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Thunderbird on USB drive

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IamMe
 
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Post Posted February 8th, 2020, 12:30 pm

Reference: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Running_from_ ... derbird%29
If I run it from a USB drive on another computer, Gmail may think it detects that something is wrong and then one will have to struggle through a set of annoying questions and explain "That was me"...
Is there a way to "tie" Gmail to a USB drive rather than to a computer (and its location)?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 8th, 2020, 2:57 pm

Nope.

I'm skeptical Gmail has a problem due to your using a flash drive. There might be a problem due to your using a different computer and/or ISP, though offhand I can't think why if you provided a username/password for both the IMAP server and the SMTP server. I suggest you see if you have the same problem if you run it from the USB drive on your normal computer. That will help identify the dependencies.

I used to use Thunderbird with a vpn and both outlook.com and gmail.com kept complaining that they didn't think it wasn't me because the tcp-ip address was for a different geographic location, I'd have to log into webmail and explain it really was me etc.. The problem went away if I didn't use the vpn.

Is the other computer using a vpn or some sort of proxy? You're very vague whether the other computer is another one at your house (on same network) or if you are doing something like using a libraries computer.

IamMe
 
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Post Posted February 8th, 2020, 11:28 pm

Well, I did not try this yet but have doubts since it is known that the problem comes up if you use a VPN. I considered installing on a USB stick to enable handling mails both from my desktop and my laptop as well, but at the same location. Different computers, same location, same Windows and no VPN. I hesitate to try, risking trouble with Gmail... But maybe someone who has tried can give advice.

By the way: If Thunderbird is in a laptop and you travel and run it in another town or even another country, would that be suspicious to Gmail? I would say: probably... Who has experience from this?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 9th, 2020, 12:53 am

I've logged into Gmail using Thunderbird from a location 60 miles away with no problem. "Different computers, same location, same Windows and no VPN." should be fine. Especially if you're using a router to connect to the Internet. It uses a common Internet address for all of the connected devices, only it knows how to direct that traffic to the appropriate local IP address used by your computers.

If you look up your ip address using https://whatismyipaddress.com/ you can see that it detects not just your ip address, but your ISP and physical location. I'm not sure if the geolocation feature works using Thunderbird (despite geo.enabled defaulting to true) but they will have a log of that from when you use your browser. When I use a vpn the location is frequently on the other side of the country, which looks very suspicious. If you're in a neighboring town, that is nowhere near as suspicious, especially if you go back and forth between the two locations several times. So even if its initially a problem, I suspect it will learn that is really you after you confirm that several times.

I suggest you look up your IP address that way from both computers (while at the same location) - see if it reports the same IP address.

When you use a vpn all of the traffic goes to the same vpn server (which then makes a connection to the appropriate ip address), rather than going to various ip addresses. Logging your traffic and seeing if it always goes to the same ip address is one way to see if you are using a vpn. That won't occur in your case.

https://support.purevpn.com/google-account-locked
https://www.comparitech.com/blog/vpn-pr ... ect-a-vpn/

IamMe
 
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Post Posted February 11th, 2020, 12:29 am

Another idea could be to have only the profile on the USB stick, thus movable between computers with the same Thunderbird in each.
Would that work? How could it be done?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted February 11th, 2020, 1:30 am

Sure. You could create a one line batch file that launches Thunderbird, passing the command line arguments to specify the profiles location. However, if you want to run Thunderbird from a USB drive there is a modified version of Thunderbird called Portable Thunderbird that is optimized to do that. See https://portableapps.com/support/thunderbird_portable

See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Move_a_profil ... hunderbird for how to move your profile to Portable Thunderbird, if you want to do that. https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/write-sim ... -bat-file/ explains how to write a batch file if you want to stick with the normal Thunderbird..

If you do this I suggest you invest about $10 in a fast USB drive, regardless of which approach you take. You will get best performance if you use IMAP accounts with both offline folders and global search/indexing disabled as that will minimize reading/writing to the flash drive. You can use classic search or the quick filter bar instead of global search (though you'll be limited to searching the current folder).

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