Sharing Mozilla Thunderbird Mail Between Windows and Linux

Saturday March 13th, 2004

David Tenser writes: "An increasing number of people are using more than one operating system. Linux is a great alternative to Windows, but many people feel they don't want to abandon Windows completely. This newly written tutorial will show you how you can share your local mail storage between the two operating systems on a dual boot computer."

#1 Wow - it works! Thanks for a great hint!

by glawrie

Saturday March 13th, 2004 5:02 PM

I am one of the 'increasing number of people' who dual boot, and already used Thunderbird as my mail client in both Windows and Linux. We use an IMAP mail server, so mail changes etc. live on the server and can be seen from any client / machine. But the whole thing is made soooo much better by being able to have a single datastore: hopefully this will result in only having to train one spam checker for example...

Anyhow - in case you are wondering, the instructions worked perfectly for me. Took only a few minutes too!

#2 Nice going

by Bart_S

Sunday March 14th, 2004 2:48 AM

I have a similar problem with my bookmarks. I am also using dual boot with Linux and Windows. Is there a way to store the bookmark path in a similar way so both Linux and Windows can update the same bookmarks.html ?

#3 Re: Nice going

by mkmelin

Sunday March 14th, 2004 4:51 AM

In linux user.js, add the row user_pref("browser.bookmarks.file", "/path/to/your/profile/xxxxxx.slt/bookmarks.html"); If user.js doesn't exist, just create a new file.

#4 Re: Re: Nice going

by Bart_S

Sunday March 14th, 2004 10:57 AM

Thanks it work. I have used Mozilla since 0.9.4 and still learning.

#5 Re: nice going

by cmc2goat

Monday March 22nd, 2004 3:50 PM

This is a great setup, but I'm having problems with the filters. Right now I am using 5 filters successfully but when I add more (say about 12) and reboot to linux (Slackware 9.1, using ReiserFS) a mail message will come in and not be able to find the folder it's supposed to go to, tbird will tell me the filter is disabled. I know this is not a problem with the filtering criteria, messages are very standard, there's some other reason.

The messages that are not being filtered are coming from listserv mailing lists, if that makes a difference. I create all of my filters on the windows side BTW.

Thanks for any advice, I'd love to be able to use this with more filters.

#6 Re: nice going

by smtp04

Tuesday April 20th, 2004 2:13 PM

A very useful article, surely sharing between multiple linux and windows machines improves the utility of thunderbird! But can someone tell me how to share message filter settings? I am using an Imap server, so sharing the folders is not a big issue, but copying the prefs.js didn't migrate my linux filters to windows/vice versa. grepping for the filter names within the profile folder didn't lead me anywhere :(

#7 Problems sharing Thunderbird 0.9 Windows/Linux

by carbonturtle

Thursday November 18th, 2004 5:16 PM

I was encouraged by David Tenser's article and these postings by pleased users who experienced success, but I haven't gotten it to work yet.

Does anything different have to be done in Thunderbird 0.9?

How about for Fedora Core 3? (I built my own RPM; couldn't find a "thunderbird-0.9-1.fc3.i386.rpm" anywhere-- maybe that's the problem? I'm assuming it's important to have the same version of Thunderbird in both OS's. Is that true? If not I could try the "official" Fedora Core 3 rpm for Tbird 0.8)

Symptoms: after copying the prefs.js file from Windows over to Linux and modifying the paths as prescribed, I open Thunderbird in Linux. I see the various accounts, but don't see any messages (I even saved an email in the Drafts folder on the Windows side, but didn't see anything from the Linux side).

I've been dreaming for months of a utopian existence where I don't have to reboot to check my email. Can anybody help me?

#8 Re: Problems sharing Thunderbird 0.9 Windows/Linu

by rohan

Sunday November 28th, 2004 7:49 PM

I think the problem is probably with the permissions for your windows drive when it's mounted in Linux (I had a similar problem with FC3). I changed the options for /dev/hda1 (my Windows drive) in /etc/fstab to user,rw,exec,umask=000 and that fixed the problem.

#9 Message filters on unix and windows

by grshank

Monday December 13th, 2004 9:18 AM

I created a thunderbird account on Windows and successfully managed to use the same account when logged in to Linux. The only thing that wasn't working was my message filters. Thunderbird couldn't find some of my message filter folders.

The problem was that the msgFilterRules.dat file referred to the folders all in uppercase (like STAR), when the actual Window files were in all lower case (star). I modified the msgFilterRules.dat file so that all uppercase folders were all lowercase, and now it works. Folders in all lowercase or mixed upper and lower case worked fine.


#10 Link has been trashed

by iamskoff

Sunday December 3rd, 2006 3:16 AM

I'd just like to point out that the link to the article in the first posting points here - Which is not much help. (Probably not too surprising if it's 2004)

#11 Archive Link

by NDB

Tuesday April 22nd, 2008 3:05 AM

You can fetch the old page at the wayback machine:

#12 Problems with IMAP

by braggio

Friday May 9th, 2008 12:24 AM

Dear all, I used the proposed solution for a long-time without apparently big problems. I was able to work both in the Linux and Windows machines. Sometimes something appear strange, expecially after an upgrading on one machine only, but I was always able to recover all. I recently move my email account to Gmail and I hope to use IMAP protocol using thunderbird. On windows machine work like a charm but with Linux machine no. Apparently if I modify the configurations of the Gmail account in reality nothing is modified for the configuration because when I reopen the configuration I see the old configurations. Any idea about why? I' using on both the machines the most recent version Had any of you the same problem?

Thank you very much for the help. Ale