I just upgraded from Ubuntu 21.04 to Ubuntu 21.10.

Baring a few glitches here and there, it's now running ok.

However, I just discovered that Thunderbird 91.x.x removed movemail support! That means that I've lost support for my /var/mail/* mboxes!

Other than installing another mail program, like possibly Evolution, is there any way to get to my mboxes again?

2 Answers 2


source: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1625741

excerpt from comment 35...

Anyway, for whoever wants to know a slightly kludgy but likely "good enough" workaround, do this:

  • context-click on the "Local Folders" and find the "Local Directory" address
  • close thunderbird (maybe be paranoid and pgrep to ensure you don't have any persistent subprocess still running)
  • then create a symlink ln -s /var/mail/[SPOOL_FILE_NAME] /path/to/the/Local-Directory/address/you/found/above/Inbox (obviously ensure there isn't already an Inbox subfolder there, or otherwise create a differently named subfolder-symlink)

When I opened thunderbird it indexed it OK and after exiting and reopening thunderbird several times the symlink has stayed in place without problem.


Here's another way of doing it with just one additional apt install (less hacky, but requires an imap-server - which is easy to setup, nothing to configure just install):

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