So I have my ubuntu linux system up, running and online. So now the next challenge. How do you go about pulling across from WinXP your most important files, which for me are my email and bookmarks?
Easy! If you’re like me and using mozilla Thunderbird and Firefox!
And when I say easy, it really couldn’t have been easier! I am talking of simply copying two folders. Yes, a simple copy and paste!
So I thought I’d write this up, firstly to remind myself if one day I have to rinse and repeat, but also on the off chance someone else stumbles across this whilst trying to do the same thing. It would be nice to know this helped someone somewhere, or there is any way of making this even easier! If so, please leave a comment and say hi! Oh, and check out my little disclaimer before blaming me for breaking something!
I started with a quick search on google, but it didn’t really come up with anything concrete. So I took the plunge and said, well, lets see if this works. My steps were basically what I thought as a logical extension to the backup method you will find in the google search above.
So just to explain the tricky bit in a little more detail(no, thats not a gotcha!), what to copy, and where to paste it.
- Open Firefox on your linux systym and make sure you’re online. This will ensure you have a profiles folder created. Don’t bookmark anything new, as we’ll be over-writing this.
- Copy the folder containing your profile folder in WinXP to the clipboard if you are able to see these files in linux (I was as my ubuntu installation mounted my windows partitions! Cool huh!). If you can’t access your windows files from your linux system (maybe you’re moving to another pc) copy them to a usb pendrive or some other media you can then access in linux. I mean the whole folder, including the following three files/folders:
- Profiles folder
Mine were located in C:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data\Mozilla
- Find the folder containing your profile in linux. Mine was here: home\.mozilla\firefox (you may need to check you have selected the option to view hidden files)
- As I had already been using firefox on my linux system, I had a profile created anyway. I created a new folder “temp” and moved all the existing files there just in case.
- Paste your files copied from WinXP into this folder (not the temp folder!).
- Now rename the pluginreg.dat file (I called it pluginreg1.dat) and move the original back out from the “temp” folder. Otherwise firefix won’t start up. I found this one out the hard way. I am guessing it is because the plugins are different on linux and windows.
- Start firefox!
Yes, thats it! You should now have all your extensions, bookmarks, history, passwords, everything. Just as it was in WinXP!
I actually did this one first, as I was dreading having to recreate all my accounts and export/inport all my email and contacts. I shouldn’t have worried!
- Open Thunderbird on your linux systym and make sure you’re online. This will ensure you have a profiles folder created. I don’t think you need to bother creating a new account or anything new, although I did whilst investigating.
- As for firefox, copy the folder containing your profile folder in WinXP to the clipboard or a usb pendrive. Again, I mean the whole folder, including the following three files/folders:
- Profiles folder
Mine were located in C:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data\Thunderbird
- Find the folder containing your profile in linux. Mine was here: home\.mozilla-thunderbird (you may need to check you have selected the option to view hidden files)
- As I had already been using thunderbird, I had a profile created anyway. I created a new folder “temp” and moved all the existing files there just in case.
- Paste your files copied from WinXP into this folder. (not the temp folder!)
- Start thunderbird!
I’m getting repetitive, but again, that should be it! All your email, accounts, contacts and extensions up and running on linux!
I managed this with no real idea whether it would work or not, and I certainly have no idea whether it is the “correct” way of going about it! I can say it worked for me, and I don’t consider it risky as long as you keep your original files in linux. Your WinXP configurations are obviously untouched.
What amazed me is how simple it was to move it all from windows to linux, and I guess any other supported OS.
Mozilla software really is cross-platform! Great stuff!