I want to set Thunderbird's calendar extension, Lightning, as the default calendar app. Is this possible?

  • @ Johannski: well perfectly right, this command installs the add-on quite nice but I'm afraid it is not the answer to the question if one can set up lightning/thunderbird as the default calendar application (within the system info).. and as far as I looked it up on other posts, it is not possible at the moment - for further information please follow the link below to the latest thread: askubuntu.com/questions/101261/is-it-possible-to-set-lightning-as-the-default-calendar-application
    – user55577
    Apr 18, 2012 at 21:31

3 Answers 3


Thunderbird can be set as default calendar application by opening the file:


In a text-editor such as GEdit and adding the line text/calendar=thunderbird.desktop to the [Default Applications] section. You may or may not need to add that same line to the [Added Associations] section too.

*To find and open this file, press the button combo Ctrl+H in your home folder, and look for .local, then find the file, right-click it and Open with..., or just double-click. After adding the line, press CTRL+Q, answer YES when asked to save.

See also this comment in the bug report.

  • 2
    Following this answer makes Thunderbird the default calendar application. By the way, opening a calendar files makes Thunderbird to create a new mail message with the calendar attached.
    – igi
    Oct 27, 2012 at 20:03

Edit the MIMETYPE line in /usr/share/applications/thuderbird.desktop to read:


Then run sudo update-desktop-database -q

Now in "Default Applications" you will find Thunderbird in the list of calendar applications.

Source: http://onemoretech.wordpress.com/2014/02/12/thunderbird-as-default-gnome-calendar/

  • This worked perfectly under Ubuntu 16.10 to add Thunderbird to "Details > Default Applications". Thank you. :-)
    – orschiro
    Dec 26, 2016 at 9:51

Calendar Extension for Thunderbird

Install this plug-in by clicking this link: xul-ext-lightning Install xul-ext-lightning

or open a terminal (e.g. gnome-terminal) and type:

sudo apt-get install xul-ext-lightning

That's all, folks!

  • thanks, but how can i install it? i tried through software center, but it doesnt work. What do i need to do? thanx Nov 9, 2011 at 12:46
  • just click on the icon
    – hhlp
    Nov 9, 2011 at 13:04
  • what icon? lightning extension is installed, but i cannot set it up as the default calendar for ubuntu... Nov 10, 2011 at 22:50
  • Thanks works perfectly well for me! actually the right command is sudo apt-get install xul-ext-lightning @Panagiotis: You have to open the terminal. Just open the Dashsite (the ubuntuicon in your sidebar) and search for terminal. Then copy my command and change to the terminal. There paste the code (right click-> paste). Then you only have to type in your password and press y for agreeing to install it. But you will get the instructions anyways. :)
    – user33737
    Nov 13, 2011 at 19:07
  • 2
    Bug 841409 may be to blame if you cannot set Lightning as the default calendar app in Ubuntu 11.10 or later. Apr 19, 2012 at 0:26

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