Introduction to Thunderbird

Thunderbird is a stand-alone mail/news client based on the Mozilla codebase. It uses the Gecko rendering engine to enable it to display and compose HTML emails.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-8.0 platform.

Package Information

Thunderbird Dependencies


alsa-lib-1.1.3, GTK+-2.24.31, Zip-3.0, UnZip-6.0, and yasm-1.3.0




If you don't install recommended dependencies, then internal copies of those packages will be used. They might be tested to work, but they can be out of date or contain security holes.



With Thunderbird-31.0 and later versions, you must have installed Openssl before Python 2, or the build system will quickly fail with output including "ImportError: cannot import name HTTPSHandler". If you are in any doubt about this (e.g. upgrading from an older version of Thunderbird), check if /usr/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/ exists. If it does not, reinstall Python-2.7.13 (after installing OpenSSL-1.0.2k - the latest version of any currently maintained version of Openssl should be satisfactory if already installed - if that package has not already been installed).


cURL-7.52.1, Cyrus SASL-2.1.26, dbus-glib-0.108, Doxygen-1.8.13, GConf-3.2.6, gst-plugins-base-1.10.3 (with gst-plugins-good-1.10.3 and gst-libav-1.10.3 at runtime), LLVM-3.9.1, OpenJDK-, PulseAudio-10.0, SQLite-3.17.0 (not recommended due to potential security concerns), startup-notification-0.12, Wget-1.19.1, Wireless Tools-29, and Hunspell

User Notes:

Installation of Thunderbird

The configuration of Thunderbird is accomplished by creating a mozconfig file containing the desired configuration options. A default mozconfig is created below. To see the entire list of available configuration options (and a brief description of each), issue mozilla/configure --help. Create the file with the following command:

cat > mozconfig << "EOF"
# If you have a multicore machine, the build may be faster if using parallel
# jobs. The build system automatically adds -jN to the "make" flags, where N
# is the number of CPU cores. The option below is therefore useless, unless
# you want to use a smaller number of jobs:
#mk_add_options MOZ_MAKE_FLAGS="-j1"

# If you have installed dbus-glib, comment out this line:
ac_add_options --disable-dbus

# If you have installed wireless-tools comment out this line:
ac_add_options --disable-necko-wifi

# GStreamer is necessary for H.264 video playback in HTML5 Video Player;
# to be enabled, also remember to set "media.gstreamer.enabled" to "true"
# in about:config. If you have GStreamer 1.x.y, comment out this line and
# uncomment the following one:
ac_add_options --disable-gstreamer
#ac_add_options --enable-gstreamer=1.0

# Uncomment these lines if you have installed optional dependencies:
#ac_add_options --enable-system-hunspell
#ac_add_options --enable-startup-notification

# Comment out following option if you have PulseAudio installed
ac_add_options --disable-pulseaudio

# Comment out following option if you have gconf installed
ac_add_options --disable-gconf

# If you want to compile the Mozilla Calendar, uncomment this line:
#ac_add_options --enable-calendar

# Comment out following options if you have not installed
# recommended dependencies:
# Do not use system SQLite for Thunderbird 45.x
#ac_add_options --enable-system-sqlite
ac_add_options --with-system-libevent
ac_add_options --with-system-libvpx
ac_add_options --with-system-nspr
ac_add_options --with-system-nss
ac_add_options --with-system-icu

# Set CFLAGS and CXXFLAGS to prevent segfaults due to agressive
# optimizations in GCC-6:
export CFLAGS+=" -fno-delete-null-pointer-checks -fno-lifetime-dse -fno-schedule-insns2"
export CXXFLAGS+=" -fno-delete-null-pointer-checks -fno-lifetime-dse -fno-schedule-insns2"

