact of Ubuntu user is necessary...
Note that Thunderbird 5 will natively import vcard file, which is also the format used by Evolution, so this point should not really be a problem anymore.

Some discussion from IRC today with respect to Thunderbird-Evolution migration:
1. As far as Ubuntu is concerned for now, "importing" address books amount to adding an e-d-s address book in Thunderbird, so we don't need to actually import data.
2. Most of the settings are basically gconf (at least for now), so importing settings is fairly easy.
3. We have not started worrying about message import. If mbox is the storage backend, that is very easy to import (cp/ln the file to the profile directory). If it's mh or maildir... we'd have to have a better system.

(In reply to comment #12)
> 3. We have not started worrying about message import. If mbox is the storage
> backend, that is very easy to import (cp/ln the file to the profile
> directory). If it's mh or maildir... we'd have to have a better system.

My 2 cents:
- Evolution 2.32 (default for Ubuntu 11.04) use mbox storage.
- Evolution 3.0 (default for Fedora 15) use MailSir storage (as indicated here: http://live.gnome.org/Evolution/Planning30 )

So it need to be defined if this bug only address import from Evolution 2.3 (mbox), or also try to cover Evolution 3.0 (maildir).

Note that I find a very simple script (less than 15 lines of code) which allows to convert maildir to mbox: http://yergler.net/blog/2010/06/06/batteries-included-or-maildir-to-mbox-again

Changed in evolution (Ubuntu):
status: New → Invalid
Changed in thunderbird (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Wishlist

Joshua what's the status on this one ?

*** Bug 697033 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Removing myslef on all the bugs I'm cced on. Please NI me if you need something on MailNews Core bugs from me.

Paul White (paulw2u) on 2019-01-26
summary: - Migration from Evolution to Thunderbird
+ Migrate (import) settings and messages from Evolution
Changed in thunderbird:
importance: Unknown → Wishlist
status: Unknown → Confirmed
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