How to open winmail.dat files on Ubuntu and Debian Linux

The winmail.dat file is a container file format used by Microsoft Outlook to send attachments in richtext formatted emails. To open winmail.dat on Linux, use the tnef utility.


sudo apt-get install tnef


Open a shell window, navigate to the directory where the winmail.dat file is saved,  then execute the command:

tnef winmail.dat

to extract all files that are stored in the winmail.dat into the current directory.


21 thoughts on “How to open winmail.dat files on Ubuntu and Debian Linux”

  1. Ditto. I am always getting email from people and I plead to stop sending me .dat and .pub files. They keep doing it so thanks for solving that. Now all I need is a .pub converter……..sigh

  2. i have a problem; after command line, ask me “[sudo] password for francesco:” , but i can’t succeed to write my pw. Why?

  3. Francesco that is a password that you or who ever installed your linux version of your OS should know. When you type it appears that nothing is being typed, that just how it seems.

  4. There is also a Ubuntu package called claws-mail-tnef-parser that is a plugin to the Claws mail program and allows seamless attachment handling- you don’t even know there’s a winmail.dat file. May be plugins for other mail programs too.

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