Migrating Google Groups Archives Between Accounts

Recently I had to move a lot of data between an old GSuite Business account and a new GSuite Business account. Google support for such a migration is… well… can stand to be improved. The main pain points are email(1), Drive(2), Team Drives(3), Calendar(4), and for everything else – there is no migration. Google+ posts, password storage, Sites, Forms have to be recreated manually, and my pet peeve: Google Groups Archives.

If you’re not familiar with this awesome GSuite feature, which is based on the Google Groups usenet-like service, Google Groups for Business is a mailing list manager that in addition to distributing emails to recipients, also stores each email in an accessible archive – so new users can have access to old communications (this is great for accounting and support) and on top of that you can get forum like features with posting replies to topics and such. Unfortunately Google Groups has no export feature and because the archive is all about past communications, you can’t actually reproduce that data manually when you move to a new GSuite account.

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  1. The built-in data migration tool in the admin console – which is the only data migration tool available – only moves emails, and is not 100% reliable with that, and doesn’t move rules or other settings []
  2. There are external tools available, I’m using Multcloud, but sharing is a problem – the best you can get is to get a copy of each shared file and Google Docs without any sharing information attached, so that breaks the sharing. Other tools may convert all your Google Docs to Microsoft formats []
  3. Which surprisingly works very well – you just share the team drive to a user on the new domain and they can move all the files to a new team drive they create on the new account. Sharing information is lost and you have to reshare, but documents retain comments by the old users and there is no duplications []
  4. You can manually export all calendars to ical format and then manually import them one by one. Also not 100% []

Evolution problem with MS-Outlook invitations

Another post just to get some information out there on Google – there is a known bug in Evolution regarding receiving meeting invitations from MS-Outlook 2003 clients, and several Google searches didn’t come up with the solution, so here is the problem and the workaround:

A default Evolution installation has problems with meeting invitations from MS-Outlook 2003 – when such an invitation is received, it is shown as a plain text message like this:

Evolution shows metting invitation as plain text

And you can’t take any action on the email. (more…)

MS-Outlook thinks it is pretty funny

But it is not – I’ve always been getting emails from people that use Outlook with weird characters strewn here and there for good measure, specifically a lot of people that send me email think its funny to add “J” (capital letter j) at the end of some sentences, for example:

Oulook fails to send smilies

And I never could figure out why, (more…)

Copying mail to MS-Exchange server using IMAP

I’m not really proud of the fact, but my work place has decided to migrate the mail server (after several tests of open source platforms) to Microsoft Exchange. For that we need to copy the current mail boxes of users from the server being phased out to the new MS-Exchange mail server.

In previous migrations we’ve used the excellent imapsync program which is written in perl and connects using IMAP to two servers and copies messages and folders from one server to another. Nonetheless, trying to get imapsync to work with the beast that is MS-Exchange has proved to be daunting. This is not really a rant (although you can read it as thus – I won’t mind at all 😉 ), but trying to get the thing to work I searched the web high and low and found precious little information about migrating to MS-Exchange(1), so this is basically a summary of my recollection of the process in hopes that others will find this information useful(2).

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  1. Hopefully that means that not a lot of people are doing it ? []
  2. And in higher hopes that others will not need this information 😉 []

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