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Mozilla Thunderbird 0.3

Release Notes

Mozilla Thunderbird is a redesign of the integrated Mozilla App-Suite mail component. Our goal is to leverage much of the existing functionality of that product to produce a stand-alone mail application that is simple and extensible. The Mozilla Thunderbird Mail Project website has more information.

Owing to the maturity of the foundational code of the app-suite, Mozilla Thunderbird is very usable; however, the status of this release is pre-alpha, and as such, is assumed to have defects. To help find the defects, the developers happily receive user feedback (via comments in the Mozilla Thunderbird forums kindly hosted by MozillaZine, or via bugs filed in Bugzilla.) Please carefully read these release notes before filing any bugs in Bugzilla.

The focus of this third milestone release is on bug fixing and performance. We introduced a lot of new features in 0.2, and we wanted a release focused less on features and more on stabilizing the product. This milestone release is built off of the recently released Mozilla 1.5 Application suite. While there is much more work yet to do, the developers are excited about recent progress and are anxious to share their latest efforts with the community. Enjoy!

This document covers the following topics for the Mozilla Thunderbird 0.3 milestone release:

What's New
Downloading, Installing and Uninstalling
Known Issues
User Support and Feedback

What's New

The following list of progress highlights is summarized from a more complete change log.
  • Recently Fixed Bugs

    The open attachment dialog has had several improvements made to it including a fix for a common 0.2 problem where the "Open With" option was disabled when trying to open an attachment.

    You can place your signature at the top of a message reply if your reply text is configured to be at the top of the message.

    POP accounts can be configured to remove read messages from the server after X days.

    Reading a news article with a background image no longer pegs the CPU at 100%

    Windows and Linux versions properly handle binhex encoded mail attachments.

    POP accounts no longer leave mail on the server by default. To change this, go to Tools / Account Settings / Server Settings.

  • Performance Improvements

    IMAP has received a huge performance boost and is several times faster than 0.2

  • Improved Stability and Polish

    This release is based on the Mozilla App-Suite 1.5 final branch and includes all of the stability work that went into Mozilla 1.5.

Downloading, Installing and Uninstalling

First-timers:  There are no official installers for this release.  The installation instructions below assume you will download the program files in a single, compressed file, which must be manually extracted to your hard disk.  Installing this way is not difficult, but does require a decompression utility. (See your utility's help information for specific instructions.)

Some of the contributed builds listed below may be self-extracting or packaged as installers, which may or may not simplify the install process for you.  Alternatively, you might try the Thunderbird Installer at

Upgraders:  DO NOT install Mozilla Thunderbird into a directory containing program files from a previous version.  Overwriting files from a previous release WILL cause problems.  To re-use the directory of a previous install, the directory must be deleted and recreated, emptied, moved, or renamed.  You should not file bugs in Bugzilla if you choose to ignore this step.

The program directory does not contain profile information; any existing accounts, account settings, options, e-mail, and news messages will remain intact.  This release does not require changes to your profile to function properly.  For those who are {curious / tweakers / FUD-ridden}, Mozilla Thunderbird Help can help you locate your profile.

Note:  Mozilla Thunderbird will create its own user profile information if it does not exist, and will not interfere with your Mozilla App-Suite profiles.

Step 1:  Download the binary by clicking on the link below associated with your operating system and environment.
Step 2a: If upgrading, prepare your install directory or plan to use a new one (see yellow Upgraders section above).
Step 2b: Using a decompression utility, extract the files to an empty directory on your hard disk.
Step 3: Navigate to your chosen extraction directory and execute thunderbird.exe.
Step 4: If desired, create quick access icons (shortcuts, symbolic links, etc.).

Note:  Omitting Step 2 will leave your profile in place for use by future Mozilla Thunderbird installs.

Step 1:  Delete the program directory into which you extracted the Mozilla Thunderbird files.
Step 2:  Delete your Mozilla Thunderbird profile directory. This step will remove any mail stored locally in your profile.
Step 3:  Delete any quick access icons you created.

Note: Volunteers have provided Mozilla Thunderbird binaries for Windows, Linux (GTK2), and Mac OS X. We hope to soon have directly providing these binaries and non-GTK2 Linux binaries also.


Linux with GTK2 and XFT:

Mac OS X:

Contributed builds (unofficial builds which are perhaps configured differently than the builds):

  • None Yet

Localized builds (contributed by the volunteers of the MLP):

Known Issues

The following is a list of the more visible known issues in Mozilla Thunderbird 0.3. Please do not file bugs in Bugzilla for these issues.  Also, please refer to this list before reporting bugs on new issues (this list will be updated).

  • The default theme is not complete, we are still using icons from the Classic theme for Mozilla. The theme will improve going forward and will be complete by the 1.0 release.
  • POP accounts no longer leave mail on the server by default. To change this, go to Tools / Account Settings / Server Settings.
  • The default dictionary is English-only. To add a non-English dictionary, read the installation instructions.
  • The enable/disable option for adaptive junk mail detection appears to apply to all accounts (Tools / Junk Mail Controls / Adaptive Filters).  It is, however, a PER ACCOUNT option.  To set the option for a specific account, choose the account in the 'Account:' dropdown on the 'Settings' panel, then switch to the 'Adaptive Filters' panel and set the option.  Repeat per account as needed.
  • The 'Download Rest of Message' link does not work. This only concerns messages that are partially downloaded because the associated POP mail account is configured to leave 'large' messages on the server.  The workaround is to configure the POP account to allow downloading of larger messages.
  • Mozilla App-Suite profiles are not currently migrated to Thunderbird. You can migrate your Mozilla profile by hand, although we do not recommend it.  Even if you simply want to preview Thunderbird, we encourage you to start with a new profile (you can re-use it if you decide to preview a later release).
  • The progress meter in the Mail 3-pane window never becomes visible.
  • Windows: Using Windows' 'Internet Options' control panel to make Thunderbird your default mail client is unreliable.  We recommend setting the option via Thunderbird in Tools / Options / General / General Settings.
  • Linux: Integration with the operating system is not currently implemented. Clicking on HTTP URLs in mail messages fails to launch your default Linux browser. We hope to address this in the next release. We recognize how important this is for our Linux users and apologize in advance.
  • Linux: The 'Mark All Read' keyboard shortcut does not work.
  • MacOSX: Closing all open Thunderbird windows yields a strange looking and partially disabled menu bar. This is Mozilla App-Suite interface elements running amok, and is mostly just annoying. We still need to implement this 'hidden window' in Thunderbird. Hopefully we'll have this by the fourth milestone.
  • MacOSX: The menu bar is missing a 'Windows' menu item which allows you to toggle through the open application windows. We hope to have this fixed in the near future too.

User Support and Feedback

There are several excellent resources contributed by members of the Mozilla Thunderbird community to help support users and gather feedback:

Introduction to Mozilla Thunderbird (getting started quickly)
Mozilla Thunderbird Help (FAQs, Tips & Tricks, and other customization)
Mozilla Thunderbird forums (general discussion, feedback, and peer user support) hosted by MozillaZine

Previous versions of the Release notes: 0.1 0.2