How To Backup Your Gmail Account With Your Ubuntu Running PC

Creating backups is an important part of preserving your important data because you may never know when you would need to access your data. There are many ways of creating backups of your email account using your windows PC but what happens if you are using a Linux OS specially Ubuntu.

In windows you can use the GMVault or thunderbird to easily backup your Gmail account. But for Ubuntu user they install Getmail from the Ubuntu software center to easily backup the Gmail account. So we have prepared this guide for you that will allow you to use Getmail to create backups of your Gmail account on your Ubuntu PC.

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How To Use Getmail To Backup Gmail Account In Ubuntu

1. Click on the bag icon in the unity bar to open the Ubuntu Software center

2. In the search type getmail and the result will be displayed as mail retriever so click on it to install.

3. When the authenticate dialog box pops up type in your password and click on authenticate to continue installation. After the installation is complete exit the Ubuntu software center.

4. Before you can start using getmail to back up your Gmail account you need to create a configuration directory, a directory to store the mails and mbox itself. So to create you need the terminal window which you can open by pressing Ctrl + ALT + T.

5. After you have opened the terminal window enter the following command to create a default configuration directory mkdir –m 0700 $HOME/.getmail and press enter

6. Now to create the directory for saving your Gmail emails enter the following command mkdir –m 0700 $HOME/gmail-archive

7. Now you need to create the mbox file that will contain all the downloaded messages. Type the following command touch ~/gmail-archive/gmail-backup.mbox

8. Take note that the $HOME and ~ refer to your home directory which is /home/<your name>.

9. Now you need to create a configuration file that will tell Getmail about your Gmail. To do that open a text editor such as gedit and enter the following texts into the file:

type = SimplePOP3SSLRetriever
server =
username =
password = yourpassword
type = Mboxrd
path = ~/gmail-archive/gmail-backup.mbox
verbose = 2
message_log = ~/.getmail/gmail.log

10. Click on file and select as save as to save the configuration file. Enter the file name as .getmail/getmailrc and click on save to save it in the default configuration directory that you have created.

11. Now to run your Getmail go back to your terminal window and type getmail.

12. You will notice a long line of strings which indicated that your mail is being downloaded from your Gmail account.

13. After the downloading is finished you will be returned to the prompt. You can exit the terminal window.

14. Your mbox will be filled with your mails. You can now import your mails to any other email clients except Microsoft outlook.

15. If you want to transfer your Gmail mails to your outlook account then you need to use the Mbox email extractor that will convert the mail into a separate .eml files which then can be transferred to your outlook account.


There you have an easy to follow guide that will help you to save your Gmail account in your Ubuntu running PC.

Do let us know if you know of any other way with which you can save your Gmail account in a Linux running PC.

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