Thunderbird - losing profile

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kevinwilcox
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Thunderbird - losing profile

Post by kevinwilcox » Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:11 am

Hello, I very much apologise if the answer to this question is already here on the forum but my searches haven't so far helped me resolve the issue. I'm very new to linux and had a trouble-free install, including thunderbird. However, I want my Thunderbird profile saved on my second hard drive, not on the same one as my software. I've had several goes at configuring this in thunderbird, following the straightforward instructions here and on the web. What happens though is that, even if I create a new account with the desired new path, it'll work at first but when I reboot it seems to forget the settings and revert to a default profile. I've tried editing the profile.ini file (and alternatively, making changes in the thunderbird account settings), but neither fix the problem. As best I remember it's fine if I just re-install t'bird and accept the default profile path, but I can't seem to get it to stay with my 'user-defined' choice.

Could anyone tell me what I might be doing wrong? Could it be anything to do with the filepath name; my target drive is called /media/kevin/C8B4F7B0B4F79F5E in caja, whereas in windows this would normally be e.g. D:\. (In the devices pane it's called 500 GB Volume). Logic tells me I'm just making a stupid error but I can't for the life of me figure out what.

thanks
Kevin

Riko
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Re: Thunderbird - losing profile

Post by Riko » Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:15 am

Maybe this is NOT what you want, but ...

... if I wanted to get my Thunderbird profile to an external disk, I would just mv .thunderbird to this external disk and create a link to it like:

Code: Select all

cd
mv .thunderbird path_to_my_external_disk/thunderbird
ln -s path_to_my_external_disk/thunderbird .thunderbird
and then just use the default profile ...

Good luck!

kevinwilcox
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Re: Thunderbird - losing profile

Post by kevinwilcox » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:31 am

Thanks Riko, that may be my plan b. As a rule I keep all data on a separate drive so that when Windows needed a clean reinstall I didn't have to spend any time backing up and reinstalling that data, can just nuke the os/software disk and reinstall, as its always impossible to know what part of the bloat has caused the drop in performance. Obviously I'm hoping I won't have to do this under Linux!

Riko
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Re: Thunderbird - losing profile

Post by Riko » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:58 am

That part is usually taken care of by just putting the home directories on a separate partition or even a different disk. That should be the recommendation for /home anyway. They (if you really need to reinstall your system), you will not touch the home dir which contains all your personal settings. Then you are done once for all and don't have to take care of different applications individually.

or am I missing something?

If you don't want to reinstall your system, you can still move /home to your 2nd drive now. Probably boot from a live CD, then moving the content of /home over to the 2nd disk and updating /etc/fstab on your installed system to mount /home to the 2nd disk will do the job. Try to find a step by step instruction on the web. I would have to give you instructions "theoretically" which may not be accurate. If that is a new install, you may consider reinstall the system once more and select to create a home partition during the installation process.

Good luck!

kevinwilcox
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Re: Thunderbird - losing profile

Post by kevinwilcox » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:17 pm

That sounds sensible. A quick question - might the d: drive being ntfs be the current prob? I know virtually nothing about file systems at the moment but if the answer is yes then I'll do the homework.

Thanks, kevin

Riko
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Re: Thunderbird - losing profile

Post by Riko » Thu Oct 10, 2013 2:36 pm

Are you trying to access with your Linux Thunderbird the profile directory on the windows partition? Was that profile created from the windows Thunderbird?
If yes, that indeed might be a problem? Even the codes used for "Return" in text files is different from Linux and Windows. I don't know if the ntfs filesystem is a problem per se. Sorry! Don't know enough about filesystems ...

