How to transfer Mail from old machine to new FreeBSD box ....

Roland Smith rsmith at
Tue Aug 12 19:51:50 UTC 2014

On Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 02:22:57PM -0500, William A. Mahaffey III wrote:
> On 08/12/14 13:56, Roland Smith wrote:
> > On Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 10:56:14AM -0500, William A. Mahaffey III wrote:
> >>
> >> .... Well, I am down to the snorting post, the last task I need to
> >> complete before putting my new FreeBSD 9.3 box into service, replacing
> >> this one (AMD64X2 3800+, FC14 64-bit, terminally patched up several
> >> years ago). Unfortunately, it looks like a bit of a doozy. I need to get
> >> the Mail directory from the old machine to the new one. To start with, I
> >> just copied the whole thing. 35 min. later when it was done, I invoked
> >> T-bird on the FreeBSD box & none of the Mail-directory was visible :-/.
> >> That method worked AOK the last time I used it, 10+ years ago when I put
> >> the old box into service :-). That was also the last time I tried, last
> >> time I needed to do that. Is what I am doing supposed to work ? If not,
> >> how am I supposed to do this ? Mind you, there are yearly archives going
> >> back into the '90's, which I want preserved. The whole Mail directory is
> >> ~20 GiB :-/ .... thunderbird.x86_64 17.0.7-1.fc14.remi on the Fedora
> >> box, thunderbird 31 on the FreeBSD (box std,) .... TIA for any pointers ....
> > Check the permissions and ownership on the folders and files. Even if your
> > username and group name are the same, the *numerical* UID and GID might be
> > different.
> >
> > Is thunderbird configured the same on both machines.
> >
> >
> > Roland
> numerical UIDs & GIDs are identical. Both T-birds identical as near as I 
> can tell, a bit touch going back & forth w/ 2 machines :-/ ....

Mozilla has detailed instructions for moving your profile folder to another
machine[1] or making a backup[2]. I suggest you try one of those.


Or try “exporting” it from the old Thunderbird and “importing” it into the new

It has been my observation that the way Mozilla apps handle data is not
exactly KISS, with copied profiles not working for unclear reasons. Maybe that's
inevitable, but this is one of the reasons I still prefer old fashioned mbox

[plain text _non-HTML_ PGP/GnuPG encrypted/signed email much appreciated]
pgp: 5753 3324 1661 B0FE 8D93  FCED 40F6 D5DC A38A 33E0 (keyID: A38A33E0)
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