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I'm working with an ancient PowerPC Mac running Tiger. I managed to migrate the POP email from Apple Mail 2 to Thunderbird 3, but I now need to migrate it to a newer machine with Thunderbird 13. How would I go about doing this?

Does Thunderbird 13 store email in the same format as Thunderbird 3? Can I just copy over files? What should I do?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

It seems that installing Thunderbird 3 on a newer Mac--non PowerPC--is the correct way to go about it.

I'll refer to the older Mac as "machine 1," and the newer Mac as "machine 2."

  1. Find an archived installer for Thunderbird 3.
  2. Install Thunderbird 3 on machine 2, and launch it. Do not answer any questions, and quit Thunderbird: this will generate the appropriate folder structure in ~/Library.
  3. On machine 1 locate the applicable profile in ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/, and copy it over to machine 2.
    • I archived it with tar -cf ~/Desktop ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/profile so it transferred faster, and saved a copy to our fileserver.
  4. On machine 2, place the profile in ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles, keeping in mind that in Mac OS X Lion ~/Library is hidden in Finder.
    • Extract the profile with tar -xzf ~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles/profile.tar.gz.
  5. Copy the name of the generated profile to the clipboard, and delete it. Then rename the profile you copied from machine 1 to the name of the generated profile.
  6. Launch Thunderbird, and you should be good to go!
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But is that necessary? This would be a good chance to upgrade to the latest Thunderbird. – Thilo Jun 28 '12 at 12:02
Was what necessary? I can't upgrade to the latest Thunderbird on PPC, Mozilla doesn't support it. I needed to get it off that computer and onto a newer one. – skeggse Jun 28 '12 at 16:09
"installing Thunderbird 3 on a newer Mac--non PowerPC": On the new computer, you should be aiming to use Thunderbird 13. It should not be necessary to continue to use the old version on the new machine. – Thilo Jun 28 '12 at 23:06

TenFourBird is an option for upgrading Thunderbird on PowerPC Macs. TenFourBird is a community port of Thunderbird which requires 10.4 or later and is based on the efforts of TenFourFox. The current stable version of TenFourBird is equivalent to Thunderbird 17. TenFourBird targets only ESR versions of Thunderbird, so version 24 is currently in beta.

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