HOWTO: Sharing e-mail between Sabayon Linux and Windows on a dual boot PC

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If you want to share common e-mail folders and e-mail between Sabayon Linux and Windows XP on a dual boot PC, here is how I did it.

To share e-mail between Windows XP and Sabayon Linux, I use the Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client, which has versions for Windows and Linux. (I have Windows XP on a FAT32 partition; I have not tried this with Windows on a NTFS partition.) The procedure below works for Thunderbird

Installation and configuration

1. Download and install Thunderbird in Windows XP, and accept the Thunderbird wizard’s offer to import e-mails and address book from Outlook Express. (This does not delete any of the e-mails or address book contents in Outlook Express.)

In my case the Thunderbird e-mail folder was created at:

C:\Documents and Settings\Fitzcarraldo\Application Data\Profiles\o6wzbdjb.default\Mail\Local Folders

2. Boot Sabayon Linux and check if Thunderbird is already installed (K Menu > Applications > Internet Office). If not, install it from a Terminal window by typing:

sudo emerge mozilla-thunderbird

3. Launch Thunderbird, cancel the New Account Wizard that pops up, and close Thunderbird.

4. Copy the file prefs.js from the Windows XP partition to the Sabayon Linux partition and overwrite the file in the Linux directory. For example, I copied the following file:

C:\Documents and Settings\Fitzcarraldo\Application Data\Profiles\o6wzbdjb.default\prefs.js



(You can select View > Show Hidden Files in Konqueror and use the GUI to copy the file, or you can do it from a Terminal window.)

5. Open the file ~/.thunderbird/hqdk3hng.default/prefs.js using a text editor and search for all lines containing “C:\\Documents and Settings\\...” (I am using “...” here to shorten the long path) and replace them with the Sabayon Linux path. For example, in my case I changed the following line:

File: ~/.thunderbird/hqdk3hng.default/prefs.js
user_pref("", "C:\\Documents and Settings\\Fitzcarraldo\\Application Data\\Thunderbird\\Profiles\\o6wzbdjb.default\\Mail\\Local Folders");


File: ~/.thunderbird/hqdk3hng.default/prefs.js
user_pref("", "/media/ACER/Documents and Settings/Fitzcarraldo/Application Data/Thunderbird/Profiles/o6wzbdjb.default/Mail/Local Folders");

because the Windows C: drive is mounted to /media/ACER in my case. You can look in /media if you are not sure what your Windows XP C: drive is mounted to in Sabayon Linux.

6. Finally, delete any lines containing “[ProfD]”. These are relative paths which will be generated automatically.

7. Now launch Thunderbird in Sabayon Linux and verify that you can see your e-mail. Create a new message and then reboot Windows XP and verify that the draft is accessible from Windows XP. (Note that the Windows XP partition has to be mounted otherwise Thunderbird will not show any e-mails.)

Format of dates displayed in Thunderbird's Date column

Although I had configured Sabayon Linux 3.3 to use the GB locale (K Menu > Control Centre > Regional & Accessibility > Country/Region & Language), Thunderbird still displayed dates in the Date column in US format. When I opened a Terminal window and typed “echo $LANG”, the result was “en_US.UTF-8”. Therefore I edited the file /etc/env.d/02locale and changed all occurrences of “en_US.UTF-8” to “en_GB.UTF-8”. This did not fix the problem (it should have, because the environment variables are created by the /etc/profile script from files in /etc/env.d, so I don’t why this did not occur). Then I added the following lines at the end of the file /etc/profile:

File: (/etc/profile)
# The three environment variables below were added on 23.05.07 by Fitzcarraldo
# (I changed en_US to en_GB in /etc/env.d/02locale too, but it didn't work): 

This time Thunderbird did display the short date in the UK format (DD/MM/YY).

Configuration of Thunderbird to access Webmail accounts

You can also configure Thunderbird to access Webmail accounts such as Hotmail, Yahoo etc. Here's how to do it:

1. Go to the Web site and download the files Web-Mail-x.x.x and Hotmail-x.x.x (where "x.x.x" is the latest version number available) to your Desktop or wherever.

2. Launch Thunderbird and select Tools > Add-ons

3. Click on Install, browse to the location on your HDD where you saved the above-mentioned files, select the file and click Open to install. Repeat for each file you downloaded.

4. Set up e-mail accounts as follows:

Edit > Account Settings...

Add Account...

Tick Web Mail and click on Next

You need to have server settings of:

Server Type: POP 
Incoming Server: localhost 
UserName: [email protected] 

Server Name: localhost 
UserName: [email protected] 

Make sure that Outgoing Server (SMTP) on the Account Settings – <Web Mail – [email protected]> page is set to Webmail – localhost

Change the Port to 4096 on the Server Settings page. (Use secure connection: Never)

Go to Outgoing Server (SMTP) > Webmail – localhost > Edit and change the Port to 2048. (Use secure connection: No)

5. Click on Tools > Add-ons again and click on Preferences for Webmail 1.2.1. Set the POP port as 4096, the SMTP port as 2048 and the IMAP port as 5120. (I have just chosen random values greater than 1024 for these three ports, as they have to be greater than 1024 for Linux, but the ports must match the ports in the Account Settings.) Then start the servers. Click on the Logging tab and enable logging.

6. Click on Tools > Add-ons again and click on Preferences for Webmail – Hotmail 1.2.2b1. Make sure the Hotmail domain where you have your Hotmail e-mail account (, or whatever) is in the list, if not add it. Select the account then click the Mode, POP and SMTP tabs and select the options you want. Then click Close.

7. Use Konqueror to browse the hidden folder .thunderbird in your home folder. Inside the .thunderbird folder I have a folder hqdk3hng.default and, inside that, a folder WebmailData. Using the mouse, select WebmailData, delete it and create a new folder with the same name (right-click on the window and select Create New > Folder... ).

8. Exit and restart Thunderbird. Make sure the servers are running (see above for how to view them). If you have any problems, has FAQs, a forum, screendumps, instructions and so on.

NOTE: The e-mail address given in the examples above is fictitious, to avoid spam.

October 2009: Hotmail/MSN access via Thunderbird is now much easier because Microsoft now has POP and SMTP servers for users of these Webmail services. So you do not need to use the WebMail and Hotmail add-ons any more. You just need to configure each Windows Live account as follows:

Edit > Account Settings

Server Settings

Server Type: POP Mail Server

Server Name:

Port: 995

Use secure connection: SSL

Ougoing Server (SMTP)

Server Name:


Use secure connection: TLS

[This page created by Fitzcarraldo on 26.05.07]