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Thunderbird is Mozilla's solution to the e-mail client.

Earlybird is the "unbranded" version of Thunderbird. It can be enabled when the bindist is set.


USE flags

USE flags for mail-client/thunderbird Thunderbird Mail Client

bindist Disable official Firefox/Thunderbird branding (icons, name) which are not binary-redistributable according to upstream.
clang Use Clang compiler instead of GCC
custom-cflags Build with user-specified CFLAGS (unsupported)
custom-optimization Build with user-specified compiler optimizations (-Os, -O0, -O1, -O2, -O3) from CFLAGS (unsupported)
dbus Enable dbus support for anything that needs it (gpsd, gnomemeeting, etc)
debug Enable extra debug codepaths, like asserts and extra output. If you want to get meaningful backtraces see
eme-free Disable EME (DRM plugin) cabability at build time
gmp-autoupdate Allow Gecko Media Plugins (binary blobs) to be automatically downloaded and kept up-to-date in user profiles
hardened Activate default security enhancements for toolchain (gcc, glibc, binutils)
jack Add support for the JACK Audio Connection Kit
lightning Enable app-global calendar support (note 38.0 and above bundles calendar support when this flag is off)
lto Enable Link Time Optimization (LTO). Requires Gold linker when using GCC or LDD linker when using Clang
pgo Add support for profile-guided optimization using gcc-4.5, for faster binaries. This option will double the compile time.
pulseaudio Add support for PulseAudio sound server
selinux !!internal use only!! Security Enhanced Linux support, this must be set by the selinux profile or breakage will occur
startup-notification Enable application startup event feedback mechanism
system-av1 Use the system-wide media-libs/dav1d and media-libs/libaom library instead of bundled.
system-harfbuzz Use the system-wide media-libs/harfbuzz and media-gfx/graphite2 instead of bundled.
system-icu Use the system-wide dev-libs/icu instead of bundled.
system-jpeg Use the system-wide media-libs/libjpeg-turbo instead of bundled.
system-libevent Use the system-wide dev-libs/libevent instead of bundled.
system-libvpx Use the system-wide media-libs/libvpx instead of bundled.
system-sqlite Use the system-wide dev-db/sqlite installation with secure-delete enabled
system-webp Use the system-wide media-libs/libwebp instead of bundled.
test Enable dependencies and/or preparations necessary to run tests (usually controlled by FEATURES=test but can be toggled independently)
wayland Enable dev-libs/wayland backend
wifi Enable wireless network functions


root #emerge --ask mail-client/thunderbird

Emerging Thunderbird is a long process, a pre-compiled (binary) version exists for users who want a shorter install time:

root #emerge --ask mail-client/thunderbird-bin

Note that behavior of the pre-compiled version may be different in many ways including the choice of default applications for URLs.


XDG integration

To ensure Thunderbird is being used by other applications as the default application for handling mailto: links, run:

user $xdg-mime default thunderbird.desktop x-scheme-handler/mailto

Global search

See forum post: thunderbird not indexation for global search


Keyboard shortcuts

Thunderbird has a variety of keyboard shortcuts built-in. A full listing can be viewed on the Mozilla support page.

Mail notification sound

Mail notification sound needs a sound theme to work, see bug #617566.

Instant messaging

Thunderbird supports instant messaging and chat using IRC, XMPP, Twitter, and Google Talk. Instructions for configuration can be found on the instant message and chat support page.

Calendar function

Thunderbird has a build in calendar function called lightning.

See also

  • Firefox — Mozilla's solution to the web browser.

External resources