Importing emails from Outlook to Evolution (Ubuntu 8.10)

About a week ago I accidently managed to zap my windows XP partition but I was not too worried because I did not really have any reason to need windows XP anymore.

The only trouble was that I had carefully backed up my Outlook 2003 data file (outlook.pst) but I did not have a copy of Outlook to read the file!     I could have probably installed Outlook under WINE, but I did not really want to have to do this.

A bit of searching led me to this thread where “Cheesehead” suggested the package readpst.

The command to install the package is:

sudo apt-get install readpst

and once installed to run the command:

readpst -r Desktop/outlook.pst

(as my data file is called “outlook.pst” and is located in the folder called “Desktop”)

There were a few error messages in the console output, but the end result was that my messages were sucessfully extracted to my home folder.   The actual data files were called “mbox” and it is these “mbox” files that Evolution can then import.

File > Import > Import a single file

There are quite a few “mbox” files that will have been created but the trick is to look at the ones with a large file size.   I had several hundred email messages in Outlook to the mbox files were about 50MB or so.    Evolution recognised the mbox file as “berkeley mailbox (mbox) format” and then I was asked to select a folder within evolution where the messages were to be imported.   I created a new folder as I did not want these imported emails mixed up with my current mail!

The odd thing was that my original inbox and outbox all seemed to be mixed up together, but it was simple enough to sort them by sender and separate them into separate folders again.


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