Thunderbird Snap

Just noticed the banner on Ubuntu Software upgrade in big fashion for Thunderbird. That got me thinking are their plans to switch Thunderbird over to snap version similar to Chromium? Does more testing needed to be done for this to happen? If so I am willing to help.

Oh, shi… :angry:

According to Install Thunderbird on Linux | Snap Store it is really official Canonical’s snap.

If this will became only one way to install Thunderbird, then please make it fully-featured. Please allow it to use external and internal medias along with GVFS network shares for selecting and saving attachments!

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The snap has been featured because we believe it’s working fine enough and thunderbird 78 is an update users have been asking for (the deb is going to be updated but it’s a non trivial change that needs to be worked out, so meanwhile users know they have this option)

There is currently no discussion about replacing the deb (though it’s one that would make sense since it has limited interactions with the system and having one version to maintain would reduce efforts).

The feedback is welcome here or on launchpad


Thanks for pointing that issue out, the use of portals was not enabled which has been changed now, the current revision should fix the remote location issue. To use external medias you need to connect the removable-media interface (using snap-store, command line or gnome-control-center).


Hi Norbert,

From what I’ve seen, if a snap is published by Canonical, this luckily doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no deb version in the future (correct me if I’m wrong).

Using the thunderbird snap, it’s working fantastically :+1:

The portal issue is fixed, now it’s a bit tricky to understand which entry you should select in “open with”, but it’s there :smile_cat: and it works. Startup time looks like the deb. Language needs to be installed from thunderbird addons though and is not yet connected to the system languages, but it works.
All in all, it’s already better than the deb


Hum, what locale do you use? The langpack addons are bundled for the main language and correctly activated on first there (at least here on a french installation, I expect german to be the same if that’s what you use?)

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Just curious - will BirdTray work with snapped Thunderbird?

Yep, german and english.
English was activated and usable. German needed to be installed from addons.

I noticed a bit of bug. If you have the snap version open and right click on the tab bar and choose customization and mess around with showing title or not and close out of it the icon for TB is still in the dock. If you click on the icon it locks up the UI.

In order to get around it I restarted GNOME UI via typing in “r” in the run command, not sure how I would restarted if it happened in wayland as that command doesn’t work in wayland.

It does sound like a bug, that’s best reported on launchpad. Do you get it every time? Is it enough to disable/enable the titlebar? Could you also try if the deb has the same issue or not and mention that on the report?

Was your profile created before august? The langpacks are only copied over when the profile is created and the snap was not doing that before then, it’s possible that you had it installed before that though. If you try with a new user (or move ~/snap/thunderbird away) it should be working

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Attachments bug

Langpack related bug?

@seb128 You write that langpacks are installed when the profile is created. Are they updated by snap bundle files when a new TB snap version is installed during a refresh? I noticed in above BR that my FR langpack was not updated by TB addons system not TB snap updates.

Hum, that’s an interesting question. We include the xpi files in the distributions/ directory shipped with the snap and thunderbird imports them from there (that’s the documented way to distribute those and what mozilla has been doing in the firefox snap). Reading the documentation those are copied over for new profiles or when firefox (or thunderbird here) is updated … unsure how ‘updated’ is defined though and if a snap refresh triggers a new copy (or if they get downloaded from the remote after start).

I just installed all my accounts, so deleting snap/thunderbird will prbly delelte that .thunderbird dir, right? :smiley:
But I will try in a VM, thanks for the tip!
And yes, this installation is from 20.04 release

Right, I didn’t suggest deleting the dir, you can ‘mv thunderbird othername’, try starting the snap and see what it does, remove the new thunderbird dir and move ‘othername’ back over. It’s also easy to add a test user on the same machine without doing a new VM install



When I compose a new mail, I can attach a file here:
But when I click on it, nothing happens. I do use Focal/TB 78.4.1 snap/Evince deb from Ubuntu repo.

When I click on attachment in sent message pane:

then the pdf opens in Evince, as expected.

In logs, I get:
Obviously I did not decline anything :wink: .

Additionally when I try to close a compose window during edition:
image is missing here.

If I uninstall Evince deb and install Evince snap (@kenvandine), I cannot open any pdf from TB. Nothing happens after System Handler choice after attachment click.

Please note that Evince snap seems to work well, apart from that.

If I now uninstall Evince snap and install Evince deb, I can open pdf in TB again.

sounds like the evince snap does not properly hook into the mime system, technically thunderbird should just hand such files over to xdg-open or a portal and the hosts mime system should then hand it over to an application that can handle said file type