Maildir in Thunderbird

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  • Revision id: 96951
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  • Creator: Matt
  • Comment: New article
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Thunderbird has had internally a MailDir like mail storage format for several years. This article is written to explain the format change and suggest not using it for general mail storage until it has had further manual testing.

This maildir like format moves from the existing monolithic single file per folder (MBOX) to a single file per email (EML). This storage format has significant benefits for those that do the following.

  • Backup their computer, either in a streaming format or overnight as the amounts of data needed to be backed up are reduced to just those emails that have changed since the last nackup.
  • Those that allow anti virus programs to scan their mail store. Infectewd mails can be removed from the store without the loss of all the other mail in the folder as occurs new in most cases.

This is a major change for Thunderbird as the fundamental of how mail is stored is being changed, the development team have spent a significant amount of time developing the cxhenge and the final technical need is the opion to enable the storage format. However due to a lack of time, and testers, before Thunderbird 38 was released the actual underlying changes have not had the extensive manual testing that would normally occur for such a major change.

While you are encouraged to try the format and report bugs. It is felt that this feature should be considered experimental and used only on data you dan afford to loose.