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We are in the process of converting all our windows systems into ubuntu. Is there a way to import outlook express mails into thunderbird in Ubuntu?

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The easiest way is to install Thunderbird on your Windows Machine and transfer your email there see here and here. You can then backup your email and restore it on your Ubuntu machine. – Warren Hill Mar 23 '13 at 18:40

Install Thunderbird on a windows machine, and go to Tools menu, choose Tools --> import. When the window opens choose mail, and then pick outlook express. Repeat for other items.

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