Thunderbird Becomes Default Email Client In Ubuntu 11.10

During the Ubuntu Developer Summit at Budapest, we reported that Thunderbird is being considered for replacing Evolution as the default email client for Ubuntu 11.10. The development for Ubuntu 11.10, though, started with Evolution as the default client since Thunderbird did not integrate into GNOME as well.

Well, it seems like Thunderbird has been pushed to replace Evolution in the latest daily build. According to the changelogs, noticed by Andrew of WebUpd8, evolution has been removed from desktop-recommends and Thunderbird has been added in its place. This means that in the next daily build of Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, Thunderbird will be installed as the default email client.

This will be a welcome change for many users. I personally do not use desktop email clients, but I know many who do and most of them installs Thunderbird. Another advantage of having Thunderbird by default could be familiarity. Thunderbird is widely used in Windows as well. So, when a user switches to Ubuntu, it will be a pleasant experience to find the same application.

However, the change is not yet final. There is still the slight chance that things may not turn out well and developers decides to keep Evolution.

One critical feature that users will miss after the switch to Thunderbird is the calendar. Unlike Evolution, Thunderbird does not have an integrated calendar. However, it is easy to add one using add-on.

Do you want to see Thunderbird finally replacing Evolution? Or do you want think they should keep Evolution?

How To Install Thunderbird 5 Beta 1 in Ubuntu (11.04, 10.10 & 10.04)

Last week, Mozilla released Thunderbird 5 Beta 1. Thunderbird is a very popular email client from Mozilla, the organization behind Firefox browser. Mozilla has decided to skip Thunderbird 4 so as to keep up with the versioning of the Gecko engine.


Before we get on to how to install it, let us look at the main new features in Thunderbird 5 Beta 1.

  • Thunderbird 5 Beta 1 has a new add-on and extension management API.
  • Like in Firefox and other web browsers, tabs in Thunderbird can be reordered and rearranged across different windows.
  • The account creation wizard has been improved to make it a better and easier experience.

The user interface of Thunderbird 5 Beta 1 is the same as that of the previous release. But before the final release, it will get an updated user interface.

Install Thunderbird 5 Beta 1

Thunderbird 5 Beta 1 is now available in the the Mozilla Team’s PPA for Ubuntu. So, installation is very simple. Right now packages are available for Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkatand Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx.

Note: Before installing please be aware that this is not a stable release and might break. If you are already using a previous version of Thunderbird, this will upgrade it.

Open the Terminal and execute the command given below:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/thunderbird-next

After the PPA has been added, update your software list:

$ sudo apt-get update

Finally install Thunderbird 5 Beta 1.

$ sudo apt-get install thunderbird


Thunderbird 5 in Unity Dash
Thunderbird 5 Beta 1




Thunderbird To Get Ubuntu One Integration

Yesterday we wrote about Thunderbird being integrated to Ubuntu’s new user interface, Unity. However Thunderbird’s integration into Ubuntu is not about to end at that.

Today Mike Conley, the same person who developed the Unity integration, has said that the next step after Thunderbird Unity Launcher is to get Ubuntu One Contact integration in Thunderbird.

Ubuntu One is a cloud storage service launched by Canonical for Ubuntu users. The service allows users to sync files, contacts etc. across different computers running Ubuntu. Canonical provides the service for free for upto 2GB of storage.

Currently contact sharing through Ubuntu One is supported only in Evolution, which comes as the default email client in Ubuntu. Mike Conley plans to bring this feature in Thunderbird as well.

This is what he wrote:

That’s a pretty cool idea. Imagine it you get a brand new computer, hook it up to Ubuntu One, and blam: all of your bookmarks and contacts are already there waiting for you.

Currently, however, Thunderbird does not support sharing contacts via Ubuntu One.

And that’s what I’m tackling next.

According to Conley, the plan is to develop an extension which can import the Ubuntu One Contact to a new address book in Thunderbird. This will ensure that contact list from Evolution also appear in Thunderbird as well. Not only that, when you do a clean install of Ubuntu, it will enable you to get back your contact list from your previous installation.To keep things simple at the start, Conley is not planning to allow adding of new contacts from Thunderbird to the Ubuntu One Contact. This feature will probably be added once the contact import feature is done.

With the Unity launcher integration and, now, the Ubuntu One integration, it looks like Thunderbird in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narhwal is going to be very impressive.

If both these features make it to Thunderbird in time, which email client would you prefer – Thunderbird or Evolution?

Thunderbird Gets Unity Integration

Ubuntu is getting a brand new user interface, called Unity, in its next release – Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narhwal”. As you are probably aware, Ubuntu uses Evolution as the default email client, and so Thunderbird integration for Unity is not a priority for Canonical. However, Mike Conley of Mozilla has been hard at work coming up with a way to integrate Thunderbird into the Unity Launcher and he has just released the first Thunderbird extension that does just that for testing .

