Converting All Your MS Outlook PST Files To Maildir Format - Page 2

Move mail from your PST files to your IMAP folders

Since you may have various PST files, you could create several folders (or directories) on your IMAP account, and move your e-mail into these folders. Here is how to easily create a folder and move your e-mail into it. First, make sure the "Inbox" folder on your IMAP connection is selected and right click to select the "New folder..." option:

scr07 - Select dialog to add folder to IMAP

Next you pick a name for your new folder:

scr08 - Name the new IMAP folder

And you are now ready to put some mail into the new folder:

scr09 - New IMAP folder created

Finally, you now need to move your e-mail to the new folder. Go to one of your PST folders, and select all the e-mail. Then right click on the selected e-mail and select "Move to folder...":

scr10 - Select all messages to move to new IMAP folder

Select your newly created IMAP folder from the list and click the "Ok" button:

scr11 - Select the destination IMAP folder

That's it - your done!

In your IMAP folders on the Linux server, you should now be able to list your e-mail files:

$ ls /opt/imap-mail/peanut/Maildir/.Old_Mail/cur/


Configuring your new mail Linux mail client (KMail) to access your IMAP folders

Finally you need to configure your new Linux e-mail client to access your IMAP folders. I use KMail here as an example, but you could really use any client that support IMAP.

When you start KMail for the first time, you will need to create an account:

scr12 - KMail setup: creating a new account

You need to select the IMAP account type:

scr13 - Select IMAP account

And you need to complete your details:

scr14 - Enter account information

And now you enter your log on credentials:

scr15 - Confirm login details

Now enter the IMAP server details:

scr16 - Confirm the server IMAP details

We now have all the required information to connect to our IMAP folders. When KMail start, you may not immediately see your IMAP folder. In the account set-up, ensure that the mail client retrieves the mail from the server at start-up:

scr17 - Ensure you get your mail

And finally, we have access to our converted folder(s):

scr18 - Viewing the IMAP folder in KMail

Final notes on e-mail clients and IMAP folders : In many cases you will need to "subscribe" to online folders. You will notice in the KMail example above I only subscribed to ONE of the folders I created. Similar concepts exists in most mail clients.

Conclusion and References

Hopefully this high level HOWTO could lay the foundation for a MS Exchange migration strategy for individuals and businesses wishing to move away from MS Outlook. There are commercial PST conversion tools available, but using IMAP has the added advantage that you can already integrate into your new mail environment. On the SMTP back-end, it's simply a question of replacing the Exchange SMTP component with a Linux based SMTP server, which would then start to populate your IMAP folders. In theory, your desktop users would then have a seamless migration from MS Exchange.

So many of you might be asking where to from here. Well, here are some pointers (all links open in a new window/tab):

I hope you can find these resources helpful in your IMAP implementation - especially if you are migrating from MS Exchange.

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