Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Replace Evolution with Thunderbird, all Ubuntus

If you prefer Thunderbird over Evolution, you can fairly easy replace the latter with it, specifically in terms of system integration. This guide covers all current versions of Ubuntu.


Remove Evolution
  1. Open Synaptic, under "System > Administration" in classic Gnome, or by searching for its name in the Unity Dash.
  2. Search for all packages with "evolution" in their "Name".
  3. Mark all packages that are found and installed for "Complete Removal", except of these:
    • "evolution-data-server-common"
    • "evolution-data-server" (needed for "About Me")
  4. Apply the changes.
Troubleshooting

If you, for whatever reason, still have Evolution in the mail envelope menu, make sure to get rid of the file "/usr/share/indicators/messages/applications/evolution". In the Terminal, enter:

sudo rm /usr/share/indicators/messages/applications/evolution

Install Thunderbird

While you are still in Synaptic, search for "thunderbird" ("Name"), and install it, I think you will get the point. Alternatively, run this command in the Terminal:

sudo apt-get install thunderbird

Version 5

If you are eager to try the latest version of Thunderbird, version 5, see this guide:

http://www.tuxgarage.com/2011/06/thunderbird-5-installation-from-ppa.html

But, unfortunately, the extensions needed for the integration are not compatible with version 5 yet (6/29/2011), even with manually modifying their respective "install.rdf". They would be enabled, but they just don't work.

Please see the most lower section for available workarounds!

Integrate Thunderbird into the Mail Envelope

Therefore, just install Thunderbird Indicator, which consists of an extension for Thunderbird and the file "/usr/share/indicators/messages/applications/thunderbird" needed for the integration into the Messages Indicator.


Once it is installed, set it up under "Tools > Add-ons" in Thunderbird. If you set it to issue a notification (Notify-OSD) when new mails arrive, make sure to disable Thunderbird's built-in notification to not get two on-screen notifications at a time. Therefore, disable the option "Edit > Preferences > General > Show an alert".

Installation in Maverick and Natty

Open the Terminal and run these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ruben-verweij/thunderbird-indicator
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xul-ext-indicator

https://launchpad.net/~ruben-verweij/+archive/thunderbird-indicator

Note: If you are running Maverick, you can also install it the way as described below, although I didn't notice any difference in the performance between the versions built for Maverick and Natty.

Installation in Lucid

Just install the .deb package built for Natty. Don't be afraid, it will work, I've done so with my Lucid, no issues at all!

When you click on the link below, you should be offered to open the file with either GDebi or Software Center, at least in Firefox. If you are using Chrome/ium, open the file through the option in the bottom bar once the download has finished.

If you are using yet another browser, or if you have issues with the ways described above, save the file where you can find it, then just double-click on it.

https://launchpad.net/~ruben-verweij/+archive/thunderbird-indicator/+files/xul-ext-indicator_1.4-0ubuntu1_all.deb

Default Application for Handling Emails

Open "Preferred Applications", under "System > Preferences" in classic Gnome, or by searching for its name in the Unity Dash, and make sure "Mail Reader" is set to Thunderbird.

Minimize to Tray

Install the extension MinimizeToTray Plus:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/minimizetotray-plus/

Once it is installed, set it up under "Tools > Add-ons" in Thunderbird.

Calendar

To integrate a full-featured calendar into Thunderbird, you can install the Lightning extension.

Installation in Maverick and Natty

Open the Terminal and run this command:

sudo apt-get install xul-ext-lightning

Installation in Lucid

As it isn't included in the official repos of Lucid, you can either install it from the link below, but only if you have the 32-bit version of Thunderbird installed, because the Lightning extension is architecture specific:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/lightning/

Or you can install it from the Thunderbird Stable PPA, along with upgrading Thunderbird to the most recent version. After adding that PPA to your Software Sources, just install the Lightning extension using the same command as stated for Maverick and Natty above.

Outlook

There are considerations by Canonical to switch to Thunderbird as the default email client with the next release of Ubuntu, Oneiric Ocelot 11.10, but only if the integration into the desktop can be improved to a satisfactory extent - which this is all about, of course - and if the usual CD image space issue can be solved, because as of now Evolution is set to be included in any case. See here for more details:

https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/desktop-o-default-email-client

Update 8/10/2011: Mike Conley, Ubuntu developer and driving force behind the integration of Thunderbird into Ubuntu, just announced in his blog that it's now official: Thunderbird will be the default email client in Oneiric Ocelot, and in turn, Evolution isn't on board/disc by default anymore. Yay!

http://mikeconley.ca/blog/2011/08/10/its-official-thunderbird-will-be-the-default-e-mail-client-for-ubuntu-oneiric/

Thunderbird 5 Workarounds

General

Make sure that you have the file "/usr/share/indicators/messages/applications/thunderbird" in place, with this content:

/usr/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop

If it isn't, just run this command:

echo "/usr/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop" | sudo tee /usr/share/indicators/messages/applications/thunderbird > /dev/null

Thereafter, relogin for the change to take effect.

