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?

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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