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Error in Thunderbird 78.2.2 and 78.3.1 for command line control on Mac

  • 22 uphendule
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  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu ppp

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Until today I would use a command line like:

Applications/Thunderbird.app/Contents/MacOS/thunderbird -profile /TargetPATH/4t8rz46z.default/

to start Thunderbird using the profile given in the TargetPATH.

But after todays update 78.2.2, this feature does not work on my mac MacOS 10.15.6

When using this command line, thunderbird opens but without any content.

How to do now a command line start of Thunderbird on a target profile?

Okulungisiwe ngu ppp

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

I have found a workaround, but I still don’t understand why the initial command did not work.

On MacOS 10.15.7 and TB 78.3.1, the following command Applications/Thunderbird.app/Contents/MacOS/thunderbird does not work. It starts thunderbird, but give the empty screen already given above as an attachment.

Now the following command does work on my computer

cd Applications/Thunderbird.app/Contents/MacOS/ ./thunderbird -profile /TargetPATH/4t8rz46z.default/

If anyone can explain to me what changed after TB 78.2.0 to make those changes... please let me know.

Funda le mpendulo ngokuhambisana nalesi sihloko 👍 0

All Replies (20)

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Is that trailing / required? I don't think so. I don't have MacOS 10.15.6 to test with, but the -profile switch works just fine in Windows. What exactly do you mean by "opens without any content"?

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Have you tried the method described here? I've never seen -profile suggested for any platform; it's usually -profilemanager or -p.

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sfhowes said

Have you tried the method described here? I've never seen -profile suggested for any platform; it's usually -profilemanager or -p.

The -profile switch bypasses the profile manager, directly launching the profile whose profile folder's path is given after the switch.

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Stans said

Is that trailing / required? I don't think so. I don't have MacOS 10.15.6 to test with, but the -profile switch works just fine in Windows. What exactly do you mean by "opens without any content"?

My aim it simply to have a command line way to start Thunderbird using a given profile. It worked well until yesterday, but the update did break this down.

A picture of what I get is given as attachment.

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sfhowes said

Have you tried the method described here? I've never seen -profile suggested for any platform; it's usually -profilemanager or -p.

Yes, I have tried -ProfileManager or -P both don't work now.

The -profile way is given in: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Starting_Firefox_or_Thunderbird_with_a_specified_profile

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But if you try to manually start that specific profile is it opening right? Or also then it is the same? manually = open profile settings (-p) select profile manually

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FfTh202009 said

But if you try to manually start that specific profile is it opening right? Or also then it is the same? manually = open profile settings (-p) select profile manually

Thanks for this suggestion. If I start using -p then manually select default profile, I also obtain the picture in the attachment. It looks to me as if there is a bug in the latest version for mac?

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I think that actually the profile files were corrupted... :(

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FfTh202009 said

I think that actually the profile files were corrupted... :(

I think so too.

@ppp, do you have a backup of the profile folder prior to this corruption? If so, you might wanna try that copy in a new profile. You could also try a previous version of the prefs.js file. Look inside the non-working profile folder, you should see several numbered copies (backups) of the prefs.js file. Looking at their dates of modification, you can tell which one was the most recent copy before the corruption. Quit Tbird, restore it by renaming it to prefs.js and relaunch Tbird.

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Thanks to all for the help. Much appreciated.

I used a backup version of the profile (that did work with previous version of Thunderbird) with TB 78.2.2. Not working.

Any other idea how to solve this? Could there be any link with this issue: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/dedicated-profile-thunderbird-installation  ? Did anyone tried that command, on TB 78.2.2 for MacOS? Applications/Thunderbird.app/Contents/MacOS/thunderbird -profile /TargetPATH/4t8rz46z.default/

At this stage... this still tooks to be a bug for me.

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I just saw that it's possible to downgrade (and I did it with succes) so you might try to backup present profile (which is not working) and downgrade. After downgrade you should use --allow-downgrade command and after that you will see if that profile it's opening...

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FfTh202009 said

I just saw that it's possible to downgrade (and I did it with succes) so you might try to backup present profile (which is not working) and downgrade. After downgrade you should use --allow-downgrade command and after that you will see if that profile it's opening...

