Can it be done? I don't want to use Evolution's calendar... I want to keep using Thunderbird... I have to add some addons (like lightning) first right?

My goal is to have some calendar-like on thunderbird and replace the one of Evolution.


OK, I found how to do this at How to change gnome-shell calendar default application

Just execute this in a terminal!!

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.default-applications.office.calendar exec thunderbird

I have tested it and it works!! (it's not exaclty what I wanted but it's a start)


Go to System->Preferences->Preferred Applications.

On the first tab, change the Mail Reader settings.


If you don't have your email client in the drop down menu. You got to specify it manually in the Command field. For example, /usr/bin/thunderbird "%s"


It does not seem to actually solve the problem, although it should. Perhaps it's a bug. The second answer is actually working.

  • ok... founded what you mention but the thunderbird option does not appear... – maniat1k Jun 26 '12 at 14:39
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    see the update in my post – SkyDan Jun 26 '12 at 16:20
  • Thanks @Ganga that can add thunderbird to the Mail Reader settings, but looks like it more a calendar settings: I installed the lighning add-on I want to check if I can add that... where can I find some info? – maniat1k Jun 26 '12 at 16:35
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    oh i see. you should add to your question some more details about your final goal by describing the plugin you install and what features you actually want to make work. – SkyDan Jun 26 '12 at 16:38
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    the second answer should actually work. try it! – SkyDan Jun 26 '12 at 16:46

The easiest thing to do is the following:

cd /usr/bin
ln -s ./thunderbird evolution

That creates a symbolic link that mapps the application call "evolution" to "thunderbird".

Because the Gnome Calendar Extensions starts evolution -c calendar, the link will start thunderbird (which ignores the -c parameter). That should work everywhere.

  • this seems sketchy at best. not only have you left a bunch of files around in e.g. /usr/lib, wasting space, but this will probably get overwritten with a package upgrade. plus, it requires root. – strugee Dec 1 '13 at 20:53

Thunderbird can be set as default calendar application by opening the file: $HOME/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list* in a text-editor such as GEdit and adding the line:


to the [Default Applications] section.

You may or may not need to add that same line to the [Added Associations] section too.

*To find and open this file, press the button combo Ctrlh in your /home folder, and look for .local, then find the file, right-click it and select "Open with...", or just double-click. After adding the line, press Ctrlq, answer YES when asked to save"

Works in OpenSuse/Gnome 3.8-3.10

  • This doesn't seem to work. Tested in Ubuntu 14.04 with Gnome Shell 3.10. Not even after restarting Gnome Shell. – Serrano Nov 21 '14 at 8:55

Adding this line to the .local/share/applications/mimeapps.list worked in Arch with Gnome3.

[Default Applications]

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