User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
Since the (version specific) TBird settings are in the profile, and since the mail store is in the same profile, and since the settings have to be in ~/.thunderbird, then the mail store has to be in ~/.thunderbird. That's not okay.
Unless that situation gets fixed, I'll have to abandon TBird.
Last edited by markfilipak on June 25th, 2022, 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
'pref.js' is innocent. Oauth2 is innocent. The maintenance of the profile is guilty. Of course, I will retain everything for further testing on request.
"Since the (version specific) TBird settings are in the profile, and since the mail store is in the same profile, and since the settings have to be in ~/.thunderbird, then the mail store has to be in ~/.thunderbird. That's not okay."
That's incorrect. The mail store and settings are stored within the profile. You don't have to use the default location for the profiles. You don't even have to use profiles.ini to specify the profiles location if you're willing to specify it using a command line argument. You could even move most files outside of the profile if you're willing to change the local directory for an account and create symlinks.
Your problems seem to be due to a incompatibility with VirtualBox plus guest additions . If you want the Thunderbird developers to do anything about it you need to submit a bug report at https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/home and describe your configuration well enough that they can duplicate the problem. They don't visit any of the support forums. You seem to have also run into problems using Firefox.
I tried to suggest alternatives for you in viewtopic.php?p=14931517#p14931517 . You don't seem willing to replace VirtualBox with some other VM or a strong sandbox like Shadow Defender + something like MalwareBytes (a belt and suspenders approach). I tried to suggest you ask for advice at wilders security forums as lots of folks that are very security conscious and use various VMs and sandboxes hang out there. Instead you seemed to only want to try yet another Thunderbird configuration with VirtualBox.
I'm sticking with running Thunderbird and Firefox under Ubuntu via WSL2 as my motivation is to more easily run stuff under Linux, not to better protect myself from malware. Its much faster than a third party VM and you don't have to deal with Oracle's poor support. My impression is that you don't have the isolation of a full VM, as despite being VM based WSL2 is integrated enough that it is essentially just another windows process. That's fine with me as I'm willing to rely upon the commercial version of MalwareBytes to protect against keyloggers etc.
TBird stores new email & fetches existing Oauth2 tokens -- the profile is being read & written! -- but UI changes and new Oauth2 tokens do not survive when TBird is restarted -- the profile is NOT being written!.
FFox stores new history & bookmarks -- the profile is being read & written! -- but UI changes do not survive when TBird is restarted -- the profile is NOT being written!
I believe that sometime around TBird version 68, TBird & FFox became unified in some way. Something in that unified code breaks if/when the profiles are in VBox shared folders.
You have shown interest in problems with 'unusual' settups. Frankly, I'm surprised that mine is an unusual settup.
I'm open to doing more testing if you can suggest a test procedure.
Last edited by markfilipak on June 27th, 2022, 2:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"I believe that sometime around TBird version 68, TBird & FFox became unified in some way."
Version 68 is when Thunderbird switched to a version of Gecko (layering engine) that was serious about forcing add-ons to move from XUL/XPCOM to the WebExtension API. In version 60 in many cases all you needed to do was some light editing of a manifest file. Gecko is what ties Thunderbird to Firefox.
I don't see any benefit to further testing against VirtualBox with guest additions. I suggest trying QEMU with version 91 of Thunderbird. Its harder to learn to configure but that extra time is nothing compared to all of the effort you've spent trying different VirtualBox / Thunderbird configurations.
"Frankly, I'm surprised that mine is an unusual settup."
I've noticed a few people who used sandbox's to run Thunderbird but you're the first I've come across in these forums that used a true VM.
Well, it's broken.
I thought you were interested in my situation and wanted to help.
There's lots of folks who harden Windows against the Internet and do all networking in a VM. I see them answering questions in all the usual sites.
"There's lots of folks who harden Windows against the Internet and do all networking in a VM. I see them answering questions in all the usual sites."
I was commenting on what I see in various Thunderbird support forums and communities, not whether you can find web sites where many people who visit it do all of their networking in a VM. Of course there are communities like that, there are about 5 billion users on the Internet.
Who are "the usual sites"?
"I thought you were interested in my situation and wanted to help."
So if I don't support your belief that its just a matter of testing more versions of Thunderbird to get VirtualBox with guest additions to work I'm not willing to help?
I've already made all of the suggestions I can think of to find a version of Thunderbird that will work in that configuration. Including you ask for help on the wilders security forums as lots of folks who are very security conscious and used to working with VMs hang out there. I've read lots about VMs (and spent hours browsing the VirtualBox forums) but have no practical experience with them (other than WSL2, which doesn't apply since its a light weight VM).
Searching the Mozilla database I found 24 bug reports mentioning VirtualBox, almost all of them resolved. Most seem to be about bad side effects (problems if too many tabs or shell integration etc.), not does it work at all.
You've never explained why you're unwilling to experiment with using QEMU.
You have similar problems with Firefox. There are a lot more Firefox users than Thunderbird, which increases the odds of finding somebody who is aware of the issues in trying to run a Gecko based application under VirtualBox with guest additions. I suggest you , in parallel with whatever you do with Thunderbird , try to get help with getting Firefox to work correctly in that environment. If you do, there is a good chance it will help with Thunderbird.
My point is you need to get smarter about how you are trying to solve this problem, and leverage other peoples knowledge of VM issues, not just keep throwing more time at it.
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