Ubuntu Unity Messaging Menu extension

Those who are in luck and are running Natty Narwhal 32-bit with Unity could try the extension Ubuntu Unity Messaging Menu as an interim solution, as it's fairly new and doesn't offer all the features of Thunderbird Indicator yet, and it also has a few shortcomings, as reported on its description page. It's claimed to also work in classic Gnome of Natty 32-bit. So in this case, you might just try it. Also, I've just tried it on my Lucid 32-bit with, obviously, classic Gnome, and it definitely doesn't work for me. So at least the restriction to Natty Narwhal seems to be true.

http://mozillalabs.com/messaging/messaging-menu/

CloudSN

Anyone else, or if you are not satisfied with the above mentioned extension, could try CloudSN. I'll do so for now, since I don't want to roll back the uprade I've just done.

http://www.tuxgarage.com/2011/06/cloudsn-mail-and-feed-notification.html

Oneiric's .desktop file

As I grew further fed up with the lack of change (8/8/2011) and the dwindling prospect for the Thunderbird Indicator being updated at all 1.) until the release of Oneiric 11.10, and 2.) to work with Ubuntu versions prior to Natty 11.04, I had the idea of stealing something from the at least half-way working integration of Thunderbird in Oneiric. The result is:
  • The add-on for Unity/Natty mentioned above, which is now integrated into the Thunderbird package in Oneiric by default, doesn't work with versions prior to Natty, so no indication of new/unread messages through the mail envelope.
  • The integration of Thunderbird into the mail envelope regarding the menu items "Compose New Message" and "Contacts" works for all current Ubuntu versions.
  • The Quicklists for the Unity Launcher included in Oneiric should also work in Natty.
Both of the latter points are achieved through updating Thunderbird's .desktop file with that from Oneiric. And it doesn't hurt if some of the settings included in the .desktop file don't apply to your Ubuntu version, so it's a one-fits-all improvement!

There we go.

1. Back up the default .desktop file:

sudo cp /usr/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop /usr/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop.backup

