How do I backup Thunderbird mail and profile under Linux?

Q. How do I backup Thunderbird mail and profile? I am using Ubuntu Linux.

A. Thunderbird is simple to use and powerful email client with following features:
=> Safe, fast, and easy email

=> Intelligent spam filters

=> Quick message search

=> Customizable views etc

Mozilla thunderbird stores your email and profile setting in a special directory called ~/.mozilla-thunderbird i.e. /home/you/.mozilla-thunderbird/

All you have to do is backup this directory.

Task: Backup Thunderbird mail and profile

You need to backup thunderbird mail and profile to tape drive, use:
# tar zcvf /dev/st0 /home/you/.mozilla-thunderbird/

You need to backup thunderbird mail and profile to a /backup directory:
# tar zcvf /backup/email-vivek-22jan2007.tar.gz /home/vivek/.mozilla-thunderbird/

You can copy /backup/email-vivek-22jan2007.tar.gz file to a CD/DVD or USB pen.

Task: Restore Thunderbird mail and profile

Make sure Thunderbird is not running. Simply copy backup files from tape, USB pen or CD to your /home/you/.mozilla-thunderbird/ directory:
$ tar –zxvf /backup/email-vivek-22jan2007.tar.gz -C /home/vivek

Or just copy all files from USB pen/CD to ~/.mozilla-thunderbird/ directory.

A note for Windows XP/2003/Vista User

MozBackup is a simple utility for creating backups of Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, Mozilla Suite and Netscape profiles.

This program is freeware and works on Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003 only. No Linux/UNIX version exists.


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