Feisty Fawn has seen the break of Dawn: How to add Thunderbird 2.0

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I am using Thunderbird for email. Used to use Evolution, which has some nice features, but which is a serious hassle to migrate across system updates. Thunderbird is very easy to move between systems – whether across to a a new version of GNU/Linux or from Winblo$e or to/fro wherever (I should think?).

However, Feisty Fawn has seen the break of dawn without the new Thunderbird 2.0 (TB2), which is a shame. But just as it is easy to move your configuration, preferences and mail from one system to another, it is easy to run two versions of Thunderbird in parallel within the same system. So while we wait for a .deb of TB2 to appear, check this out…

First go to http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird and get your copy of TB2. Then extract the file to, for instance, your optional directory, giving you:

/opt/thunderbird/

Then run TB2 – this should do (from the command line, or set up such a shortcut):

/opt/thunderbird/thunderbird 

That will generate a new directory in your home directory:

/home/your_user_name/.thunderbird/ which can also be written like this as an abbreviation:

~/.thunderbird/

Once you have run it once (do not bother with account set up, just choose cancel, cancel etc.) then shut it down again and turn to your current/original/native TB installation, which you want to use in TB2.

The native Thunderbird of Feisty (or other Ubuntus) resides in:

~/.mozilla-thunderbird/ and in that directory there is a folder called something like:

../344gto98.default/

….and it is in that folder that your complete profile and emails are stored – the odd number referring to the ID of that profile. There are folders called things like “chrome”, “mail” and various files, such as “bookmarks.html”, “cookies.txt” and so on.

All you have to do is to copy the entire contents of your old TB folder – also a folder with an odd number referring to your profile ID – and paste it into the newly generated TB folder. That is, for instance:

Copy everything in:

/home/you/.mozilla-thunderbird/343fdfdwdyk.default/ 

to (and either overwrite everything in destination folder or delete it beforehand!)

/home/you/.thunderbird/878454fg.default/

and run your new TB2 in Feisty (by doing:)

/opt/thunderbird/thunderbird

Now you have Thunderbird 2.0 “running in parallel” – and if you want to switch back to the native version, simply copy the entire contents of your TB2 profile folder back to the native one, or use rsync:

rsync -avzr /home/you/.thunderbird/34343gh.default/ /home/you/.mozilla-thunderbird/2323ghg.default/

That should do. But you won’t have Enigmail in this installation! unless you add it somehow, haven’t had time to play with that yet.

On a general note and by way of conclusion, Feisty looks alright, but there are some issues with mount points – my external USB disks get mounted as:

/media/_labelofthedisk

and I do find that underscore annoying. Moreover, all internal disks seem to be mounted as SCSI, so that what is really /dev/hda gets to be /dev/sda – is that a bug or a feature?

5 thoughts on “Feisty Fawn has seen the break of Dawn: How to add Thunderbird 2.0

    […] news about the quest for getting Thunderbird 2 in Ubuntu 7.04,  Feisty Fawn, since I described how to add TB2 manually to Ubuntu’s latest creature. Via the Ubuntu-Tutorials I came to this useful […]

    ataub2qf said:
    Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 05:30 (270)

    What about Automatix (http://www.getautomatix.com) ?

    colono responded:
    Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 14:29 (645)

    Some say it’s no good, i.e. causes trouble – some say it’s great. Personally I prefer to do any changes beyond Ubuntu standard repos by hand – or one at a time, such as adding the Scribus repository, which gives me just that one application straight from the source, as it were. Less distribution and spreading thin of potential trust – which is, trust that is, a central and necessary aspect of non-central networks.

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    liberty reserve said:
    Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 07:12 (342)

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