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Old 10-21-2018, 12:59 PM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2018
Location: MN and WI
Distribution: Bodhi 5.X
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Question Thunderbird and Calendar - Observation

Observation Only...

After installing Bodhi 5.x on my primary laptop and installing the apps that I typically use, one that surprised me was Thunderbird. Version 60 is fine, but as packaged, it does not have the calendar functionality nor will it accept the lightning pluging/extension which apparently only works on version of Thunderbird up to 52 (according to what I found at the plugins page).

So after messing around a bit, I finally downloaded the latest tar.gz file, placed the results in my ~/bin folder with a symlink to the executable and wonder of wonders, the calendar appeared.

I had read that Calendar was to be incorporated into the main codebase of Thunderbird and clearly it is. I suppose that explains why the Lightning extension is no longer compatible.... . I find it odd though that the .deb from the Ubuntu archives installs Thunderbird 60.x.x but does not have the Calendar available whereas the downloaded version from Thunderbirds' site which reports exactly the same version does include it.


Anyone have an idea of what is up with that? Just curious....

Last edited by wjwieland; 10-21-2018 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Clarification of purpose of post
Old 10-22-2018, 07:03 AM   #2
Bodhi Developer
Registered: Jun 2018
Location: Ladson, SC US
Distribution: Bodhi
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I haven't tested the below information but the difference you note has to do with the way ubuntu packages Thunderbird:

Recent versions of Thunderbird (at least the version packaged / distributed by Mozilla) has come pre-installed with Lightning; this is why the extension hasn't been updated on

The version of Thunderbird installable from the standard Ubuntu repositories is packaged by Ubuntu. They have chosen to package the extension as a separate package (xul-ext-lightning), so the most "correct" solution to this issue is to install that package.

(xul-ext-lightning being English-only appears to be long-standing issue (#545778); if this affects you I suggest contributing to that bug report.)

If you would still like to install the .xpi file (perhaps because of the locale issue):

1. Visit the Thunderbird site ( and download the Linux / Linux 64-bit version of Thunderbird, matching your installed version (60.2.1 in this case) and locale. It should be a .tar.bz2 archive.
2. Extract the archive, then inside thunderbird/distribution/extensions there should be one .xpi file. That should be the corresponding version of Lightning (

Also note, Ubuntu applies a number of patches to Thunderbird which of course the Mozilla release would not have. These Ubuntu specific patches to the original source code may or may not be a good idea. In Most cases for most packages they are a good idea as they resolve issues the Ubuntu or Debian community has noted and often they work their way upstream back to the original source code. You can look at the patches Ubuntu uses for any package by finding it on Launchpad ... Look for the debian.tar package. For Thunderbird download this. Some ubuntu patches are to make things work better with Unity and may or may not be a good idea for a non unity desktop like Bodhi.
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:03 AM   #3
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Thumbs up Good Answer

Thanks rbtylee for the response and good information. I had suspected that there was something like this going on.

I failed to mention in my original post that I had in fact searched for and found the xul extention packaged by Ubuntu and installed if via apt after installing Thunderbird. That extention did not function, at least not for me.

I find it a bit disturbing that an application like Thunderbird would diverge so far from what the maintainers clearly have done. While I understand there is a time element involved between developers updates and distribution maintainers efforts, it seems to me that the distribution should at least put something in their packages that is tested to work.

That said, Thunderbird from the maintainers site has me up and going and I am satisfied and grateful for that. Additionally, I do appreciate the efforts of both those who develop and maintain excellent applications and distributions like Thunderbird and Ubuntu. I have literally hundreds of apps which I use on at least an ocassional basis and many that I use regularly. I am amazed at how this stuff all hangs together in such a way that I can, within an hour, install and update an OS along with apps that meet every computing need I have. It is truely amazing! (I am not forgetting those that work on the Kernel and modules that allow all these apps to function on todays (and yesterdays) hardware).

Thanks for the well cited information rbtylee!
Old 10-22-2018, 12:12 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2018
Location: Northern Exposure
Distribution: Bodhi 5
Posts: 244

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comment: that is why bodhi forum having closed and we now have a new home here - it is tough sometimes - esp. being a know-nothing compared to the high end people - I still see other people running other distros making comments here trying to help but do not know bodhi and are many times so off in their response that even i KNOW that something is awry/amiss. there are so many little facets for each distro that because bodhi or another ubunti based disror is coming from ubuntu - not everything is endemic to bodhi. plus moksha is a whole 'nother animal as sorts. when we had our own forum most people were users and art of the bodhi trip. sure technical command line stuff generally is applicable across the board re: linux but so many other things are context specific.
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calendar, email, thunderbid, ubuntu 18.04

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