2. Open it for editing:

gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop

3. Replace its content with this:

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Name=Thunderbird Mail/News
Name[ast]=Veceru de corréu Thunderbird
Name[ca]=Client de correu Thunderbird
Name[cs]=Poštovní klient Thunderbird
Name[da]=Mozilla Thunderbird - e-post/nyhedsgruppe
Name[de]=Thunderbird-E-Mail und -Nachrichten
Name[es]=Cliente de correo Thunderbird
Name[fi]=Thunderbird-sähköposti
Name[fr]=Messagerie Thunderbird
Name[gl]=Cliente de correo Thunderbird
Name[he]=Mozilla Thunderbird דוא״ל/חדשות
Name[hr]=Mozilla Thunderbird e-pošta/novosti
Name[hu]=Thunderbird levelezőkliens
Name[it]=Email Mozilla Thunderbird
Name[ko]=Mozilla Thunderbird
Name[nl]=Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail/nieuws
Name[pl]=Klient poczty Thunderbird
Name[pt_BR]=Cliente de E-mail Thunderbird
Name[ru]=Почтовый клиент Thunderbird
Name[sk]=Thunderbird - poštový klient a novin
Name[sv]=E-postklienten Thunderbird
Name[ug]=Mozilla Thunderbird ئېلخەت/خەۋەر
Name[zh_CN]=Thunderbird 邮件/新闻
Name[zh_TW]=Thunderbird 郵件
Comment=Read/Write Mail/News with Thunderbird
Comment[ast]=Lleer y escribir corréu electrónicu
Comment[ca]=Llegiu i escriviu correu
Comment[cs]=Čtení a psaní pošty
Comment[da]=Skriv/læs e-post/nyhedsgruppe med Mozilla Thunderbird
Comment[de]=E-Mails und Nachrichten mit Thunderbird lesen und schreiben
Comment[es]=Lea y escriba correos y noticias con Thunderbird
Comment[fi]=Lue ja kirjoita sähköposteja
Comment[fr]=Lire et écrire des courriels
Comment[gl]=Lea e escriba correo electrónico
Comment[he]=קריאה/כתיבה של דוא״ל/חדשות באמצעות Mozilla Thunderbird
Comment[hr]=Čitajte/šaljite e-poštu s Thunderbird
Comment[hu]=Levelek írása és olvasása a Thunderbirddel
Comment[it]=Per leggere e scrivere email
Comment[ja]=メールの読み書き
Comment[ko]=Mozilla Thunderbird 메일/뉴스 읽기 및 쓰기 클라이언트
Comment[nl]=E-mail/nieuws lezen en schrijven met Mozilla Thunderbird
Comment[pl]=Czytanie i wysyłanie e-maili
Comment[pt_BR]=Ler e escrever suas mensagens
Comment[ru]=Читайте и пишите письма
Comment[sk]=Čítajte a píšte poštu, čítajte novinky pomocou programu Mozilla Thunderbird
Comment[sv]=Läs och skriv e-post
Comment[ug]=ئېلخەت ۋە خەۋەرلەرنى Mozilla Thunderbird دا كۆرۈش ۋە يېزىش
Comment[zh_CN]=阅读邮件或新闻
Comment[zh_TW]=以 Mozilla Thunderbird 讀寫郵件或新聞
GenericName=Mail Client
Exec=thunderbird %u
Terminal=false
X-MultipleArgs=false
Type=Application
Icon=thunderbird
Categories=Application;Network;Email;
MimeType=text/html;text/xml;application/xhtml+xml;application/xml;application/vnd.mozilla.xul+xml;application/rss+xml;application/rdf+xml;x-scheme-handler/mailto;
StartupWMClass=Thunderbird
StartupNotify=true
GenericName[ast]=Client de correu
GenericName[ca]=Client de correu
GenericName[da]=E-postklient
GenericName[de]=E-Mail-Anwendung
GenericName[es]=Cliente de correo
GenericName[fi]=Sähköpostiohjelma
GenericName[fr]=Client de messagerie
GenericName[gl]=Cliente de correo electrónico
GenericName[he]=לקוח דוא״ל
GenericName[hr]=Klijent e-pošte
GenericName[hu]=Levelezőkliens
GenericName[it]=Client email
GenericName[ko]=메일 클라이언트
GenericName[nl]=E-mailprogramma
GenericName[ru]=Почтовый клиент
GenericName[sk]=Poštový klie
GenericName[ug]=ئېلخەت دېتالى
GenericName[zh_CN]=邮件新闻客户端
GenericName[zh_TW]=郵件用戶端
X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Compose;Contacts

[Compose Shortcut Group]
Name=Compose New Message
Name[af]=Skryf 'n nuwe boodskap
Name[ar]=حرر رسالة جديدة
Name[ast]=Redactar un mensaxe nuevu
Name[be]=Напісаць ліст
Name[bg]=Ново писмо
Name[bn]=নতুন বার্তা লিখুন
Name[br]=Sevel ur gemennadenn nevez
Name[bs]=Napiši novu poruku
Name[ca]=Redacta un missatge nou
Name[cs]=Napsat novou zprávu
Name[cy]=Cyfansoddi Neges Newydd
Name[da]=Skriv en ny besked
Name[de]=Neue Nachricht erstellen
Name[el]=Σύνταξη νέου μηνύματος
Name[eo]=Redakti novan mesaĝon
Name[es]=Redactar un mensaje nuevo
Name[et]=Koosta uus sõnum
Name[eu]=Mezu Berria Idatzi
Name[fi]=Luo uusi viesti
Name[fr]=Rédiger un nouveau courriel
Name[gd]=Co-chuir Teachdaireachd Ùr
Name[gl]=Redactar unha nova mensaxe
Name[he]=חיבור הודעה חדשה
Name[hi]=नया संदेश लिखें
Name[hr]=Nova poruka
Name[hu]=Új üzenet írása
Name[hy]=Նամակ գրել
Name[id]=Buat Pesan Baru
Name[is]=Skrifa nýtt bréf
Name[it]=Componi nuovo messaggio
Name[ja]=新しいメッセージの作成
Name[kk]=Жаңа хат жазу
Name[kn]=ಹೊಸ ಸಂದೇಶವನ್ನು ಸಂಯೋಜಿಸು
Name[ko]=새 메시지 쓰기
Name[ku]=Peyameke nû biafirînê
Name[lt]=Rašyti naują laišką
Name[lv]=Sacerēt jaunu vēstuli
Name[mk]=Состави нова порака
Name[ml]=പുതിയ സന്ദേശം രചിക്കുക
Name[mr]=नवीन संदेश लिहा.
Name[nb]=Skriv en ny melding
Name[nl]=Nieuw bericht opstellen
Name[nn]=Skriv ei ny melding
Name[pl]=Utwórz nową wiadomość
Name[pt]=Criar nova mensagem
Name[pt_BR]=Compor nova mensagem
Name[ro]=Compune un mesaj nou
Name[ru]=Написать письмо
Name[si]=නව පණිවිඩයක් අරඹන්න
Name[sk]=Napísať novú správu
Name[sl]=Sestavi novo sporočilo
Name[sq]=Krijo Mesazh të Ri
Name[sr]=Састави нову поруку
Name[sv]=Skriv nytt meddelande
Name[ta]=புதிய செய்தியை உருவாக்கு
Name[te]=కొత్త సందేశాన్ని రచించు
Name[th]=สร้างข้อความใหม่
Name[tr]=Yeni İleti Oluştur
Name[uk]=Написати нове повідомлення
Name[zh_CN]=撰写新消息
Name[zh_TW]=撰寫新郵件
Exec=thunderbird -compose
TargetEnvironment=Messaging Menu;Unity

