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Thunderbird (from tarball) doesn't see my existing profile

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Psychonaut

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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 6:55 am

I am running openSUSE Tumbleweed and normally run Thunderbird from the Tumbleweed packages.

However, when I want to report a bug and suspect that the problem might be specific to the Tumbleweed packages, I first check if I can reproduce the problem with the official Thunderbird distribution. That is, I download the binary tarball from thunderbird.net, untar it, and launch its thunderbird binary.

In the past this has always worked fineā€”the tarball Thunderbird automatically finds my existing Thunderbird profile in ~/.thunderbird and launches without any problems. But I tried this today with the Thunderbird 68.1.0 tarball and it didn't find my existing profile. It was as if I was launching Thunderbird for the very first time; none of my existing accounts were shown and I got a wizard asking me to set up an e-mail account.

Any idea why this is happening? Has the official version of Thunderbird changed the location of the user profiles? Did the feature request in Bug 735285 get implemented without anyone mentioning this?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 11:26 am

Version 68 wants to create a new profile. This is due to the new version of the Mozilla toolkit software it uses. The Firefox developers wanted to have dedicated profiles for release builds, nightly builds, etc. and also provide the option for dropping backwards compatibility. Thunderbird doesn't benefit from this, but it was judged too expensive/risky to disable this "feature".

You can use an existing profile if you add the -allow-downgrade command line argument to the Thunderbird shortcut. You can use the about:profiles link in help->troubleshooting information rather than calling the profile manager using command line arguments.

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/doc ... ne_Options

Psychonaut

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Post Posted September 17th, 2019, 11:48 pm

Thanks for the explanation. Good to know about this.

Psychonaut

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Post Posted September 18th, 2019, 4:36 am

Well, I gave -allow-downgrade a try just now and it seems to have no effect. Thunderbird still pops up with the new account wizard, and with none of my existing accounts and add-ons visible.

(Incidentally, according to thunderbird --help, the command-line option is --allow-downgrade, not -allow-downgrade. But using the double-hyphen version doesn't work either.)

What did end up working for me is running thunderbird with the --ProfileManager option. This allowed me to select my existing profile. No need to use --allow-downgrade.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted September 18th, 2019, 8:36 am

You're right about it having two dashes. I searched the tb-planning archives to confirm that. Apparently https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/doc ... ne_Options has an error.

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