[plug] Mail questions

Simon Wise simonzwise at gmail.com
Fri Mar 13 09:32:54 UTC 2015

On 13/03/15 19:26, Richard Meyer wrote:
> Hi all,
> For about 4 centuries (conservatively estimated), I have been using
> Evolution as my mail agent.
> Since I am a KDE fan, I have been wondering why I have been doing so,
> and came to the conclusion that I really don't need this heavy-duty (de
> Icaza inspired) agent.
> I set up an experimental machine so that I could try other email agents
> and check out importing evolution data into them ...
> Seems a bit disappointing that I am having huge problems with both Kmail
> and Thunderbird.
> Kmail import is just not able to do what I want - or maybe I'm using it
> wrong.
> Thunderbird doesn't seem to have ANY ability to import previous
> emails ....

it does, I imported my stuff when I dropped OSX as my platform a decade or so 
ago. A little bit of work, but I have a vast amount of correspondence as my 
record of all my projects since 2002, and use it from time to time. It is a big 
archive, and backed up all over the place.

> So, to recap - I would like to import evolution email and address books
> into a more non-gnome, non-heavyweight client, preferably Thunderbird.

looking at the dependencies here thunderbird (icedove actually, but that's only 
the copyrighted name and artwork removed) I guess you mean that evolution is 
GTK3 and uses gconf with dbus dependencies etc etc. Gconf would certainly make 
me tend to avoid it, that whole integrated desktop push is a pain, the end 
result is usually some low-rent windows clone (occasional system crashes 
included, at no extra cost). If I wanted a unified desktop for a unix-ish 
machine I would use Apple, they have the resources and corporate control to do 
it and to impose their choices on their users so it actually is unified.

But lightweight meaning not desktop dependent generally means less wizards, GUI 
stuff and other 'bloat' as well ... so you need to do the importing yourself.


mbox files were the way I did it, export your mail to mbox, then open the mbox 
file. A little trial and error will get you the appropriate matching formats.

I did my contacts with CSV, needing a little tweaking re headers but otherwise 
it worked fine.

But that was a long time ago, I do not have a current recipe.

If you have access to an imap server, you could go via that.

If you want to be able to switch clients then set up a local imap server, and 
store the mail on it, from the old client first. But I haven't got around to 
switching to that and mutt (yet), and I guess it wouldn't fit your criteria of a 
lightweight solution unless it is only the client and desktop dependency that 
you want lightweight.

If you want a light email client ... try mutt.

> Any advice gratefully accepted.
> Especially advice that doesn't say "discard the old and embrace the
> new", since I have emails going back to 2003, and some of them bring
> back memories of "the good old days".
> Thanks in advance

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