Export Thunderbird Contacts To Evolution In Linux

Today, Craig writes:

“…I was just wondering if you knew any tips on how to port Thunderbird contacts into Evolution. I’ve searched the Ubuntu forums and the only tip I’ve found leads to a tool that doesn’t seem to work. Any ideas? Thanks.”

As a matter of fact, I do. Well, at least with Thunderbird for Linux, that is. It should be the same, regardless. OK, check this out. First jump into the address book settings in Thunderbird. In my case, they would be in the address book known as “collected addresses.” Highlight this address book, then click tools, then export. The file type may appear to not exist, but it invisibly spits out the results out as a ldif file once the export completes.

From here, you ought to have the file visible for transport. Once on the Linux box, open Evolution and click over to contacts. Create a new address book by clicking the downward arrow next to the “New” button in the upper left. Choose new address book and then name it. Now choose File, Import, Forward, Import a single file then browse to the ldif file and then Forward, select which address book you want to add it to, then Forward and then finally Import.

Those struggling with doing this same sort of thing with Outlook to Evolution, I would recommend using Outport.

Do you have an IT-related question? Perhaps you are just burnt out on writing on the walls with crayons? Whatever the comments may be, drop me a line, and you too can “Just Ask Matt!”


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  • Dr Bob Anderson

    Many thanks for that well explained tip Matt. I was real stuck with trying to get all my e-mails from Thunderbird to Evolution. Cheers

  • Greg

    I do not know much about computers and have recently become a Thunderbird user. We just acquired a second computer that will be used as our main unit. I want to set up Thunderbird on the new computer and need to find out how to transfer all of the existing email information to the Thunderbird on the new system. I have tried opening up the address book and copying it but the computer won’t let me. Do you have an EASY way of doing this so that I don’t end up deleting any of my wife’s saved emails or addresses????


  • Marty Felker

    Thank you very much Matt. While Thunderbird is an excellent email client under Linux I was looking for a way to import the Tbird Address Book (which I imported from Plaxo) into Evolution.

    Works like a charm – even using Debian!!

    Marty Felker

  • anonym

    thanx a lot for this tutorial ! it’s really doing it when reading what you wrote :-)