You could test that, by trying to do what you plan with with your profile stored somewhere else on the Linux partition. If that works the way you assume, but with the D: it doesn't, then there is a good chance, that it's actually the ntfs location ...

kevinwilcox
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Re: Thunderbird - losing profile

Post by kevinwilcox » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:35 am

Yes, for the profile to be where I want it, it would be on a windows partition, in the sense of that hard drive having been formatted as NTFS while doing a previous windows installation. But no, the profile was created using the Linux copy of Thunderbird. But you have given me an idea there, later this evening I'll try your suggestion and running Thunderbird through windows and put the (windows thunderbird) profile on D:, if that works then I I'll assume the problem probably is something to do with the file system and solve this a little way down the line. I did some reading about different file systems last night, could understand about 1% of what I was reading but it does sound like it could be the culprit. I don't mind keeping the profile on the home drive for a while, once I'm confident that I understand enough of the Linux basics to make this my default OS I'll do a total wipe and re-install, setting up the whole PC around Linux with windows as a secondary system as there are bound to be times when I'll still need it. Right now I'm the other way round.

thanks
Kevin

kevinwilcox
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Re: Thunderbird - losing profile

Post by kevinwilcox » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:37 pm

Solved. The problem does appear to be the disk/partition format. When I change the mailbox folder in a windows copy of thunderbird there's no problem. When I do the same in linux but remain within the linux partition, same. So all I need to do for the long term is, when I set linux up for real, partition my 500gb drive with one half for windows, one for linux or something like that.

All of which is very good, means as far as I can see I'm about ready to make linux the defasult system again!

jrmwalsh
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Re: Thunderbird - losing profile

Post by jrmwalsh » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:55 am

Kevin,
Have you solved this yet? If not, I have solved it by doing the following:
I recently migrated my wife to Linux Mint from Windows XP.
I split her HDD to create room for a Linux partition then installed Mint on the second partition, and allowed GRUB to be the boot manager. This allowed her to boot to Windows or Linux.
All her TB mail was in the usual Windows XP location on the Windows partition under \Documents and Settings\Felicity\Application Data\...
I wanted the move to Linux to be reversible so that she could go back to Windows if she didn't like Linux.
In Linux I created an empty folder under /media/ called /media/felicity
In etc/fstab I added a line that mounted the Windows XP C: partition into /media/felicity.
This made a new folder appear in Linux called /media/felicity/Documents and Settings/Felicity/Application Data/Thunderbird/Profiles/xyxyxyxy.default.
In /home/felicity/.thunderbird I edited the Profiles.ini file so that the Path line said
Path=/media/felicity/Documents and Settings/Felicity/Application Data/Thunderbird/Profiles/xyxyxyxy.default
and thus it would point Linux Thunderbird to the profile that it found in the Windows partition.
In Profiles.ini I also changed the line that says "IsRelative=1" to the value 0, so that Thunderbird would know that it needed to look for an absolute path, and not a path name relative to /home/felicity/.thunderbird.
It all worked perfectly, and now, no matter whether she boots to Windows, or Linux, both versions of Thunderbird find the same profile, and the same mail.
It all works wonderfully well. :D
And now, two months later, she is so very happy with Linux :) that she has no intention of ever moving back to Windows.

For my next project, I will move all her mail, and both of our Thunderbird Profiles, onto my NAS storage device so that all our mail will be safe and completely independent from any changes, or disruptions, to any operating systems. It will also make our mail available, via our home network, to any computer that we use in the house.
The NAS is a Seagate BlackArmor 440 with three HDDs in a RAID 5 configuration.
Mike.

In this world there are just two types of people. There are those who divide the world into two types of people, and there are those who don't.

kevinwilcox
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Re: Thunderbird - losing profile

Post by kevinwilcox » Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:23 pm

Hi jrm, to my shame I've slid back into using windows as my default. I can't entirely remember why but think it was because I needed to use Sweethome 3D to plan a home extension and (ironically) it simply didn't work that well under Linux and I didn't have the time or will to work out why. On top of which I gained a tablet and smartphone and found myself using the desktop less and less.

However; I think this will spur me to give it another go. What you've described here sounds like an absolutely perfect solution, especially for NAS. Could you post any tips & tricks you discover when you do the NAS move? I hadn't even heard of NAS until just now, and really, it's what I've wanted for years plus it looks highly affordable. Like many families we have several devices now and sharing files has always been a real pain.

thanks
Kevin

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