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I have a few mail archives in the Outlook .pst, Outlook Express .dbx, and Thunderbird mbox formats. I would like to consolidate them into a POP3/IMAP server like Dovecot.

The goal is to consolidate them in a server and view them via IMAP from a mobile app.

  • How to import these archive mails into Dovecot?
  • If import is not available, any other method to get these archive mails and attachment into Dovecot?
  • Is there a step-by-step tutorial on how to achieve this?
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As Dovecot supports the mbox format, you can use doveadm import to copy mails from this mailstore. The example from the linked manual page is rather comprehensive:

doveadm import -u jane.doe@example.org \
mdbox:/backup/20101026/jane.doe/mdbox backup-20101026 all

Dovecot does not support the mailstores of Outlook and Outlook Express. Before considering complicated and error-prone conversion methods to mbox or maildir archives, I'd recommend importing them in a running version of the respective software, and simply copying the mails back to the server via IMAP. This might even be the easier solution for the Thunderbird archives.

  • Are you suggesting to setup DoveCot server, get imap working, then just copy mails from these archived mailbox into it? – Sean Lee Jun 25 '17 at 6:04
  • Yes, this is very likely the easiest way, as long as you're talking about dozens (or more) mailboxes and want to automate the process. – Jens Erat Jun 25 '17 at 6:32
  • FYI, still working on it. Will come back with details if it work. – Sean Lee Jul 6 '17 at 22:09

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