Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have two Thunderbird profiles, and my profiles.ini looks like this:




Profile1 is marked as default, but that is only because it was started last. If I start Profile0, it will became the default instead.

How can I set Profile0 to be always the default profile, regardless of which profile was started as last time?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If your main concern is which profile will be used when mailto link is clicked, then the solution is to always start the default profile normally and launch all other profiles with the -no-remote option.

The way it works is that if you start a profile with the -no-remote option, firefox does not see it that it is running. Firefox will only see the default instance (which was started without -no-remote)

This is all explained in this MozzilaZine Article

share|improve this answer
that seems to work OK – user1968963 Jul 12 '14 at 12:59

As far as I know, you can only change the StartsWithLastProfile=1 to make Thunderbird ask every time it starts up.

That is obviously not what you want so you will have to provide the -P default option when starting Thunderbird.

On my system $(which thunderbird) gives /usr/bin/thunderbird which itself is a link to ../lib/thunderbird/thunderbird.sh. You can replace the link with a small executable script:

/usr/lib/thunderbird/thunderbird.sh -P default $*

and your profile with Name=default is always started, either from the commandline, or by opening via the GUI (as that should just call this executable thunderbird).

I am not sure what Thunderbird does when you specify multiple profiles on the commandline and run this script with thunderbird -P custom. If it still takes the default profile, you may want to move the $* in the script to before the -P.

share|improve this answer
what I mostly care about, is that when I click an mailto link, that always Profile0 will be used (to open the compose window). – user1968963 Jul 12 '14 at 11:34
@user1968963 - to do that you'll want to change the last line of /usr/bin/thunderbird as Anthon has described s othat it's exec $MOZ_LAUNCHER $script_args $MOZ_PROGRAM -P default. You could also move the original thunderbird script out of the way (change its name to thunderbird.orig, and then make Anthons script /usr/lib/thunderbird and have it call the thunderbird.orig script. – slm Jul 12 '14 at 11:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.