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In Thunderbird, on startup, I get the error message: "Could not initialize the application's security component"

The message continues to check permissions of the profile, and free disk space.

df -h 

shows, that I have 19G free disk space.

find . -not -perm -644 -not -perm -600 -ls

shows: No file without rw-permissions for me.

Before the error occured, thunderbird worked well. But I changed my main mail-account. I had two, let's call them A and B, and used mainly A, but now I wanted to deaktivate it, and receive and send automatically via the second. I Had problems moving the filters from inbox A to inbox B (missing copy-functionality).

In the web, I found (mollazine) hints, to move key3.db, cert8.db and secmode.db out of the way, but it didn't work for me.

Another hint was to uninstall Quickcam(?. sic!), but I don't have Quickcam.

A third to recreate the profile, but I have subdirectories, filters, addressbook, groups - mails back to the year 2003. I don't want to risk the loss of data.

The whole errormessage is:

Could not initialize the application's security component. The most likely cause is problems with files in your application's profile directory. Please check that this directory has no read/write restrictions and your hard disk is not full or close to full. It is recommended that you exit the application and fix the problem. If you continue to use this session, you might see incorrect application behaviour when accessing security features.

When I open the error-console, it is empty.

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closed as off topic by Stefano Palazzo Feb 2 '12 at 15:39

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What does the TB's (Tools → Error console) say? – arrange Apr 8 '11 at 20:07
I updated my question - last 2 paragraphs: Error console is empty. – user unknown Apr 8 '11 at 21:34
Does TB give you the same message when launched from a different account? – arrange Apr 8 '11 at 22:31
Then I'd recommend creating (a testing) one. I don't know of a better method of finding out if the problem is local (your config) or global (system config). – arrange Apr 8 '11 at 22:57
Been there, done that. Created a new Useraccount, had, of course, no stale mailaccount so used my own, and promptly received 8 mails which I now have to bring somehow into my real archiv. But well - I saw it comming. My fault being too lazy. So no general error with Thunderbird. – user unknown Apr 8 '11 at 23:46

3 Answers 3

Once you can create a new account with no problems, why don't you just backup and restore your accounts settings into the new one?

1) Run:

thunderbird -profilemanager    

2) Create Profile > Next > New Profile > Finish > Exit.

3) Now, it's time to copy the files:

Open the folder containing your current broken Mozilla Thunderbird profile and copy them into the New Profile.


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Ok. I'll give it a try, but I don't like it. If it works, I don't know afterwards what was wrong. And I'm fearing about 13 years of email. – user unknown Apr 12 '11 at 12:10
Thanks, but it didn't work. (How should it?) The same message as before. – user unknown Apr 12 '11 at 13:26
I don't know how many files there is, but, may be you can copy some of then to test witch one is the guilty? (I could do that once to find that ~/.local/share/applications/gnome-wm.desktop was breaking my windows decorations) – desgua Apr 12 '11 at 14:17
find | wc -l leads to 316, but the idea is worth a star. I might cut the files in half the numbers, so test 160/80/40/20/10/5/3/2/1 which would be 9 steps. Hm. – user unknown Apr 12 '11 at 14:37
Yes, that is what I did. I just still have to improve my English skill to explain better. – desgua Apr 13 '11 at 0:07

Do a chown -R on the profile folder with your username.

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Thanks, they all belong to me: find ~/.thunderbird -ls | grep -v stefan – user unknown Apr 12 '11 at 12:10

I found this page solved my problem on this one:

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Thanks. I meanwhile solved my problems after fiddling around for hours, so I'm sorry that I can't tell what healed my situation in the end. – user unknown Jan 9 '12 at 12:43
@Porky Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – Eliah Kagan Aug 26 '12 at 6:57

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