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What is the recommended way of trying out the new Thunderbird 60 release on Ubuntu 18.04? I see several options:

  • simply download the prebuilt package from https://www.thunderbird.net/. Will it use my existing profile or does it expect some other path?
  • install some PPA (which one?)
  • install some snap or flatpak version (how to get my existing profile into it?)
  • something else?

However, I would like to use my existing profile for testing, so I won't have to recreate the whole configuration. In addition I would like to be able to easily revert in case it does not work for me. Of course I will backup my profile before, just thought I should mention this.

Best would be if I could switch easily between the two versions for some time.

5

You can just download the newest version here https://www.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/all/ Unpack it to a folder and click on executable "thunderbird". For me it found my profile automatically and I was able to have a look at the new version.

My old installation is not affected in anyway.

2
  • Yeah, but this method won't automatically update or upgrade... Of course, that wouldn't actually be a problem if Canonical actually offered the Thunderbird 60 upgrade in Ubuntu - but we all know how obsessed with outdated software Canonical is. – Gregory Opera Sep 5 '18 at 8:24
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    @GregoryOpera comments ideally relate to improving answers, so this is a bit off topic. That said, the development release of Ubuntu is essentially synced with Debian Sid/unstable which has 60 in it. You can see from merges.ubuntu.com/t/thunderbird that the automatic merge failed and needs some manual work. You may want to read wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDevelopment/Merging to better understand how things work. – wxl Sep 6 '18 at 17:06
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Also, if you want your launcher to launch thunderbird 60 instead of 52, you will need to change the launcher path from thunderbird %u to wherever you saved it. In my case I saved it in ~/.local/share/ so my overall path was /home/username/.local/share/thunderbird/thunderbird

sudo nano /usr/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop

Find Exec=thunderbird %u and change to Exec=/whereyousavedit/thunderbird %u

Then it will work perfectly. I'm assuming I will need to undo this once thunderbird 60 comes out in the repo, but this works for now.

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    I don't advise you on changing system files, even if only a .desktop since it can lead you to have this file to not be normally updated by apt. Instead you can copy the file to ~/.local/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop and make the changes there. Also, following the FHS (just for easiness of maintenance), the best place to have non-system installed software would be /usr/local, /opt or ~/opt. For reference: howtogeek.com/117435/… – fboaventura Sep 17 '18 at 15:33
  • If you want to improve another answer please suggest an edit to it. If you want present a partial alternative please repeat or quote the parts that are the same (in case the original answer changes) and highlight the differences. In any case please don’t create a new incomplete answer! Thank you. – David Foerster Sep 17 '18 at 22:20
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Thunderbird 60 is now available in the snap store https://snapcraft.io/thunderbird

It's still flagged as edge so you need to issue the following command to install it:

sudo snap install thunderbird --edge
0

The best option still is to download Thunderbird debian package from here: https://packages.debian.org/sid/amd64/thunderbird/download So you still be able to remove it at any time or upgrade with Ubuntu package when it will be available. Snap is crap. Don't use it.

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You can install it from the official PPA maintained by the Mozilla Team (you don't need to remove the currently-installed version of Thunderbird).

To upgrade currently installed package:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mozillateam/ppa
sudo apt upgrade

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