[Contacts Shortcut Group]
Name=Contacts
Name[af]=Kontakte
Name[ar]=المتراسلين
Name[ast]=Contautos
Name[be]=Кантакты
Name[bg]=Контакти
Name[bn]=পরিচিতি সমূহ
Name[br]=Darempredoù
Name[bs]=Kontakti
Name[ca]=Contactes
Name[cs]=Kontakty
Name[cy]=Cysylltiadau
Name[da]=Kontakter
Name[de]=Kontakte
Name[el]=Επαφές
Name[eo]=Kontaktoj
Name[es]=Contactos
Name[et]=Kontaktid
Name[eu]=Kontaktuak
Name[fi]=Yhteystiedot
Name[fr]=Carnet d'adresses
Name[gd]=Buntanasan
Name[gl]=Contactos
Name[he]=אנשי קשר
Name[hi]=संपर्क
Name[hr]=Kontakti
Name[hu]=Névjegyek
Name[hy]=Կապորդներ
Name[id]=Kontak
Name[is]=Tengiliðir
Name[it]=Contatti
Name[ja]=連絡先
Name[kk]=Байланыс жазулары
Name[kn]=ಸಂಪರ್ಕಗಳು
Name[ko]=연락처
Name[ku]=Tekilî
Name[lt]=Kontaktai
Name[lv]=Kontakti
Name[mk]=Контакти
Name[ml]=വിലാസങ്ങള്‍
Name[mr]=संपर्क
Name[nb]=Kontakter
Name[nl]=Contacten
Name[nn]=Kontaktar
Name[pl]=Kontakty
Name[pt]=Contactos
Name[pt_BR]=Contatos
Name[ro]=Contacte
Name[ru]=Контакты
Name[si]=සබඳතා
Name[sk]=Kontakty
Name[sl]=Stiki
Name[sq]=Kontaktet
Name[sr]=Контакти
Name[sv]=Kontakter
Name[ta]=தொடர்புகள்
Name[te]=పరిచయాలు
Name[th]=รายชื่อติดต่อ
Name[tr]=Kişiler
Name[uk]=Контакти
Name[zh_CN]=联系人
Name[zh_TW]=連絡人
Exec=thunderbird -addressbook
TargetEnvironment=Messaging Menu;Unity

4. Save it, quit.

5. Update the menu item cache:

sudo rm /usr/share/applications/desktop.*.cache
sudo sh -c "/usr/share/gnome-menus/update-gnome-menus-cache /usr/share/applications/ > /usr/share/applications/desktop.${LANG}.cache"

6. Relogin for the changes to take effect.

Notice that if you have a custom "~/.local/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop" in your home directory, you need to either delete or update it with the new .desktop file! Specifically, to make the Quicklist work in the Unity Launcher.

Also, when the "thunderbird" package is upgraded, you need to re-apply the changes! Unfortunately, there seems to be no sensible workaround for that, for example, by using an external .desktop file in any other location than the default one - I've tried this, apparently, even though one points the indicator to another .desktop file, it still pulls the default, system-wide one.

Minimize to Tray

I only now (12/11/2011) noticed that there is already a replacement for the 'MinimizeToTray Plus' extension since the end of July - added it here as it doesn't work with versions prior to Thunderbird 5.

Install the extension 'MinimizeToTray revived':

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/minimizetotray-revived/

Once it is installed, set it up under "Tools > Add-ons" in Thunderbird.

Related Posts:

Accessibility , Mail