Thanks a lot. It indeed works with TB 78.2.0 with the same profile. So my guess is still that there is a bug in 78.2.2

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I don't think the problem is with the command line, rather TB opens with a blank setup, which sometimes happens during an update. The first, and simplest, thing to try is to delete the global-messages-db.sqlite file from the profile folder, with TB closed, and then see if your data appears when TB restarts. The second, simple, step if the first doesn't help, is to start in safe mode (hold Option when you launch TB) to test for a broken layout.

If neither of those work, the best option is to create a new profile, with Profile Manager or Help/Troubleshooting, about:profiles, add your accounts, and then transfer mail, address books etc. from the old profile to the new. It's a bit more work, but avoids issues with using older profiles in updated versions of TB.

Okulungisiwe ngu sfhowes

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sfhowes said

I don't think the problem is with the command line, rather TB opens with a blank setup, which sometimes happens during an update. The first, and simplest, thing to try is to delete the global-messages-db.sqlite file from the profile folder, with TB closed, and then see if your data appears when TB restarts. The second, simple, step if the first doesn't help, is to start in safe mode (hold Option when you launch TB) to test for a broken layout. If neither of those work, the best option is to create a new profile, with Profile Manager or Help/Troubleshooting, about:profiles, add your accounts, and then transfer mail, address books etc. from the old profile to the new. It's a bit more work, but avoids issues with using older profiles in updated versions of TB.

Thanks a lot for this feed-back.

1) I have started TB 78.2.2 normaly without command line. Everything works normally. 2) I have started TB 78.2.2 with command line, pointing to the profile that is working (see 1) ), and it does not work, the same empty screen mentioned above. 3) I have started TB 78.2.0 with command line, and everything works.

My conclusion is still that there should be a bug in TB 78.2.2 for MacOS. Otherwise, I have a hard time to explain this behaviour.

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I cannot reproduce this on Mac 10.15.6 using 81 beta, using a profile name that ends with a slash.

I honestly don't know how I could force it to open in a blank pane. But I don't agree that there must be profile corruption - that remains to be proved.

I suggest try using a profile name that doesn't exist - what do you see?

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try adding -safe-mode to the profile choice and choose "reset toolbars and controls" to make that permanent.

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I too couldn't reproduce this on Mac 10.13 using Tbird 78.2.2. The trailing / in the profile path had no effect when included or omitted.

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Wayne Mery said

try adding -safe-mode to the profile choice and choose "reset toolbars and controls" to make that permanent.

Thanks so much again for your help!

I started in safe mode, by clicking on the icon, then did press the "reset toolbars and controls". Everything worked. Then I started again using command line on the target profile this did not work.

By the way my problem is on MacOS 10.15.6 with TB 78.2.2

Very strange.

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Wayne Mery said

I cannot reproduce this on Mac 10.15.6 using 81 beta, using a profile name that ends with a slash. I honestly don't know how I could force it to open in a blank pane. But I don't agree that there must be profile corruption - that remains to be proved. I suggest try using a profile name that doesn't exist - what do you see?

Thanks a lot for your advice.

I see a welcome screen (shown below) that is different to the screen when the error happened (shown in previous post)

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I have just updated the title... as I tried with TB 78.3.1 (64 bits) for MacOS 10.15.7, the problem is still there.

So in summary: 1) I have started TB 78.2.2 and TB 78.3.1 normally without command line. Everything works normally. 2) I have started TB 78.2.2 and TB 78.3.1 with command line, pointing to the profile that is working (see 1) ), and it does not work, the same empty screen mentioned above. 3) I start TB 78.2.0 with command line pointing to the same profile, and everything works.

So as the same profile when passed as command line for 78.3.1 does not work, but works in standard opening... I think that we can safely exclude corruption of the profile.

This is the command line: Applications/Thunderbird.app/Contents/MacOS/thunderbird -profile /TargetPATH/4t8rz46z.default/

Is anyone with the latest version of MacOS able to reproduce this strange bug? How could we solve this?

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