Email Archiving, Outlook and Thunderbird
This page describes the procedure for handling saved emails from Outlook and Thunderbird.
Outlook stores saved emails in *.msg format, which is a binary proprietary format. Thunderbird saves emails in *.eml format, which is a non-proprietary multi-part MIME format.
The nature of *.msg files make them impossible to share with Thunderbird or other email clients. Thunderbird has its own problems - while it can save emails, it can not open the saved files! (Update: TB has been fixed, and it can now open its own files!)
To get around these problems in a mixed Outlook/Thunderbird environment, I use two steps:
- Convert the Outlook *.msg files into *.eml, using Matijs van Zuijlen's excellent msgconvert.pl Perl
script, available at http://www.xs4all.nl/~mvz/software/msgconv.html. This
script works on one file at a time, so I've written a batch file to scan a directory and convert all *.msg files
into *.eml files, if the *.eml file does not already exist. The batch file
source code (v1.0) is available here. You'll need to change the variables in the configuration section. I run
the script as a cron job on a nightly basis.
- Use a perl CGI script to present the saved *.eml files through a web browser. Fortunately, this is easy using
the Perl MIME::Explode module. (If this module is not installed on your system, install it from the command line
perl -MCPAN -e 'install MIME::Explode'I've written a perl script that uses the module to display saved email files through a web browser, with the attachments shown as hyperlinks. The CGI script source code (v1.0) is available here. You'll need to change the variables in the configuration section.