Thunderbird works correctly when the profile folder is in the /home ext4 mount.

I am running on Debian 10 &,

Thunderbird 52.4.0 from debian (purged both thunderbird and icedove and reinstalled but did not solve).

When I open Thunderbird using a profile stored on an ntfs drive (with no .parentlock file), I get this error:

Thunderbird cannot use the profile “main-profile” because it is in use.

To continue, close the running instance of Thunderbird or choose a different profile.

Now when I check inside the profile folder it has created a new .parentlock file.

To ensure that this was not being caused by some other thing like plugins, etc, I tried creating a brand new profile:

thunderbird -P

and created a new profile in the ntfs drive.

Now Thunderbird creates just 2 files



and immediately stops because of the .parentlock file and gave the same above error.

Similarly when trying to run thunderbird from the terminal:

thunderbird -P profile1

I get a some what similar popup error:

Thunderbird is already running, but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Thunderbird process, or restart your system.

and no errors in the terminal.

The fstab entry for that ntfs drive is:

UUID=AE66501D664FE4A5 /media/u/data ntfs-3g auto,rw,uid=1000,gid=1000,dmask=027,fmask=037,dev,exec,noatime,iocharset=utf8,windows_names,suid 0 0

I also made that profile folder writeable by:

sudo chown -R -v u:u ./profile1

sudo chmod -R -v 777 ./profile1

Also Dolphin (file manager) is able to do read/writes without having to do any chown or chmod, so I don't understand why Thunderbird is having issues.

The old profile with all my mails, I am still able to use it from Windows 10 using a portable thunderbird, so its not corrupt.

I have turned off the new Win10 rapid start hibernation, and I either restart or do 'Shift' poweroff to prevent windows from doing any file system lockups.

I did a check disk from windows and it found some errors and corrected it. This too did not solve the problem.

Can you please tell me what might be causing this?

Thank You so much for reading this.

Update: 2018 Feb: I was unable to solve the above problem even after many months and am now using Wine to run a portable thunderbird. Which works perfectly (almost like a native app), so I am happy.

  • Use code formatting for commands and command output, please: unix.stackexchange.com/editing-help/#code – muru Dec 25 '17 at 5:31
  • I have the same problem with .thunderbird being a symlink that points to the thunderbird folder on an encfs filesystem. Probably some bug… – rumpel Jan 31 '18 at 19:23

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