Open winmail.dat files on debian

winmail.dat is a container file format used by Microsoft Outlook to send attachments in richtext formatted emails.

From time to time I get such emails with winmail.dat appendix. But how can we open it on linux? With the command strings it is possible to see something about the content. In my example it is a scanned document in pdf format.

strings winmail.dat
....
....
Scan_PDF_.pdf
....
....

But that’s just a list of content.

If we now want to extract the pdf we can use the tnef utility to open winmail.dat on Linux:

apt-get install tnef

To use the command, navigate to the directory where the winmail.dat file is saved and execute:

tnef winmail.dat

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

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