The Thunderbird Unity Launcher extension provides a really cool integration of Thunderbird into Ubuntu’s Unity launcher. With the extension installed, the number of new unread messages in Thunderbird is displayed at the top-left of the Thunderbird icon in the launcher. Not only that, right clicking on the Thunderbird icon brings up a context menu item. From the context menu, users can easily open the contact list or compose a new email.

Since this is only for testing now, this feature is  available  in the form of a Thunderbird add-on. To test this feature users need to be running the 32-bit version of Ubuntu 11.04. There are no 64-bit builds available now. However, after the testing this feature will be integrated into Thunderbird and will be available to users of 64-bit versions of Ubuntu as well.

To install test the Thunderbird Unity integration, click on the link given below and install it.

Unity Launcher Integration 0.1

After installing the add-on, you will get the unread message count in the Unity launcher. However to get the context menu, you have to log off and then login again.

Remember  this is add-on is currently released for testing and you might run into bugs.  If you do encounter any bug, you can report it at

Here is a video of the Thunderbird Unity  Integration  in action:

Thunderbird Ubuntu Unity Launcher Integration from Mozilla Messaging on Vimeo.

[via Mozilla Labs]

Thunderbird 3.1 Available For Downloads

Mozilla has finally released the final version of Thunderbird 3.1 to general public almost a month after the Thunderbird 3.1 RC was released.


Thunderbird 3.1 adds in several new features, some of which include:

  • Faster Search Results: Message indexing is faster and provides users with faster search results.
  • Quick Filter Toolbar: Makes it faster and easier to search and sort through what’s in a user’s inbox by letting users filter against search terms, tags, starred messages, address book contacts, new emails, and attachments.
  • Migration Assistant: This release includes a completely new and easier way to migrate from Thunderbird 2. The new Migration Assistant gives Thunderbird 2 users a way to choose the new features in Thunderbird 3.1 or to keep their current features and settings.
  • Saved Files Manager: Finding a downloaded item is a cinch with the new Saved Files Manager which displays all the files users downloaded from their email to their computer.

Thunderbird 3.1 is available for downloads in over 45 languages for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux based systems. You can download Thunderbird 3.1 right now by visiting this link.

Download Thunderbird 3.1 Release Candidate

Thunderbird 3 was quite a dampener for users who have been using this Microsoft Outlook alternative. Based on the comments on our Thunderbird 3 review, there have been quite a lot of disappointed users who could have done without the update.

Thunderbird 3.1

However, Mozilla has looked to rectify the issue with Thunderbird 3.1 and they have now released the first released candidate, Thunderbird 3.1 RC to the public for testing.

Some of the new features in Thunderbird 3.1 RC1 release include:

  • New Quick Filter toolbar
  • New Migration Assistant
  • Saved Files Manager
  • Several fixes to improve upgrading from Thunderbird 2
  • Several design improvements and corrections to the interface
  • Stability, memory, and password handling improvements

Thunderbird 3.1 RC1 is available for downloads for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux in 44 languages. Users can download the Thunderbird 3.1 RC for their OS by visiting this link, for more information about the Thunderbird 3.1 RC visit this link.

Download Thunderbird 3.1 "Lanikai" Beta 1

Thunderbird 3 left a lot to be desired, and many users who used it had lots of bad things to say about it. Many did say that Thunderbird 3 was probably a rushed project by Mozilla, however, the past is past and Mozilla has already begun to fix the problems in the new version, Thunderbird 3.1.

Thunderbird 3.1

Mozilla has released a new beta for Thunderbird 3.1, codenamed Lanikai Beta 1, which fixes around 100 bugs and improves performance for the email client.

Some of the major fixes includes:

  • Fixes to improve upgrading from Thunderbird 2
  • Fixes for auto complete, tabs and activity manager
  • Design improvements and corrections to the interface
  • Stability and memory improvements

You can view a list of the full list of bugs that were fixed here. Lanikai Beta 1 has also dropped support for Windows 95, 98, ME and NT and Mac OS X versions prior to 10.4 Tiger. You can find more information about the changes in the Thunderbird 3.1 Beta 1 release here.

Thunderbird 3.1 Beta 1 is available as a download for Windows, Mac and Linux. You can find and download the appropriate version for your OS from here.

[via gHacks]

French Military contributes to Thunderbird

French Military is reported to have contributed to the latest Thunderbird 3, released this week. This association of the French Government with Open Source started way back with an intense internal debate on whether to go for Open Source software for government usage.
The Reuters report says:

France’s military chose open source software after an internal government debate that began in 2003 and culminated in a November 6, 2007, directive requiring state agencies “Seek maximum technological and commercial independence.”

