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"usermod: user user is currently used by process" while using (trying to) thunderbird to back up my gmail account's data ...

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  • Last reply by Matt

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on debian live:

$ uname -a Linux debian 5.10.0-18-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 5.10.140-1 (2022-09-02) x86_64 GNU/Linux

I am running: $ thunderbird --version

Thunderbird 91.13.0

to download all the data in my gmail account via POP3, but Thunderbird seems to be making assumptions about where to put your data and I haven't found a way to tell it where to put it; so, since it uses the user's home directory, the only way I think you could easily put the data where you want is by changing it, but I can't:

$ usermod --move-home --home "${_NEW_HOME}" "${_WHMI}" usermod: user user is currently used by process 1141 $ sudo ps -aux | grep 1141 user 1141 0.0 0.1 15600 9144 ? Ss Nov05 0:00 /lib/systemd/systemd --user user 50636 0.0 0.0 6244 712 pts/0 S+ 06:42 0:00 grep 1141

Unless they both try to exclusively access /etc/passwd, I can't understand how /lib/systemd/systemd could possibly relate to usermod.

Why is it TB doesn't have --data-type (POP3 or IMAP, ...) and --data-dir options you could enter in the command prompt at start up?

I am hacking my way around to be done with it. I am sure you have a very solution to my kind of problem. Any suggestions?

on debian live: $ uname -a Linux debian 5.10.0-18-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 5.10.140-1 (2022-09-02) x86_64 GNU/Linux I am running: $ thunderbird --version Thunderbird 91.13.0 to download all the data in my gmail account via POP3, but Thunderbird seems to be making assumptions about where to put your data and I haven't found a way to tell it where to put it; so, since it uses the user's home directory, the only way I think you could easily put the data where you want is by changing it, but I can't: $ usermod --move-home --home "${_NEW_HOME}" "${_WHMI}" usermod: user user is currently used by process 1141 $ sudo ps -aux | grep 1141 user 1141 0.0 0.1 15600 9144 ? Ss Nov05 0:00 /lib/systemd/systemd --user user 50636 0.0 0.0 6244 712 pts/0 S+ 06:42 0:00 grep 1141 Unless they both try to exclusively access /etc/passwd, I can't understand how /lib/systemd/systemd could possibly relate to usermod. Why is it TB doesn't have --data-type (POP3 or IMAP, ...) and --data-dir options you could enter in the command prompt at start up? I am hacking my way around to be done with it. I am sure you have a very solution to my kind of problem. Any suggestions?

Modified by Matt

Chosen solution

Have you heard of the google takeout service where they provide mbox files of all your mail? Makes a very good backup option. I blogged about it back in 2014 https://thunderbirdtweaks.blogspot.com/2014/04/backup-up-gmail-with-thunderbird.html

As for setting the location for storage of mail for an account. This can be set in account settings at the bottom of the server settings page. But I am really against storage of mail outside the profile as it has a habit of causing issues long into the future when drives have changed for some reason.

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Chosen Solution

Have you heard of the google takeout service where they provide mbox files of all your mail? Makes a very good backup option. I blogged about it back in 2014 https://thunderbirdtweaks.blogspot.com/2014/04/backup-up-gmail-with-thunderbird.html

As for setting the location for storage of mail for an account. This can be set in account settings at the bottom of the server settings page. But I am really against storage of mail outside the profile as it has a habit of causing issues long into the future when drives have changed for some reason.

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I may or may not want to expose my email, my contacts' and my data in its entirety. When I need to go into exposed mode, online I would do it with a live DVD such as Debian Live and use apt-clone forth and back ... I definitely need to learn more about the mbox file format; how to:

  • select and extract some of the data from it
  • split and merge it
  • create and remove some of its data

There should be an option for you to decide which mbox file you may want to feed to TB as it boots up instead of editing its config file.

Modified by Matt

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What is there to learn... it is a text file format that stacks what is generally known as EML files one after the other, earliest first. Thunderbird uses what is called the RD variant, but it is rather basic stuff.

You appear to be thinking Thunderbird is a word processor, or perhaps a spreadsheet where you tell it what file to open. Not going to happen. Thunderbird is at it's core a mail management system, not a file manager. It manages to open mbox files that are stored in the pop/local folders directory in the profile when it starts. I will leave it to you to mess with that however as the vast majority of what you are talking about is outside the bounds of user support.