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How to Import Outlook PST to Thunderbird on Ubuntu Linux OS – Steps

Import Outlook PST to Thunderbird

In this article, we are explaining the steps to import Outlook PST to Thunderbird on Ubuntu Linux OS. Read along to know more.

Microsoft Outlook is extensively recognized as a desktop-based email client, and it belongs to the acclaimed brand Microsoft. It is made accessible as a part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Some people acquainted with Microsoft Outlook have the misconception that it is only used from sending and receiving emails. However, Outlook is even used widely for managing contacts, tasks, calendars, events, etc.

Discussing the Mozilla Thunderbird, it is essentially a free and open-source email client developed by Mozilla Foundation. It is known that the Thunderbird is a default email client in the Ubuntu OS. Everyone is not familiar with the key features of Mozilla Thunderbird. They are an Archive feature, tabbed email, smart folders, and lightning-fast search.

Occasionally, the requirement arises to accomplish email transfer process from Microsoft Outlook to Thunderbird. It is a simple process without any hassles once you thoroughly know how to perform it. During the process of transfer from Outlook to Thunderbird, the issue is happening is Outlook stores its mailbox in PST format.

It is important to note that Thunderbird is devoid of option to import PST file. Essentially, there is no formal technique to import Outlook emails into Thunderbird account. Either you need to follow the manual method with several steps, or you can use a third-party software, i.e. Advik PST Converter toolkit.

It came to know that the mentioned software boasts the simple user interface. Furthermore, it enables the user to import PST to Thunderbird application effortlessly.

Method-1: Manual approach to import Outlook PST to Thunderbird on Ubuntu:

  • Step-1: Installation of required Packages and add-ons:

In Thunderbird, first of all, open the Tools menu and from there open Add-ons tab. Now you have to search for the ImportExportTools add-on and proceed for its installation. It is significant to note that its usage and mail format needs to be exact; otherwise, it will be unable to run the import.

  • Step-2: Installation of the readpst package and extract email out of the .pst files:

In this step, you need to install the readpst package. Basically, the readpst package is in the default repositories, and the same facilitates the conversion of PST files into some other formats.  To accomplish this installation, execute the following command:

sudo apt-get install readpst

Now you need to create the directory in which you wish the extract email files to be placed. After that, you have to execute the readpst command against a .pst file.

  • Step 3: Rename exported files:

The readpst command, when executed, would export all your emails within a folder hierarchy which perfectly matches the preceding folder hierarchy present in Outlook. In this, the only issue is that each email is exported in the form of a numeric filename. Also, the text documents are .eml files, but they lack the .eml extension. Henceforth, you have to rename every email file to add the .eml extension recursively. The same can be accomplished by the creation of python, bash, Perl, or other scripts. Instead of trapping into such complex processes, this step involves a straightforward process. Below is a single command line to be executed:

find . -type f ! -iname '*.eml' -exec rename 's/([0-9]+)$/$1.eml/' {} ;

Through this command, you will find all items that are ‘files,‘ and they do not already possess a .eml extension. Once these items are found, the file will be renamed by adding the .eml extension. The speed may vary based on several emails to rename.

  • Step 4: Import .eml files into Thunderbird:

After completing the above step, it is now essential to import all such email files inside Thunderbird to make them useful. Experts recommend that it is always best to install the ImportExportTools plugin for Thunderbird. Also, it is best to use it to bring everything in. After the plugin gets installed, it’s now time to use the tool. Follow the below steps:

  • First of all, inside Thunderbird, make a temporary local folder which will be used to include this mass of emails. These emails can be later used to get them where you intend for their final location inside Thunderbird.
  • Now right-click the folder which you need to import in Thunderbird and then navigate the following menu path:
import/export –> import all messages from a directory –> just from the directory
  • After that, you have to select the folder in which you have already exported all the .pst emails tools.
  • In this step, click open and wait while all your emails are returned into your new Thunderbird installation. You may need to wait long because the process may take longer to complete.

Method-2: Import Outlook PST to Thunderbird Account using software:

  • Step 1: As a first step, export PST file from Outlook application.
  • Step 2: Now you need to launch the Advik PST Converter Software and then add PST file inside the tool. (You can download the software from the link: )
  • Step 3: In this step, you have to choose the anticipated mailbox folders which you wish to export. Once done, hit the next button.
  • Step 4: You need to select Thunderbird from Multiple saving lists.
  • Step 5: Tap on the Convert button and carefully inspect the process. This tool will automatically detect the default location of the Thunderbird emails.

Reasons to choose Advik Software:

Out of the several reasons to select advik pst Converter, some of the important ones are highlighted below:

  • This tool facilitates direct conversion in order to import PST file into your Thunderbird account directly. There is no need for installation of either any third-party plugins or software within your Thunderbird account.
  • There will be no change in the folder structure, and it will be maintained as it is. It is generally observed that the folder tree, as well as subfolder tree of emails, remains precisely the same as present in Outlook Application throughout the process of migration.
  • The process of conversion is precise without any errors. Moreover, the layout of the tool stays intact all through the process of transformation.
  • There is no need of Internet connection during transfer, and you can work offline. Even in the absence of an Internet connection, there will be zero flaws.
  • Through the transfer process, this tool will retain all your attachment files within their corresponding emails. Furthermore, you can easily access your attachments once the transfer gets completed.
  • It comes with the support for multiple formats. In addition to conversion of Outlook PST to Thunderbird on Ubuntu, you can use it to convert Outlook PST file to different formats like MBOX, EML, EMLX, MSG, TXT, CSV, PDF, etc.
  • There is the provision of free demo download so that you can download it for free to check its efficiency.


On Ubuntu OS, the users may need to import Outlook PST to Thunderbird. The discussed manual approach is efficient and guarantees fruitful conversion without any issues. On the other hand, transfer through the software, as discussed above, also yield useful results.

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