Bug #12580

Nothing happens when I start Thunderbird

Added by sajolida about 1 month ago. Updated 10 days ago.

Status:ResolvedStart date:05/24/2017
Priority:ElevatedDue date:
Assignee:-% Done:


Target version:Tails_3.0
QA Check:Pass Blueprint:
Feature Branch:bugfix/12580-thunderbird-migration-fix Easy:
Type of work:Code Affected tool:Email Client


After upgrading to 3.0~rc1, when I start Thunderbird, either from the activities overview or from the terminal nothing happens. Still, my folder is renamed to ~/.thunderbird.

I'm attaching the output of bash -x thunderbird.

Assigning to anonym who wrote this script.

thunderbird (4.34 KB) sajolida, 05/22/2017 02:43 PM

Associated revisions

Revision 01419602
Added by anonym 28 days ago

Thunderbird: disable `set -eu` for Debian's migration helpers.

At least the `do_fix_mimetypes_rdf()` helper is not designed to run
with `set -e` in particular: if there is a mimeTypes.rdf inside the
profile directory, but it doesn't contain any associations to
"icedove" or "/usr/bin/iceweasel", then the `grep` will fail in such a
way that `set -e` makes the whole script abort. When set -e is
disabled, that failing `grep` will simply result in a variable being
empty, which is the expected outcome in that situation.

Will-fix: #12580

Revision 9e14fafc
Added by intrigeri 28 days ago

Merge remote-tracking branch 'origin/bugfix/12580-thunderbird-migration-fix' into feature/stretch (Fix-committed: #12580).


#1 Updated by sajolida about 1 month ago

#2 Updated by intrigeri about 1 month ago

  • Priority changed from Normal to Elevated

Sounds like this is worth higher priority. Local/hackish workarounds would be welcome. I'll try to reproduce.

#3 Updated by sajolida about 1 month ago

Today I started it from a terminal or Alt+F2 doing:

/usr/bin/thunderbird -P default

#4 Updated by cacahuatl about 1 month ago

In `/usr/local/bin/thunderbird` line 3 `set -e` means if any command returns non-0 the script terminates.

In `/usr/lib/thunderbird/thunderburd-wrapper-helper.sh` on line 140 the `grep` command will return 1 if there are no matches.

Anyone who doesn't have a `mimeTypes.rdf` file with something to change in it will be unable to launch thunderbird because it will exit at that point due to `grep` returning 1.

#5 Updated by cacahuatl 30 days ago

In the case outlined above, a simple workaround is just to create a file in /home/amnesia/.thunderbird/ called .migrated so that it skips the checks, since that's what the script was about to do before launching thunderbird anyway.


cat <&lt;EOF &gt; /home/amnesia/.thunderbird/.migrated
This is an automatically created file by /usr/bin/thunderbird, it will be
recreated by every start of Thunderbird if the wrapper is not find it.
Remove that file only if you know the propose of this file.
/usr/share/doc/thunderbird/README.Debian.gz will hold some useful information
about this dot file.

#6 Updated by intrigeri 29 days ago

  • Status changed from New to Confirmed

I've seen multiple people report this here and on XMPP.

#7 Updated by emmapeel 29 days ago

I have one Tails 3.0~rc1 when I can reproduce this bug, and another where I can't.

The USB stick were I can start Thunderbird had a very small mailbox setup. The one that can't open has a lot of email.

#8 Updated by emmapeel 29 days ago

`/usr/bin/thunderbird -P default` did not work for me.

`touch /home/amnesia/.thunderbird/.migrated` does

#9 Updated by intrigeri 28 days ago

  • Priority changed from Normal to Elevated

(Reverting priority change caused by subtask.)

#10 Updated by emmapeel 28 days ago

Not all users seem to have this problem.

I can provide my WhisperBack logs for 'non-working' install ust after upgrade, and from the working install, but that last one will not be the first log after update.

#11 Updated by anonym 28 days ago

  • Status changed from Confirmed to In Progress
  • Assignee changed from anonym to intrigeri
  • % Done changed from 30 to 50
  • QA Check set to Ready for QA
  • Feature Branch set to bugfix/12580-thunderbird-migration-fix

First: to every one who has worked around this problem with touch .thunderbird/profile.default/.migrated: your migration is successful so you can forget about this issue.

I managed to reproduce the exact situation from the submitters bash trace with: touch .thunderbird/profile.default/mimeTypes.rdf (the only important thing is that it exists and doesn't contain the strings icedove nor /usr/bin/iceweasel). With the fix in the feature branch the migration will succeed and Thunderbird will start (see the commit message in 01419602d9e2d99cb74717695d08f527c51d7f10 for the full details).

#12 Updated by intrigeri 28 days ago

  • Status changed from In Progress to Fix committed
  • % Done changed from 50 to 100

#13 Updated by intrigeri 28 days ago

  • Assignee deleted (intrigeri)
  • QA Check changed from Ready for QA to Pass

#14 Updated by sajolida 28 days ago

So my workaround was to:

  • mv .thunderbird/profile.default/mimeTypes.rdf ~/Persistent/
  • Start Thunderbird
  • Close Thunderbird
  • mv ~/Persistent/mimeTypes.rdf thunderbird/profile.default/
  • Start Thunderbird again
  • Be happy!

#15 Updated by intrigeri 10 days ago

  • Status changed from Fix committed to Resolved

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