Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes Monday through Friday.

HPR3848: Editing Thunderbird email filters using vim.

Hosted by Some Guy On The Internet on 2023-05-03 00:00:00
Download or Listen


  • Backups of ALL your data (especially your Thunderbird directory).
  • Confirm your backups are working as expected.
  • Vim text editor installed with at least a basic/novice level knowledge of vim.
  • Thunderbird email client installed with at least a basic/novice level knowledge of the Thunderbird email client.
  • Web browser (preferably Firefox).

Thunderbird Directories.

I’m on a GNU/Linux system (Pop_OS!) and I have Thunderbird installed via the apt system package manager (.deb).

  • System package manager install.
    • $HOME/.thunderbird/
  • Snap package manager install.
    • $HOME/snap/.thunderbird/
  • Flatpak package manager install.
    • $HOME/.var/.thunderbird/
  • Windows 10 install.
    • C:\Users\your-account\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\
  • Your Thunderbird email filters are located in this subdirectory (msgFilterRules.dat).
    • $HOME/.thunderbird/*.default-release/ImapMail/imap.email-accounts.com/msgFilterRules.dat

Vim Directories.

I’ve created subdirectories within $HOME/.config/ as a place to store my vim sessions. You may not have these directories on your system, but you can create them using the mkdir command.

  • $HOME/.config/vim/sessions/session-files-here.vim

Vim session file.

I’ve created session files for purposes of editing my Thunderbird email filters. This session only stores the shortcuts needed to make flawless edits to my email filters. I will share them with you.

nnoremap <leader>1 2dw$x0:s/ OR /\rOR /g<CR>
nnoremap <leader>2 Icondition="<Esc>A"<Esc>0:s/ "$/"/<CR>
nnoremap <leader>n1 gg0VG:s/$/ /<CR>gg0VG:s/  *$/ /<CR>gg0
nnoremap <leader>s1 gg02f,<C-v>G$ugg02f,<C-v>G$:sort u<CR>gg0

Web sources.

Creative work License.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


More Information...

Copyright Information

Unless otherwise stated, our shows are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) license.

The HPR Website Design is released to the Public Domain.