I am a victim of this bug: Thunderbird not start with .icedove folder - Debian 9 #1686


When starting Thunderbird it automatically creates a directory named .icedove. If this directory is not getting deleted manually after each session, Thunderbird will complain about the existence of .icedove at every startup.

I am using neither Firejail nor other Add-ons. How can I prevent Thunderbird from automatically generating the directory .icedove during Thunderbird's start process?

It seems like the recommended solution on GitHub is only valid in case of usage of Firejail. However, without Firejail installed the mentioned file /etc/thunderbird.profile does not even exist on my system.

Do you have any ideas on how to solve this issue?


Goto Edit > Preferences > Advanced > General > Config Editor, and search for entries containing the string ".icedove". Replace this string for each single entry by .thunderbird. Terminate your Thunderbird session, and for a last time remove the .icedove directory. Now you should be able to restart Thunderbird without problems.

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  • You are right! Thank you very much for your hint! – Dave Jun 10 '18 at 12:26

Debian crew forked and renamed the Thunderbird as Icedove for couple of years ago. The Thunderbird, under name Thunderbird is back on Debian, but I guess there is still some old code left, from the time Thunderbird was renamed Icedove.

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  • Please unaccept this answer, which is wrong. The migration problems can be fully explained by missing conversion of parameter settings (see my answer). Thence no reason to suspect a buggy reference to .icedove in the code. – Joachim W Jun 8 '18 at 8:01

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