Boo wrote:thunderbird may not be runing but if it creates a lock file when it starts and this is not removed when it closes down (eg due to it crashing) then when you go to start it next time it will see the lock file and tell you it is already running.
lock files are usually something.lock so you could search for it and delete it.
it may be called thunderbird.lock and is most likely in your home directory.
in a terminal type
sudo find / -name "*.lock"
if you find a thunderbird lock file just delete it.
sudo rm -f /path/thunderbird.lock
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