[Dovecot] Importing Microsoft PST into Dovecot Imap

Maarten Bezemer mcbdovecot at robuust.nl
Sat Oct 4 00:49:51 EEST 2008


On Fri, 3 Oct 2008, Ilo Lorusso wrote:

> I think the question has been asked before ... but I need to be adviced on
> what would be the best way to import microsoft PST's into Dovecot.. ?

Since you have some money to spend, I'd recommend aid4mail. You can play 
around with the free trial version first (max 50 msg per mailbox, and 
annoying message counters in converted emails), and see if it suits your 
I never tried converting FROM pst files, but it worked like a charm when
converting TO pst files (from Pegasus Mail which had been used as pop3 
client for many many years). It uses the MAPI interface from Outlook 
or maybe even from OE, so you do need to have that installed on the 
windows computer doing the conversions. (See the FAQ about that to be 

I've used it to convert some tens of users, and in total about 25.000 
messages. It even did the folder and subfolder stuff correctly.

When converting from PST's to Dovecot, you probably want to convert to 
Maildir immediately (to keep the folder structures intact - mbox doesn't 
allow both folders and messages in a folder!). If that conversion has some 
problems, try converting to mbox first and then use mb2md orso to convert 
to maildir.

Of course, you could also add an IMAP account to the existing Outlook 
install and drag&drop the stuff from the PST to the IMAP account, but that 
really is a PITA. Especially if you've got a fair number of users to 
migrate. With Aid4mail this still requires you to work your way through 
each individual user's PST, but you don't need to do anything special. 
Just select source and destination types, and wait for it to complete. 
It may even be scriptable, but I never looked into that. (It was just too 
easy to just point and click a few times instead of figuring out how to 
script it)


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