How can I back up Thuderbird 10.0.2 emails,etc to flash drive or external hard drive using Ubuntu 10.10
Go to your home folder & press " ctrl + h " to view hidden folders
copy & backup " .thunderbird " folder
Inside .thunderbird you should see a bunch of files and folders named Cache, Mail, ImapMail etc
If not, then you have relocated your profile folder.
Your actual profile folder is defined in a file named 'profiles.ini'
Open it with a text viewer/editor and you will see something like this:
[General] StartWithLastProfile=1 [Profile0] Name=Default User IsRelative=0 Path=/media/diskF/ThunderbirdMail/5mu9j6vu.default Default=1
The 'Path' is the real folder to backup.
I use this monster command:
rsync -rltgoDvz --modify-window=1 --delete ~/.thunderbird/ --exclude="**/global-messages-db.sqlite" --exclude="**/places.sqlite" --exclude="Crash*Reports/" --exclude="**/Cache/" --exclude="**/startupCache/" --exclude="**/OfflineCache/" /path/to/backup/thunderbird
This is for copying to a samba-mounted NAS. The options are "-avz" but minus -p, as permissions don't copy over correctly (so rsync is never happy). If copying to an ext3 partition you also won't need --modify-window (but it also won't do any harm).
The excludes speed things up, by not copying over files that can be regenerated, or are not needed. Especially global-messages-db.sqlite, which can get very big. Some information on what the files each do is here: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Files_and_folders_in_the_profile_-_Thunderbird
Your mail and settings are located in your home folder under ".thunderbird" hidden folder. Just copy that folder to your USB
sudo cp ~/.thunderbird dev/<usb_drive>/thunderbird