# The BLFS editors recommend not changing anything below this line:
ac_add_options --prefix=/usr
ac_add_options --enable-application=mail

ac_add_options --disable-crashreporter
ac_add_options --disable-installer
ac_add_options --disable-updater
ac_add_options --disable-debug
ac_add_options --disable-tests

ac_add_options --enable-optimize
ac_add_options --enable-strip
ac_add_options --enable-install-strip

ac_add_options --enable-gio
ac_add_options --enable-official-branding
ac_add_options --enable-safe-browsing
ac_add_options --enable-url-classifier

# Use internal cairo due to reports of unstable execution with
# system cairo
#ac_add_options --enable-system-cairo
ac_add_options --enable-system-ffi
ac_add_options --enable-system-pixman

ac_add_options --with-pthreads

ac_add_options --with-system-bz2
ac_add_options --with-system-jpeg
ac_add_options --with-system-png
ac_add_options --with-system-zlib

Compile Thunderbird by issuing the following commands:

If you have installed version 2.1.8 or newer of libevent, fix a file:

    -i mozilla/ipc/chromium/src/base/


If you are compiling Thunderbird in chroot, prepend SHELL=/bin/sh to the make command below.

sed -e '/#include/i\
    print OUT "#define _GLIBCXX_INCLUDE_NEXT_C_HEADERS\\n"\;' \
    -i mozilla/nsprpub/config/ &&

sed -e '/#include/a\
    print OUT "#undef _GLIBCXX_INCLUDE_NEXT_C_HEADERS\\n"\;' \
    -i mozilla/nsprpub/config/ &&

make -f

This package does not come with a test suite.

Install Thunderbird by running the following commands as the root user:

make -f install INSTALL_SDK= &&
chown -R 0:0 /usr/lib/thunderbird-45.7.1

Command Explanations

sed ...: These commands correct the source to be compatible with gcc6 by preventing c++ scope errors.

export CFLAGS= ... export CXXFLAGS= ...: These settings work around code which gcc6 would otherwise regard as out-of-specification and allow it to produce a working program.

make -f Mozilla products are packaged to allow the use of a configuration file which can be used to pass the configuration settings to the configure command. make uses the file to get initial configuration and setup parameters.

Configuring Thunderbird

Configuration Information

If your Window or Desktop Manager does not allow you to configure a default browser, you can add a configuration parameter to Thunderbird so that a browser will start when when you click on an Internet/intranet/local URL. The procedure to check or modify any of the configuration parameters is quite simple and the instructions here can be used to view or modify any of the parameters.

First, open the configuration dialog by opening the “Edit” drop-down menu. Choose “Preferences” and then click on the “Advanced” icon on the top menu bar. Choose the “General” tab and click on the “Config Editor” button. This will display a list of the configuration preferences and information related to each one. You can use the “Filter:” bar to enter search criteria and narrow down the listed items. Changing a preference can be done using two methods. One, if the preference has a boolean value (True/False), simply double-click on the preference to toggle the value and two, for other preferences simply right-click on the desired line, choose “Modify” from the menu and change the value. Creating new preference items is accomplished in the same way, except choose “New” from the menu and provide the desired data into the fields when prompted.

The configuration preference item you need to check so that Thunderbird uses a specified browser is the which should be set to the path of the desired browser, e.g. /usr/bin/firefox.



There is a multitude of configuration parameters you can tweak to customize Thunderbird. A very extensive, but not so up-to-date list of these parameters can be found at

If you use a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE, a desktop file thunderbird.desktop may be created, in order to include a “Thunderbird” entry in the menu. If you didn't enable startup-notification in your mozconfig, then change the StartupNotify line to false. Run the following commands as the root user:

mkdir -pv /usr/share/{applications,pixmaps} &&

cat > /usr/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop << "EOF" &&
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Thunderbird Mail
Comment=Send and receive mail with Thunderbird
GenericName=Mail Client
Exec=thunderbird %u

ln -sfv /usr/lib/thunderbird-45.7.1/chrome/icons/default/default256.png \


Installed Program: thunderbird
Installed Libraries: None
Installed Directory: /usr/lib/thunderbird-45.7.1

Short Descriptions


is Mozilla's email and newsgroup client.

Last updated on 2017-02-22 11:24:59 -0800