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Revision as of 22:43, 1 August 2011





There are three ways to get Thunderbird:

  • Install the unbranded Thunderbird mail client Icedove from the repos.
  • Enable the Community Repository and install Thunderbird through the usual means
  • Download it from the Mozilla site, right-click to uncompress, and move it to where you want it to be permanently (you may have to become root)


Creating a Common Thunderbird Profile with Windows XP

It is generally best to avoid writing data into the Windows root partition from other operating systems. Therefore, it is recommended to set up a common Thunderbird profile for Windows and MEPIS on a separate NTFS partition. In the example below, the Thunderbird partition is mounted in Windows as drive letter G:\ and it is mounted in Linux as /mnt/sda9.

Setting up the Windows XP Side

When Thunderbird is installed in Windows XP, there is a Thunderbird folder with a name similar to the following:

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Thunderbird

1. Copy the C:\...\Thunderbird folder over to G:\Thunderbird

2. Rename the C:\...\Thunderbird folder to C:\...\@@Thunderbird (as a back up)

3. Create a hard symbolic link C:\...\Thunderbird with its target G:\Thunderbird.

NOTE: Windows 7 supports symbolic links natively. To create symbolic links with Windows XP, install the free extension NTFS_link.exe for Windows Explorer:
After NTFS_link.exe is installed, follow these directions for using the Link Shell Extension:

Now the Windows side of the installation is completed, and Thunderbird should read from and write to the G:\Thunderbird folder transparently through the hard symbolic link created in Step 3 above. If everything tests out properly, you may delete the back-up C:\...\@@Thunderbird folder.

Setting up the MEPIS Side

1. Modify /etc/fstab to mount sda9 at boot time by moving its entry above the Dynamic line.

2. Install Thunderbird, launch the application, and go to:

Edit > Account Settings > Server Settings. At the bottom of the window, look for a box labeled "Local directory."

3. Use the Browse button to enter the location of the common mail profile in the "Local directory" box. The common mail profile will be found in the /mnt/sda9/Thunderbird folder (= G:\Thunderbird) with a name similar to the following:


4. The final step will be to synchronize the address book. In /home/username look for a folder with a name similar to this:

In that folder there will be a file ~/.thunderbird/yihpe36u.default/abook.mab
Replace the ~/.thunderbird/yihpe36u.default/abook.mab file with a symbolic link of the same name, which points to the following target:

After creating that final symbolic link, the Windows XP email folders and address books will be synchronized with MEPIS. Any changes made from either operating system will carry over to the other operating system. In a similar manner, email in three or more operating systems may be fully synchronized by using the same Thunderbird profile.

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