The currently released version of Thunderbird, as of end of 2010, is Thunderbird 3.1. The latest release, Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat, provides this version.

Unfortunately, all older releases, including Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx LTS, provide old versions of Thunderbird by default. This page will explain how to install a newer version of Thunderbird. For Ubuntu 10.04, it will explain how to upgrade to Thunderbird 3.1. For all version, it will explain how to obtain the latest development snapshot.

IconsPage/warning.png It is suggested to backup your ~/.mozilla-thunderbird folder before upgrading.

Leading Edge Thunderbird

Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

You are already on the leading edge. Interested in integrated calendar for Thunderbird?

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx LTS

  • Medium difficulty, high safety: daily packages have not undergone any quality assurance. Daily packages are sometimes very safe, and sometimes don't work at all.


This section explains how to install packages that have not been fully tested. If you encounter bugs, please file against the thunderbird package and tag PPA.

Prerequisite: you must have Thunderbird 3.0 installed and operational before running the following commands.

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lucid-bleed/ppa
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install thunderbird thunderbird-locale-en-us thunderbird-gnome-support

Afterwards, disable lucid-bleed PPA via System -> Administration -> Software Sources.

For more information on enabling and disabling PPA repositories, see Repositories/Ubuntu


It is very important that you disable lucid-bleed PPA after the update, or your system may become unstable.

After the installation, try integrated calendar for Thunderbird.

  • Note: for techies out there, Lucid version of Thunderbird provided in this PPA is a backport from Maverick 10.10.

Bleeding Edge Thunderbird

  • Low difficulty, low safety: daily packages have not undergone any quality assurance. Daily packages are sometimes very safe, and sometimes don't work at all.

Users of recent Ubuntu releases can get the latest development version of Thunderbird from the semi-official ubuntu-mozilla-daily archive. This archive holds updates to the Mozilla suite (including Thunderbird) that are under active development - for example, unreleased build of Thunderbird 3.0 and development build Thunderbird 3.1 were available at the time of writing. Although these packages will work well most of the time, you should expect crashes and other problems. To get packages that are only half-finished:

  1. Go to the ubuntu-mozilla-daily personal package archive.

  2. Lucid 10.04 or later: Add ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa to your system's Software Sources.

  3. Install the package for the new version of Thunderbird (e.g. this was thunderbird at the time of writing)

  4. A snapshot of a recent development version will be available immediately
  5. Report any bugs that you experience

Installing from the Mozilla website

  • NOT recommended by Ubuntu Mozilla team due to interoperability concerns. Medium difficulty, medium safety

IconsPage/warning.png Sharing the same Thunderbird profile between different versions of Thunderbird (e.g., 2.0 and 3.0) may cause problems. As long as you avoid sharing a profile between versions (something which applies to the above method, as well), Mozilla builds are safe to use, since they have undergone extensive QA prior to release.

A simplified way of installing a Mozilla build is to use the Ubuntuzilla project repository. Ubuntuzilla is for ordinary users that want to use the latest Mozilla builds of Mozilla software.

The Ubuntuzilla project's repository contains .deb repacks of the unmodified official Mozilla builds of Firefox, Thunderbird, and SeaMonkey. Just add the repository to your sources, and you'll be kept up to date on the latest Mozilla releases through the package manager.

See the Ubuntuzilla website for details and usage instructions.


  • Thunderbird 3.0 requires Lightning version 1.0b1. More info here.

  • Thunderbird 3.1 requires Lightning version 1.0b2. More info here.

  • You may be able to use extensions marked as incompatible using the Nightly Tester Tools extension.

  • This is loosely based on/inspired by the FirefoxNewVersion HowTo


New Account Setup Wizard comes up

It seems that some people are having problems with the "New Account Setup Wizard" coming up when it is not supposed to. The workaround that people have found is to rename the .thunderbird folder, re-setup your account and then copy back your mail.

Here's how:

  1. Go to your home folder in the File Manager.
  2. Click "View->Show Hidden Files"

  3. Find the ".thunderbird" folder and rename it to something like ".thunderbird-backup".
  4. Watch out for .thunderbird-3.0 folder which was created by development builds of Thunderbird 3.0. Delete or update it as necessary.
  5. Try re-running Thunderbird and reset up your account and see if things work.
  6. You can copy back mail from your .thunderbird-backup folder into your .thunderbird folder.

"Failed to connect to server"

This problem affects users of 32-bit Thunderbird and Firefox on 64-bit systems.

Go to the detailed config editor (edit -> preferences -> advanced -> general -> config editor button), and set "network.dns.disableIPv6" to true.

Further Reading

Still having problems?

Post your questions in : the Ubuntu Forums and we will try to help you.


ThunderbirdNewVersion (last edited 2013-12-13 23:20:06 by knome)