Tails has replaced Claws Mail with Icedove as its email client in version 1.8.

If you have been using Claws Mail and activated its persistence feature, follow our instructions to migrate your data to Icedove.

Claws Mail was removed from Tails in version 2.0 (2016-01-26).

For trademark reasons, Icedove is the name of Mozilla Thunderbird in Tails and they are otherwise the same program.

We recommend you do the migration before launching Icedove for the first time. You should, in this order:

Install Claws Mail

  1. Start Tails and set up an administration password.

  2. Choose Applications ▸ Utilities ▸ Terminal to open a terminal.

  3. Execute the following commands to install Claws Mail:

    sudo apt update
    
    sudo apt install claws-mail
    

Copy your emails saved in the persistent storage

  1. Start Claws Mail.

  2. To know if you are using the IMAP or the POP protocol, choose Configuration ▸ Edit accounts… and refer to the Protocol column in the list of accounts.

    • If you use IMAP, your emails are stored on the remote email server and you can skip this section and start configuring your email account in Icedove.

    • If you use POP and have emails saved in the persistent storage, we propose in the following steps a script to copy your emails from Claws Mail to Icedove.

  3. Verify that the Icedove persistence feature is activated. Otherwise, you might loose data.

  4. The script only migrates the mailbox in /home/amnesia/.claws-mail/Mail which is the default in Tails.

    Verify that there is a single MH mailbox named Mail in the left pane of Claws Mail like in the following screenshot:

    If you have several MH mailboxes in Claws Mail, please move all your emails into the one corresponding to /home/amnesia/.claws-mail/Mail.

  5. In the terminal, execute the following command to download the migration script:

    wget https://tails.boum.org/misc/claws_to_icedove.sh
    
  6. Execute the following command to run the migration script:

    bash claws_to_icedove.sh
    

    If you had started Icedove already, the script might propose you to back up the existing Icedove email folders before doing the migration. If you have valuable data in these folders, you can access it again after the migration by doing the following:

    1. In Icedove, choose Menu ▸ Preferences ▸ Account Settings.
    2. Click Browse… in the Message Storage section of the Local Folders settings.
    3. Navigate to /home/amnesia/.icedove/profile.default/Mail.
    4. Open the Local Folders Backup folder that matches the date and time when you first ran the script.
  7. Continue with the next section to configure your email account in Icedove.

Configure your email accounts in Icedove

  1. Choose Applications ▸ Internet ▸ Icedove to start Icedove.

It is impossible to connect to email providers that require the OAuth authentication mechanism such as GMail or Mail.ru

  1. When starting Icedove for the first time, an assistant appears to guide you through the process of configuring Icedove to access your email account.

    To start this assistant again in the future from the main window of Icedove, choose Menu ▸ Preferences ▸ Account Settings and then from the Account Settings dialog choose Account Actions ▸ Add Mail Account….

  2. Enter your name, email address, and password into the corresponding fields.

  3. Click Continue.

  4. The assistant tries to configure automatically the correct parameters to connect to your email provider based on your email address.

    If the automatic configuration fails, consult your email provider about how to configure your email account manually.

  5. If the automatic configuration succeeds, you might have to specify which protocol to use to connect to your email provider, either IMAP or POP.

    • With IMAP, Icedove constantly synchronizes with the server and displays the emails and folders that are currently stored on the server. IMAP is better suited if you access your emails from different operating systems.

    • With POP, Icedove downloads the emails that are in the inbox on the server and possibly deletes them from the server. POP is better suited if you access your emails from Tails only and store them in the persistent storage.

    To know more, see also this comparison between POP and IMAP by Riseup.

    If you want to compare with the settings in Claws Mail, choose Configuration ▸ Edit Accounts… in Claws Mail, then select your email account and click Edit.

  6. If you want to configure another email account, choose Account Actions ▸ Add Mail Account….

    Otherwise, click OK.

  7. If you used the migration script provided in the previous section to copy your emails saved in the persistent storage, do the following to configure Icedove to access them:

    1. Choose Menu ▸ Preferences ▸ Account Settings.

    2. Click Browse… in the Message Storage section of the Local Folders settings.

    3. Navigate to /home/amnesia/.icedove/profile.default/Mail.

    4. Open the Local Folders folder.

For further documentation, refer to the official Thunderbird help.

Migrate your address book

To export an address book from Claws Mail do the following:

  1. Choose Tools ▸ Address Book.

  2. Select an address book, for example Common addresses, in the left pane.

  3. Choose Tools ▸ Export LDIF….

  4. Specify where to save the address book as an LDIF file, then click Forward. You can use the default setting.

  5. Enter claws as Suffix, then click Forward and Close.

To import an address book into Icedove do the following:

  1. Choose Tools ▸ Import….

  2. Select Text file (LDIF, .tab, .csv, .txt) and click Next.

  3. Specify the LDIF file that you exported from Claws Mail, by default /home/amnesia/claws-mail-out/addressbook.ldif.

You can repeat these steps for every address book in Claws Mail.

Delete all your Claws Mail data

Once you made sure that all your data (emails, email account settings, and address books) is imported into Icedove, you can delete all your Claws Mail data.

To do so:

  1. Choose Places ▸ Home in the top navigation bar to open the file browser.

  2. Choose View options ▸ Show Hidden Files.

  3. Open the .claws-mail folder.

  4. Choose View options ▸ Select All.

  5. Right-click on one of the selected files, choose Wipe, and confirm.

Deactivate the Claws Mail persistence feature

  1. Choose Applications ▸ Tails ▸ Configure persistent volume.

  2. Deactivate the Custom persistence feature that has /home/amnesia/.claws-mail as description.

  3. Click Save.