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Mozilla Thunderbird docked on system tray
Mozilla Thunderbird docked on system tray

Mozilla Thunderbird is a popular e-mail and news client. It can manage multiple e-mail, newsgroup and RSS accounts and supports multiple identities within accounts. Features like quick search, saved search folders ("virtual folders"), advanced message filtering, message grouping, and labels can help managing and finding messages. Mozilla Thunderbird incorporates a Bayesian spam filter, a whitelist based on the included address book, and can also understand classifications by server-based filters such as SpamAssassin. Extensions allow the addition of features. But it also supports a variety of themes for changing its overall look and feel.


To install Mozilla Thunderbird, run: emerge -av mozilla-thunderbird


Change the size of the attachment window

So you've just subscribed to the Gentoo digest and it seems that instead of getting messages you're only getting attachments. Actually, this not the case.

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export MOZ_T_PROFILE=default.your_random_letters
cat - >> ~/.thunderbird/${MOZ_T_PROFILE}/chrome/userChrome.css
#attachmentView {
max-height: 65px !important;
overflow: scroll !important; }

Open URLs in Mozilla Firefox

By default, Mozilla Thunderbird will not automatically open URLs in Mozilla Firefox.

You should create your own preferences file if it does not exist already:

File: ~/.thunderbird/<random_string>/prefs.js

Other handlers can be added there, if needed.

Note: Remember to exit all Thunderbird instances before making these changes since the prefs.js file is overwritten on program quit.

By default, Mozilla Firefox opens an external link in the current opened tab, overwriting your current page. This behaviour can be changed in Edit » Preferences » Advanced » Tabbed Browsing.

Graphical frontend

If you are likely to tweak Thunderbird settings often, you might want to use the Thunderbird Extension AboutConfig.

In Thunderbird 1.5 you can find these settings in Edit » Preferences » Advanced » Config Editor.

Right click to create three new strings (if they don't already exist):


If you cannot get the above method to work, you should:


Minimize to tray

This describes how to launch Mozilla Thunderbird minimized in the system tray for quick future use. The advantage of keeping Mozilla Thunderbird into the system tray, is that you can see when new mails arrived without the application keep using space on your taskbar. There is no such add-on for Mozilla Thunderbird so you will have to install and use a general purpose application named alltray. If you're running GNOME, you'll want to activate the gnome USE flag. You can do this by adding it to package.use with: echo "x11-misc/alltray gnome" >> /etc/portage/package.use

Install AllTray by running emerge -av alltray

Now you have to modify the script that starts the Mozilla Thunderbird. Open the file /usr/bin/thunderbird with root rights in your preferred text editor.

Look for the row detailed below /usr/bin/thunderbird:

File: /usr/bin/thunderbird
exec /usr/libexec/mozilla-launcher "$@"

Add alltray to the line as follows.

File: /usr/bin/thunderbird
exec alltray /usr/libexec/mozilla-launcher "$@"

Save the file and you're done. The next time you start Mozilla Thunderbird, you'll see the Mozilla Thunderbird icon in the system tray. Left clicking on it will make the application visible. Clicking there again will make it disappear.


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Last modified: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 07:08:00 +0000 Hits: 2,684