Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

So as said in the title, i want to find a way download my emails on my pc and save them in a file. ( so then i could use linux text manipulation commands on them to do some filtering )

i'v found "mutt" a text-based e-mail client, and configured it to log into my GMail inbox. But first, it seems like it doesn't get all my emails. And then, I didn't find a way to save the emails i get in a file.

So if anyone knows any way of doing it, please make me know.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

When accessing the emails in Gmail it takes some time to download and sometimes Google will kick you out and you need to reconnect. If you make to many requests it may even quick you out for a full day.

You can use Thunderbird to download the messages. It archives the emails in mbox format. Here's the part you are going to love:

All messages in an mbox mailbox are concatenated and stored as plain text in a single file. The beginning of each message is indicated by a line whose first five characters consist of "From" followed by a space (the so named "From_ line" or "'From ' line" or simply "From line") and the return path e-mail address. A blank line is appended to the end of each message

Thunderbird does use a slightly modified version (more info here.)

Hope it helps :)

share|improve this answer
Oh yeah !! That's it. Thank you very much dude. I just need to find a way to make thunderbird download my mails automatically. – Sam Jun 14 '12 at 19:32
Thunderbird should do it, but you may have to relaunch the download. – Ramon Suarez Jun 14 '12 at 20:37

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.