Saturday, 13 October 2007

Migrating Thunderbird nx8220 -> 8510p

I use Thunderbird as my Mail and Calendar client. Main reason for this is that Thunderbird has an excellent spam filter built in. My current settings are:
  • Thunderbird
  • Additional address books
  • IMAP and POP connections
  • Extended German dictionary
  • Dictionary switcher 1.1.2
  • Enigmail 0.95.3
  • Lightning 0.5 (2MB version that supports calendar publishing)
  • QuoteColors 0.2.8
  • QuoteCollapse 0.7
  • Signature Switch 1.5.4
Target machine is the HP 8510p. Here are the results:
  • Thunderbird works fine.
    I had trouble maintaining the date format (US format shown, EU format required).
    I installed language-pack-de.
    In .profile I added a line to export LC_TIME=de_AT.utf8. This did the trick
  • Addressbooks had to be exported on the source machine and re-imported on the target machine. Only the default address book ( can be copied)
  • Extended German dictionary went in ok.
  • Dictionary switcher 1.1.2 works fine. Due to installed language pack I see all English and all German settings. This can be awkward but works
  • Enigmail 0.95.0 was installed from the repository (originally I installed a separate xpi). Adding the keys for communication required me to copy the folder .gnupg onto the target machine.
  • Lightning 0.5 could not be installed (32 bit version). Even the 64 bit version crashes the system. Installing Ubuntu package lightning-extension 0.5-0ubuntu4 works. Copied storage.db to get all calendar setting and data.
  • QuoteColors 0.2.8 works fine
  • QuoteCollapse 0.7 works fine
  • Signature Switch 1.4.2 upgraded to 1.5.4 without problem. Added the signatures which I kept in separate files.
Errors I ran into:

I tried to shortcut porting my settings by copying the profile folder. This did not work for several reasons:
  • Some files contain absolute path description
  • The extension folder contained the old 32 bit version of Lightning
  • Thunderbird crashed unexpectedly and none reproducable
I resorted to install a plain vanilla Thunderbird and add extensions and settings iteratively. There is a detailed description of porting profiles in the Mozilla knowledge base. It helped migrating address books, key rings and other account settings.

Installing Lightning from the Mozilla download site resulted in reproducible crashes. Installing from the Ubuntu repository solved the issue.

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