Thunderbird 3 Beta in Ubuntu


This post was originally published in 2009
It may contain stale & outdated information. Or it may have grown more awesome with age, like the author.

Today it occurred to me that Thunderbird 2 is pretty old, so I looked into Thunderbird 3’s progress.

I stumbled across a thread on Nabble that contained a link to a mozilla PPA that included Thunderbird 3 Beta versions.

You can find it here:

PPA for Ubuntu Mozilla Daily Build Team

To install it, open a Terminal, then follow the steps below:

Backup your sources list:

sudo cp /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list_bak

Backup your Thunderbird 2 profile (if you’ve been using it):

mkdir /home/<username>/.mozilla-thunderbird_bak
cp -R /home/<username>/.mozilla-thunderbird/* /home/<username>/.mozilla-thunderbird_bak/

Open the list in gedit:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Scroll to the bottom of this file and paste the repository location (the selected lines in the below image). Make sure you select the version of Ubuntu that you’re using!

Mozilla Daily Build PPA

Save then close sources.list.

Add the GPG key:

sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver EF4186FE247510BE

Update package information:

sudo apt-get update

If you get an error here, repeat the GPG key add step, replacing the above key with the key reported in the error message.

Now install Thunderbird 3!

sudo apt-get install thunderbird-3.0

When that’s done, you’ll be able to access it at: Applications -> Internet -> Shredder 3 Mail/News.

If you want to change the icon:

sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/thunderbird-3.0.desktop

Replace the text following Icon= with a path to your image file. For example:


Save and close the file.

Have fun!

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