This debate resulted in a favor of Mozilla powered Thunderbird as it allowed the French Military to include security specific code into the release. This was not possible wit the closed source Microsoft Outlook. So they started it as a Military project and open sourced it soon, under the brand-name of TrustBird along with Mozilla.

This custom Mozilla is in use with the Finance, Culture and Interior ministries.

Also, after the success of Thunderbird, the French government is moving to using Linux and instead of Microsoft Windows and Office applications.

The next step would be to look for some support. This can get messy, as Microsoft has a whole army of technicians and on-site help personnel at an established office, whereas Mozilla, has only ten employees located somewhere in Paris.

Reports of this decision appeared on the Reuters website and the news can be seen here.

Ultimate List of Thunderbird 3 Tips and Tricks

Now that Thunderbird 3 is finally out, we know that there will be a multitude of blog posts and tips and tricks which will be hard to catch up with. Like always, we spend some time to pick out the best tips and tricks and put up an for your convenience.


This time around we are proud to present the Ultimate List of Tips and Tricks for Thunderbird 3 users. Have fun, and don’t forget to share it with others.

Like always, this Ultimate List is non-exhaustive, and we will be maintaining it to add more Thunderbird 3 tips and tricks in the future.

Thunderbird 3 Review

Our own review of Thunderbird 3 and a overview of the new features. Check out the Thunderbird 3 Review. Thunderbird 3 Review.

Thunderbird 3 Official Tips and Tricks

Who can ignore tips from the creators? Mozilla has a huge list of tricks line up which will make you more than acquainted with their latest version. Thunderbird Tips.

Thunderbird Keyboard Shortcuts

Another one from the creator’s stable, these shortcuts will definitely help you use Thunderbird on your finger tips. Thunderbird Shortcuts.

Customizing Email Archives in Thunderbird 3

Martin, my friend from Ghacks, writes how you can customize Email Archives in Thunderbird 3. The archiving option is not available out of the box and Martin guides you through it. Customize the Email Archive in Thunderbird 3.

Using Google Wave in Thunderbird 3

A trick which utilizes the tabbed interface in Thunderbird 3 to allow you to access in Thunderbird 3. How to Access Google Wave in Thunderbird 3.

Install Thunderbird 3 in Ubuntu with One Command

Hey, I use Ubuntu because I like the CUI ;-). Well you can install Thunderbird 3 in Ubuntu with 1 command. Install Thunderbird 3 in Ubuntu with 1 command.

Autohide Tab Bar in Thunderbird 3

Don’t we always need to cook something? Tech Recipes cooks this cool tip up just for your pleasure. Learn how to Autohide Tab bar in Thunderbird 3.

Automatically Download Images in Thunderbird 3

Something more is cooking, except that you can’t see it due to the image being blocked. Learn how to disable Image blocks in Thunderbird 3 and download Images automatically. How to download images automatically in Thunderbird 3.

Essential Extensions to Get Started With Thunderbird 3

Like Firefox, Thunderbird has ability to add extensions. Kabatology tells us about some great extensions you can use with Thunderbird 3. 5 Essential Extensions for Thunderbird 3.

Make Thunderbird 3 Your Ultimate Online/Offline Message Hub

Lifehacker has come up with an excellent tutorial to show you how you can use Thunderbird 3 as you Ultimate Online and Offline Message Hub.

Like most of our , this list is incomplete till we fill it up with the best Thunderbird 3 tips and tricks. We will continue to update this post as frequently as we can. Have fun with Thunderbird 3.

Access Google Wave in Thunderbird 3

Thunderbird 3 is out with several exciting features (read Thunderbird 3 review), and people have already begun to discover hidden gems in it. The trick we will tell you, allows you to access in Thunderbird 3.

Follow the tips given below to access Google Wave in Thunderbird 3.

Step 1: In Thunderbird, open the Error Console by choosing it from Tools > Error Console.


Step 2: Paste the text given below into the Code textbox and click on the Evaluatebutton.

Components.classes[';1'].getService(Components.interfaces.nsIWindowMediator).getMostRecentWindow("mail:3pane").document.getElementById("tabmail").openTab("contentTab", {contentPage: ""});

Step 3: Once you click on the Evaluate button, you should see some messages in the error console, you can safely ignore them. However, when you open Thunderbird, you will see a new tab opened, which is loaded with the Google Wave website.


The tab will always remain open till you close it yourself, even if you close the Thunderbird application. If you close it by accident, follow the tricks listed above to get it back.

[vai Quetzalcoatal]