I need to view a .msg file. It is an email from Microsoft Outlook. How can I do this in Ubuntu?


8 Answers 8


Building on Martin Owens answer, this is the quick solution:

wget http://www.matijs.net/software/msgconv/msgconvert.pl
sudo apt-get install libemail-outlook-message-perl libemail-localdelivery-perl libemail-sender-perl
perl msgconvert.pl YourMessage.msg
  • 4
    For Ubuntu 14.04 I also needed this package: libemail-sender-perl
    – bmaupin
    Nov 13, 2014 at 14:08

Looks like the best thing to do is to convert them to an eml file using this script:


It's not pretty, it's not gui based, but it'll work.

  • 1
    After installing the script as indicated (cpan -i Email::Outlook::Message) found a quick way to call it: creating a "Nautilus Script" with: #!/bin/bash for arg do msgconvert "$arg" done
    – Stefano
    Sep 30, 2014 at 7:28
  • 3
    I can install this on my computer with sudo apt install libemail-outlook-message-perl and then just msgconvert xyz.msg and I get a xyz.eml file
    – Jayen
    Feb 20, 2019 at 10:56
  • Today the latest version is v0.920 and it still turns HTML messages into plain text messages
    – basin
    Jun 28, 2021 at 20:02

I am on Ubuntu 15.10 and matijs'es msgconvert script seems to be available in the repos now. after running:

sudo apt-get install libemail-outlook-message-perl libemail-localdelivery-perl libemail-sender-perl

I can now now run

msgconvert *.msg

to convert the messages entirely with tools from the repos.


Open it with MsgViewer http://sourceforge.net/projects/msgviewer/

wget -O MSGViewer.zip http://sourceforge.net/projects/msgviewer/files/latest/download
unzip MSGViewer.zip
cd MSGViewer-1.9
java -jar MSGViewer.jar

now, just drag'n'drop the msg file to the program window to have its contents displayed.

  • MSGViewer is a nice program, but I found that the viewer wouldn't open an attached .PDF file within the .MSG file. It appeared to change the filename to something that it couldn't find.
    – Mr Ed
    Apr 25, 2016 at 7:21
  • 1
    This works nicely. However I have some problems with the encoding of non ASCI mails (in my case Greek). Do you happen to know if there is any setting for this.
    – Bruni
    Jun 22, 2016 at 16:22
  • This works with Java 8. Java 11, that I tried with first, removed the java activation framework this uses and so no longer works without some extra effort to use the replacement github.com/eclipse-ee4j/jaf
    – jwd630
    Oct 16, 2018 at 1:49
  • Opening attached files (e.g. PDF files) worked fine for me after changing the OpenCommand from kde-open to xdg-open (MSGViewer setting).
    – nspo
    Sep 20, 2019 at 14:43

I found after install msgconvert that msgconvert wasn't installed when I ran the command. Rather than faff about trying to debug it, I did this. Done in less than a minute. http://www.zamzar.com/convert/msg-to-pdf/

  • 3
    it doesnt handle attachments, so it's pretty fail imo Oct 3, 2015 at 7:58
  • I converted from .MSG to .EML, and the attachments come through correctly. The .EML files was openable with Thunderbird.
    – Mr Ed
    Apr 25, 2016 at 7:22

You can use ruby-msg ruby gem for that purposes. So:

  1. Install ruby and rubygems:

    # apt-get install rubygems gem
  2. Install the gem:

    # gem install ruby-msg
  3. Then use the "mapitool" utility:

    $ mapitool -i test.msg

    In some cases you can sporadically get the exception:

    /usr/local/share/gems/gems/ruby-msg-1.5.2/lib/mapi/mime.rb:109:in `join': incompatible character encodings: UTF-8 and ASCII-8BIT (Encoding::CompatibilityError)

    So just fix the following file lib/mapi/mime.rb with the following regexp:

    sed 's/part.to_s(opts)/part.to_s(opts).encode("UTF-8", :invalid=>:replace, :undef => :replace, :replace => "")/' -i /usr/local/share/gems/gems/ruby-msg-1.5.2/lib/mapi/mime.rb

With SeaMonkey program, Link please see below: http://www.seamonkey-project.org/

  • 1
    Where do you see that seamonkey is able to view those files? Add a detailed description please.
    – guntbert
    Mar 19, 2015 at 14:10
  • Please install this program, after that from "File" menu choose "open file..." and choose your .msg file.
    – Davidgh
    Mar 19, 2015 at 14:16

You can try using an online viewer such as:


It displays the .msg message, provides download links for the attachments, shows the headers, and converts the file to .eml.

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