using undbx program to convert dbx files for Thunderbird


New Member
I am trying to transfer some old .dbx files into my Thunderbird program. I am aware they need conversion and am trying to do it with “undbx” which is available in the software centre.

I have installed it but there is no icon or GUI but it is recognised in terminal

But I don’t under stand how to run it. If you download the tar.gz files there is a “read me “ which gives instructions for a gui but they are obviously designed for Windows as they refer to “command lines”. However the main operating command is also referred to here



But I’m not sure exactly what I should type in termiinal
I don’t think I need options so that can be ignored, so am left with this:
What do the square brackets and smaller than greater than signs signify? I have tried using them in various combinations with the file paths typed inside to no avail.


Well-Known Member
The things contained in <> and [] are placeholders for paths to different things.

So when running undbx, it requires some parameters like this:
undbx /path/to/dbx-dir /path/to/output-dir
Where /path/to/dbx-dir is a valid system path to a directory containing .dbx files. And /path/to/output-dir is the path to the directory you want the undbx’ed file to be output to.

undbx /path/to/file.dbx /path/to/output-dir
Where /path/to/file.dbx is a valid system path to a specific .dbx file.

And the options part is a placeholder for any additional options you might want to use.
From the man page, I see it only has three options: —help, which displays some help information. —version, which displays the version of undbx. And —recover, which attempts to extract emails from a corrupted .dbx file.

So if you have a corrupt .dbx file and you want to recover as many emails as possible from it, you would do this:
undbx —recover /path/to/corrupt.dbx /path/to/output-dir
And if you leave out the /path/to/output-dir in any of the examples I’ve posted - the emails will be extracted in a subdirectory of the current working directory.


New Member
I'm grateful for your reply but

I still don't know the meaning of []<> and when to use them, all I can find on the net is guidance on simple commands, ls, cd, and suchlike

And I still don't know what to write to get undbx to work. Here's the path to my desktop :
The file there is called inbox.dbx
How do I write the path? Like this:

/home/ben/Desktop/inbox.dbx ?

If I do this is all I get:

[email protected]:~$ undbx /home/ben/Desktop/inbox.dbx
UnDBX v0.21 (Nov 14 2020)
can't open DBX file inbox.dbx
Extracted 0 out of 1 DBX files
[email protected]:~$

It's not corrupt because I can open it, i.e.convert to a .eml, with undbx in Windows, then transfer it to Linux and read it in Thunderbird. As you can guess, my problem is learning to use Terminal

Btw what is the significance of Bash ?
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