Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Install Latest Stable Version of Thunderbird

Ubuntu 19

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of installing the latest stable version of Thunderbird, a popular open-source email client developed by Mozilla. We’ll explore three different methods: Terminal Installation, PPA Installation, and Manual Installation.

Quick Answer

To install the latest stable version of Thunderbird, you can use one of three methods: Terminal Installation, PPA Installation, or Manual Installation.


Before we begin, ensure that you have administrative rights on your system and a stable internet connection.

Method 1: Terminal Installation

The terminal, or command line, is a powerful tool that allows you to control your system directly. Here’s how to use it to install Thunderbird:

  1. Open the terminal. You can do this by searching for “terminal” in your system’s application menu or by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.
  2. Enter the following command:
wget -O- | sudo tar xj -C /opt && sudo ln -s /opt/thunderbird/thunderbird /usr/bin/thunderbird

This command does several things:

  • wget is a command-line utility that downloads files from the internet. It’s followed by the URL of the file to download.
  • The -O- option tells wget to output the downloaded file to standard output.
  • sudo tar xj -C /opt extracts the downloaded file to the /opt directory. tar is a utility for extracting and creating tarball files, xj instructs it to extract (x) a bzip2-compressed tarball (j), and -C /opt tells it to change to the /opt directory before doing so.
  • && is a shell operator that executes the second command only if the first command succeeds.
  • sudo ln -s /opt/thunderbird/thunderbird /usr/bin/thunderbird creates a symbolic link to the Thunderbird executable in /usr/bin, allowing you to launch Thunderbird from the terminal without specifying its folder.

Remember to replace 24.3.0 and linux-i686 with the version number and architecture that match your system, respectively. You can find these on the Thunderbird website.

Method 2: PPA Installation

A PPA, or Personal Package Archive, is a repository of software packages for Ubuntu and other Debian-based systems. The Mozilla Security team maintains a PPA with the latest stable releases of Thunderbird.

Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Add the PPA to your system with the following command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-security/ppa
  1. Update your package lists with the command:
sudo apt-get update
  1. Upgrade Thunderbird with the command:
sudo apt-get upgrade

The add-apt-repository command adds the specified PPA to your system’s list of repositories. The apt-get update command updates your system’s package lists, and apt-get upgrade upgrades all upgradable packages, including Thunderbird if a newer version is available in the PPA.

Method 3: Manual Installation

If you prefer to install Thunderbird directly from Mozilla, follow these steps:

  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Remove any existing Thunderbird installation with the command:
sudo apt remove thunderbird
  1. Download the latest Thunderbird version from the Mozilla website.
  2. Extract the downloaded archive with the command:
tar xjf thunderbird-*.tar.bz2
  1. Move the extracted directory to a new location with the command:
sudo mv thunderbird /opt/
  1. Create a symlink in /usr/bin with the command:
sudo ln -s /opt/thunderbird/thunderbird /usr/bin/thunderbird
  1. Optionally, create a launcher for the Unity Desktop by modifying the thunderbird.desktop file. You can either use a backed-up version or create a new one.

The apt remove command removes the specified package from your system. The mv command moves the specified file or directory to a new location. The ln -s command creates a symbolic link.


Whether you prefer using the terminal, a PPA, or manual installation, this guide has you covered. Remember to back up your profile folder (.thunderbird) before making any changes to ensure the safety of your data. Happy emailing with Thunderbird!

Can I install Thunderbird on Windows or Mac?

Yes, Thunderbird is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. You can download the appropriate installer from the Thunderbird website.

How do I update Thunderbird to the latest version?

If you installed Thunderbird using the PPA method, you can update it through the package manager by running the command sudo apt-get upgrade. If you installed Thunderbird manually, you’ll need to download the latest version from the Mozilla website and follow the manual installation steps again.

Will my existing Thunderbird profile be preserved during the installation?

Yes, regardless of the installation method you choose, your existing Thunderbird profile should remain intact. However, it is always a good practice to back up your profile folder (.thunderbird) before making any changes to ensure the safety of your data.

Can I use Thunderbird with multiple email accounts?

Absolutely! Thunderbird supports multiple email accounts, allowing you to manage all your emails in one place. You can add new email accounts by going to Tools > Account Settings and clicking on the Account Actions button.

How do I import my existing emails from another email client into Thunderbird?

Thunderbird provides an easy way to import emails from other email clients. You can go to Tools > Import and select the appropriate option based on the email client you are migrating from. Thunderbird supports importing from various email clients, including Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, and Eudora.

Can I customize the appearance and functionality of Thunderbird?

Yes, Thunderbird allows extensive customization options. You can modify the theme, install add-ons for additional features, and customize the toolbar and menu layout according to your preferences. To access these customization options, go to Tools > Add-ons and View > Toolbars.

Can I use Thunderbird with my Gmail or Yahoo Mail account?

Yes, Thunderbird supports popular email providers like Gmail and Yahoo Mail. When adding a new email account, you can select the appropriate provider from the dropdown menu and follow the instructions to configure the account. Thunderbird will automatically set up the necessary server settings for you.

Does Thunderbird have a built-in spam filter?

Yes, Thunderbird has a built-in junk mail filter that helps identify and move spam emails to the Junk folder. It uses various techniques, including adaptive learning, to improve its accuracy over time. You can customize the spam filter settings by going to Tools > Account Settings > Junk Settings.

Can I use Thunderbird to access my Microsoft Exchange email account?

Thunderbird does not have built-in support for Microsoft Exchange email accounts. However, you can use third-party add-ons like "ExQuilla" or "OWA for Thunderbird" to enable Exchange support in Thunderbird.

Is Thunderbird secure for handling my email?

Thunderbird is designed with security in mind and includes features like automatic encryption and phishing protection. However, it’s always recommended to keep Thunderbird and its add-ons up to date to ensure you have the latest security patches. Additionally, practicing good email security habits, such as being cautious with email attachments and avoiding suspicious links, is crucial for maintaining security.

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