Tag: Lightning

Migrating Thunderbird

I use Thunderbird with the Lightning add-on as my email client. I used to do this combination in Windows 7 too. I wanted to move my emails, contacts, add-ons and calendar entries from my Thunderbird instance in Windows 7 to my new one in Ubuntu. That meant I had to copy my Thunderbird profile to an external USB drive from Windows 7 before it was formatted as part of the Ubuntu install process.

The Thunderbird profile in Windows 7 is located at:

C:\Users\<your user name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird

Note that the AppData folder is a hidden folder. In order to see hidden folders in Windows 7 I had to open Windows Explorer and do the following:

Organize > Folder and Search Options > Folder Options > View (tab) > Show hidden files and folders

In the Thunderbird folder there is a Profiles folder. Within that folder there was a folder with a name composed of random characters and ‘.default’, like d7kvmmtv.default. I browsed into that folder and copied everything in it to an external drive.

When Ubuntu was installed I used the Ubuntu Software Center and installed Thunderbird. I started Thunderbird and then hit cancel on the dialog that asked me for my name and email address. I then closed thunderbird down.

Mail Account Setup Dialog
I Selected Cancel at this point

In my home folder, I did:

cd .thunderbird

In the directory listing I saw a folder called


This was my new profile folder. I copied everything from my Windows 7 profile backup into that folder and re-started Thunderbird. Thunderbird found all of my folders and email archives, and then checked to see whether my add-ons were compatible.

It advised me that the Lightning add-on wasn’t compatible, and would I like it to check if there was a compatible version? I chose Yes, away it went and moments later Thunderbird advised me there was indeed a version of Lightning for my Ubuntu version of Thunderbird, and it offered to download and install it. Again I elected for this to happen, and Thunderbird duly obliged. It located the add-on, downloaded it and installed it, and then re-started.

All of my emails, calendar entries and address book contacts were exactly as I used to have them in Thunderbird in Windows 7.

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