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

William A. Mahaffey III wam at
Tue Aug 12 20:05:48 UTC 2014

On 08/12/14 11:33, Olivier Nicole wrote:
> William,
>>>> .... 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 ….
>>> How is your client accessing the email? IMAP?
>>> Did you remember to install and setup your IMAP server? I use dovecot.
>>> Remember to use the same format on the new box (either MailDir or Mailbox,
>>> whichever you used on the old).
>>> Or just setup the IMAP server on the new box, configure your email client
>>> to see both, and use it to move the email over.
>>> --
>>> Paul Kraus
>>> paul at
>> I am retreiving mail from my ISP using their POP3 server, as per the last
>> 20-ish years. T-bird stashes it iv the Mail directory under my user .... No
>> IMAP involved that I know off :-/ ????
> Your first message was really unclear, so Paul assumed you were trying
> to set-up an email server, while all you are doing is an email client.
> First of all, with your new machine, can you access the POP3 server of
> your ISP, can you read mail from there? Can you send mail too?
> Once that is working, create a new test mail folder, find out where
> Tbird did create that mail folder and copy your mail from the old
> machine to the new machine with the same scheme as the new test
> folder.
> Bests,
> Olivier
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Good call, old box used .../Mail/, new one uses 
.../Mail/ .... I just got everything copied & it looks 
good ....

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