Move Centos / Dovecot email to Google Apps Account

I need to help a friend who is in way over his head. He had a CentOS server that was configured with Dovecot for email that was damaged in an office fire. He is trying to move his email accounts to their new Google Apps account so local damage doesn't cause issues in the future. I have never done this particular move before. What do I need to tell him to do? He has his backup drive and it's connected to a new spin up of Centos 7. Dovecot is installed along with Postfix but he has not configured them yet as I've told him to wait until I talk to the Experts.

Is there an easy way to simply grab the email structure and messages from his user backups and load them into their Google Apps account or does he need to reconfigure this temporary server he has running before we can move the data?

Appreciate the assistance!
telstar_Asked:
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Nick UpsonPrincipal Operations EngineerCommented:
I've done this, with dovecot. It sound like his best process is:

get users up and running by updating the MX records for his domain so they point at google, create their account, then they have email going forward

then setup and get dovecot accessible but with no-one using it, download and use the google migration tool to migrate each users emails
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Allen FalconCEO & Pragmatic EvangelistCommented:
If the server is up and running with IMAP access, you can migrate data from the server directly using Googles tools, either GAMME or the online migration tool in the Admin Console.
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telstar_Author Commented:
Thanks for the responses. At this point he's getting his server reconfigured and working towards the Google apps migration.

He's having issues with one other item though. He needs to recover one mailbox to his newly rebuilt server from his external backup drive so he can get some of those emails before they are migrated to their Google Apps domain.

I've never had a server badly fail like this due to damage or any other reason so I'm not certain about this process. What does he need to do to get the email from his user's email profile on his backup drive so he can load the emails into an email client and get access to the individual email messages?

Thanks!
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telstar_Author Commented:
Also, does anyone have a good basic Centos/Dovecot setup tutorial? He installed Centos as an Email server with the GUI so he isn't relying only on the command line for navigation.

There are a lot of guides that cover different levels of depth in the configuration on the web already but if someone found one that was basic and well written I would love to see it.
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Allen FalconCEO & Pragmatic EvangelistCommented:
If he can get the mailbox recovered into pst or mbix format, getting it into Gmail is straight forward.
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