Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thunderbird 8 Available in Stable PPA, Official Repos Not Yet

After some days of delay, Thunderbird 8 was finally published to its Stable PPA yesterday, but it hasn't arrived in Ubuntu Oneiric's official repositories yet. The most important new features include that its now based on the very same Gecko engine Firefox is based on, and that add-ons installed by third-party programs are now disabled by default.

  • Thunderbird is based on the new Mozilla Gecko 8 engine.
  • Add-ons installed by third-party programs are now disabled by default.
  • New Search and Find Shortcuts.
  • Improved accessibility of the attachment list.
  • Folder switching pane widget has been removed, can be added back with the Folder Pane View Switcher Add-on.
  • Numerous platform fixes to stability.
  • Fixed several security issues.
Lucid, Maverick and Natty Installation

For installing Thunderbird 8 in Ubuntu Lucid to Natty, you need to upgrade using its Stable PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/thunderbird-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade


Oneiric Installation

Thunderbird 8 should be available in the official repositories for Ubuntu Oneiric in a day or two. Then you can just use the Update Manager to upgrade to Thunderbird 8, or from Terminal run:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

You can check if the Thunderbird 8 packages are available in the official repositories by visiting this site:

Update 11/21/2011: As Thunderbird 8 packages still aren't released to the official repos, I've started to wonder if they ever will. So here is another way to do a proper installation via a repository, to first integrate it better into the system, and also get future updates automatically: Ubuntuzilla.

Update 11/28/2011: Thunderbird 8 has now finally arrived in the official repos, yay! (jingles) So you can now upgrade to it via the usual way, as described above. However, since the delay stuff apparently became a pattern now, it's to consider if it's not better to use 'Ubuntuzilla' in the first place. (Yes, it's strange to suggest users that are supposedly provided with the latest versions via the official repos to use a third-rank method, behind the Stable PPA!)

Install Lightning Extension (Calendar)

The Lightning extension is now included in the official Thunderbird tarball package offered by Mozilla. But in Ubuntu you need to install it manually if you want so, from the same repositories you also install Thunderbird itself from, as mentioned above. So after installing Thunderbird itself, just run this command in the Terminal:

sudo apt-get install lightning-extension

Other Linux

If you are using some other Linux, you can follow the 'Other Linux' instructions here, just replace '6.0' with '8.0' in the commands:

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