Many Linux distributions include Thunderbird by default, and most have a package management system that enables you to easily install Thunderbird. Generally, you should install from the package management system, because it will:
- Ensure that you have all the required libraries
- Install Thunderbird in a way that works best with your distribution
- Create shortcuts to launch Thunderbird
- Make Thunderbird available to all users of your computer
- Make removing Thunderbird work the same as removing any other application
Package management also has some disadvantages:
- It may not give you the latest version of Thunderbird
- It may give you a version without Thunderbird branding
Installing from a package manager
To install Thunderbird using the package manager, please refer to the documentation of the Linux distribution you're using.
Installing outside of a package manager
Complete instructions for installing Thunderbird outside of package management may be available at your distribution's support website. For example:
- Before you install Thunderbird, make sure that your computer has the required libraries installed. Missing libraries will cause Thunderbird to be inoperable.
- The installation file provided by Mozilla in .tar.bz2 format does not contain sources but pre-compiled binary files, therefore you can simply unpack and run them. There is no need to compile the program from source.
- The following instructions will install Thunderbird into your home directory, and only the current user will be able to run it.
- Download Thunderbird from the Thunderbird download page to your home directory.
- Open a Terminal and go to your home directory:
- Extract the contents of the downloaded file:
tar xjf thunderbird-*.tar.bz2
- Close Thunderbird if it's open.
- To start Thunderbird, run the thunderbird script in the thunderbird folder:
Thunderbird should now start. You can then create a launcher on your desktop to run this command.
As noted above, you need to install the required libraries for Thunderbird to work. Many distributions don't include libstdc++5 by default.
"Thunderbird not installed" message or wrong version of Thunderbird starts
If Thunderbird is installed following the instructions given above, it must be started (in a Terminal or in a launcher on the Desktop, for example) using the command:
If you try to start Thunderbird in a Terminal with the command:
thunderbird, it will either start the package-manager-installed version of Thunderbird or will tell you the program is not installed.