Converting PST & OST files to MBOX format

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Converting PST & OST files to MBOX format

Detailed description
The challenge for many collecting institutions is that they acquire email archives in various formats, one of these is the proprietary MS Outlook PST & OST.

The challenge is the convert off-line .OST or .PST files into MBox format. Most of our attention focused on MBox, but we also did a quick evaluation of EML conversion tools.

Solution Champion
"donald mennerich

"Gregory N. Jansen

Corresponding Issue(s)
"Apprasing OST file for restricted data

Tool/code link

Tool Registry Link

LibPST - a linux library to convert PST files to mbox


There are  both open source linux tools and several commercial solutions. The right fit will depend upon the workflow. The linux solution is easily integrated into scripts. We recommend the commercial solutions, with caution, if a conversion to MBox (or EML) format is required and the user needs a friendly GUI or doesn't have access to linux.

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  1. Jun 04, 2013

    I want to suggest converting the PST and OST to EML files (RFC 2822)
    (if you are interested have a prototype available written in VBS to convert to EML)

    Reason: MBOX comes in many flavors. It is hard to parse in a straightforward way. It is also not ACID compliant and there are potential file locking problems when reading/writing simultaneously.

    1. Jun 04, 2013

      Thanks!  Will take this option under consideration.

    2. Jun 04, 2013

      Will your VBS prototype work with an OST file? We don't have a PST export. 

      1. Jun 05, 2013

        I haven't tried that, but you can probably convert it to a pst with scanpst.exe (Microsoft tool).

        This seems to be a useful link:

        Also found this (haven't tried that as well):

        I read you are looking for an Open Source solution, there is one, though it is from a commercial company: Aspose


        1. Jun 05, 2013

          Thanks for these links--will check them out.