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I have a dual boot Windows-Ubuntu Laptop. I want to use Thunderbird as my email client but I want to store all the emails to Windows Drive as my Ubuntu Partition has low space. Is there a way I can configure it to store all of the profile and messages to anyother location?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I have not done that, but i did move my profile from Windows to Ubuntu before and it worked. But you need to be sure to use the same thunderbird version for both setups or weird things can start happening (and please backup before starting).

I will assume here that you have already installed Thunderbird on your Windows partition and on Ubuntu GNU/Linux, and that you have ran Windows version at least once (so that it sets up all the needed files). I also assume that your windows partition gets mounted somewhere when you run Ubuntu.

So you will first need to determine where the profile got saved in Windows, that changes depending on the versions and how you've set up. You are looking for something like AppData or Applications Data or something like that. Find the folder Thunderbird where you should have profiles.ini file. If you found it, you are on the right track. Open it in notepad, you will see something like

Path=your path

Sometimes path can be Profiles/adfsdfsfd or something like that (i.e. a subfolder of the current one). Take a note of two things: where you have found the profiles.ini file and the path to the default profile.

Now we go to the Ubuntu GNU/Linux and the fun begins.

Inside your home directory go to .thunderbird (note the dot), if the directory doesn't exist, i would run thunderbird once, create a profile without setting anything up, we'll delete it in a second. In that directory you will find the profiles.ini file.

At this point there are two paths you can take:

  1. You can create a symbolic link to the profile
  2. You can point Thunderbird directly to the Windows partition

Let's start with the first. In the terminal, from within .thunderbird directory type:

ln -s /path/to/windows/profile/directory/profile myprofile

Then type

ls myprofile

and you should see some files being displayed. If you don't, you've mistyped something

Then edit profiles.ini with the editor of your choice, changing the Path to 'myprofile' without quotes.

If you want to point directly you need to change two things in profiles.ini


Start your Thunderbird and check that you are seeing the setup as you had it on Windows. Once everything is ok, go to .thunderbird directory and delete the initially created empty profile (or you can skip that if you don't mind wasting a couple of MiB of disk space).

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Thanks a lot. It worked. I tweaked ur method a bit by taking risks for making it easier. – MeetM Nov 19 '13 at 20:48

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