Linux migration. Part IV. Moving Emails

You have created a Dual-Boot System on your PC and looked at what we get ‘from Box’ with Ubuntu Linux. Now we need to move our emails from Outlook™ or Outlook Express into KMail email Linux-application.

I had been struggling with readPST utility. I was hope for smooth converting my 3Gb Outlook PST file into KMail-compatible mbox structure. But it failed…
 The latest version of readPST/libPST utility can convert PST files of Outlook 97-2002, but it can’t work with Outlook 2003 PST.
 After I saved emails in an old (2002) version PST and converted the file, the KMail didn’t can import them correct. All messages in every folder were agglutinate in a long single message.
 So, don’t waste time with readPST.

Convert Outlook™ Emails through Thunderbird application

You can download Mozilla’s Thunderbird for free (6.4Mb).
After installing and the first run the Thunderbird asks if you’d like to import mail from another applications. Select the Outlook option and import your emails.

You’ll get the same mail-folders tree as you have in Outlook™.

Find the mail folder of Thunderbird in the path like below:
c:\Documents and Settings\<user>\
 Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\

Re-boot your PC with Linux and import emails from this folder into KMail.

The Thunderbird allows you to move emails without any loss. But it can’t help you to move your Calendar appointments and TODO tasks.

Move your Calendar

Fortunately Outlook™ can save the Calendar appointments in a .ics file.
Open your Calendar ( 1 ), use the “File » Save As…” menu ( 2 ) then open the “More Options” dialog ( 3 ). You can choose the Date range or the Whole calendar, select the Full details option and check on all details in Advanced section. Save your Calendar.

Then import the .ics file into KMail Kontact in Linux. The Kontact supports multiple calendars and todo lists. So you can import the file as a new calendar or merge the data into your current calendar.

And now yet another stuck… Outlook doesn’t export TODO list into .ics file, but events only.

Move your TODO list

I’ve found the only method to move TODOs. This is a 3-steps procedure.
1) Export Outlook TODO list into a .CSV file
Use the “Import / Export” menu ( 1 ), choose the “Export to a file” action ( 2 ), select the “Tasks” folder to export and enter the file-name ( 3 ). Set date range ( 4 ) of the exported tasks.

2) Convert the .CSV file with tasks into a .VCS file
I’ve created a Perl script to make this. Download the script.
Re-boot into Linux. Place the file in the same folder (your home-folder) as the CSV file with your tasks was saved. Open command console (use the Alt-F2 hotkey for start window and type konsole). Then execute the script with your CSV file in the console to get a file with the .VCS extension.

/usr/bin/perl tasks.CSV

3) Import TODOs from the .VCS file
Use the same Import feature of the KMail Calendar to get your Outlook tasks in Linux.

The Next

One another thing we need to test is Windows applications running under a Virtualization tool on Linux.


by Michel Komarov, © Copyright 2008.


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2 Responses to “Linux migration. Part IV. Moving Emails”

  1. dennisl Says:

    What version of Outlook were you using? I have Outlook 2003, SP3 and I do not get a “More Options” button in the Save As.. dialog box when saving the Calendar (will only save one item at a time). Otherwise a good, helpful article.

  2. michel Says:

    Hi Dennisl,

    There was Outlook 2003 without any SP.

    Try to open your Calendar, then “Save As” without selecting an appointment.

    Hope this helps.
    Unfortunately I can’t check this as I fully removed Windows from my PC.


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