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Odd problem moving profile data from Windows to Linux

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phkhgh
 
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Post Posted July 20th, 2020, 10:46 pm

I'm thinking some of the problems now vs. no problems doing the same thing a few yrs ago, may be related to Quantum.
In Mint 18, I just copied the whole profile from Windows - no problems. That was pre-Quantum.

Now trying it on my wife's laptop, it won't recognize the accounts in the copied over data. I tried creating a new profile & copying old profile data to it.
It doesn't see the email accounts - shows the screen to create new accts. Are there problems that have surfaced in Tb 78, moving profiles (or just the data) from one OS to another?

I noticed profiles.ini showed a profile as locked (may be the one I'm trying to use - I'm tired.). I'll delete those locked references & see if it helps.
I've done this many times in the past w/o issue, so I'm a bit surprised it's giving me trouble. I saw a blip in a KB about back slashes in Win vs forward slash in 'Nix. I don't think that's the case here.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted July 21st, 2020, 10:19 am

When I tried it Thunderbird 78 insisted on creating a new profile, it would not reuse the profile created using version 68. I was able to use the about:profiles version of the profile manager in help -> troubleshooting information to convince it to make the version 68 profile a default. However, one of the moderators on the Mozilla support site complained he was unable to do that despite trying for 6 hours.

I recommend you skip version 78 for now due to the teething problems and the poor add-on support.
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Go_back_to_an ... hunderbird has links to older versions of setup.

"It doesn't see the email accounts - shows the screen to create new accts."
I believe the problem is it doesn't recognize the profile because it ignores any made by prior versions. This is probably a side effect of the new version of Gecko they used. If there is no profile it creates a stub of one and launches the new account wizard. I saw a popup window that told me it was ignoring old profiles when I tried version 78.

Image

phkhgh
 
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Post Posted July 23rd, 2020, 2:26 pm

Thanks tanstaafl. Which OS your popup from - Win / OS X / Linux? I use Linux.
It's possible I missed the wording, if it showed me something similar.

Probably because I had no intention of creating many accts & alias accts from SCRATCH.
I remember having to jack w/ her profiles.ini - honestly forgot what else I did. But I've got a lot more accts than her.

** I'm sure others & I would appreciate it if you could give specific details on how you "convinced" v78 to use the profile from Tb 68?

I had to go look at the Tbird setup on the laptop to remember what I did a few days ago. Still don't remember much, except all but one of her accts is working & some are aliases. I didn't reenter filtering rules again, cause I'd at least have made copies of the rules to view or C&P - didn't do that.

Apparently, I had to create a new profile (don't remember it saying I had to, but...).
Then copied over critical files. I don't remember totally recreating her several accts, but I've slept since then.
I'm pretty sure I'd be angrier - just knowing what's waiting if I update my box to Tb 78.

"Go back to an earlier version"? (that article was about v2 & v3). Then what? Are they working on an "import v68 profile data" routine, that'll make it hands free? :D

So Mozilla intentionally left v78 stable release, where users would have to recreate all accts from scratch? Attaboy! =D>
They couldn't make an update sub-routine to import (& convert) necessary data into v78?

tanstaafl
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Post Posted July 23rd, 2020, 6:24 pm

I used Windows 10.

"I'm sure others & I would appreciate it if you could give specific details on how you "convinced" v78 to use the profile from Tb 68?"

I selected the profile I wanted it to use by going to help -> troubleshooting information, clicking on the about:profiles link at the bottom of the application basics section, looking at the description of the various profiles until I identified the one I wanted (based on the name and the profile directory) and then pressing the "set as default profile" button underneath that profile.

The about:profiles link takes you to what is essentially a different GUI for the profile manager. Its more convenient than launching the profile manager via command line arguments and provides more functionality.

If you're unsure what profile to use run the older version of Thunderbird and in help -> troubleshooting information press the open folder button. That will open your systems file manager at the currently used profile.

You might need to edit the Thunderbird shortcut to add a --allow-downgrade command line argument if you want to continue using a profile created before version 68. For example: "C:\Program Files\Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" --allow-downgrade . Worse case , try specifying the profiles location using a -profile "complete_path_to_profile" command line argument like that described in http://kb.mozillazine.org/Running_from_ ... hunderbird . You don't need a USB drive to do that. It ignores the contents of profiles.ini and uses the specified location instead. For example: "C:\Program Files\Thunderbird\thunderbird.exe" -profile "F:\My TB profile"

Note how you need to use pairs of double quotes due to embedded spaces in paths.

"Are they working on an "import v68 profile data" routine, that'll make it hands free?"

No. I exchanged email with the release manager about that possibility and there didn't appear to be any interest in adding a checkbox or button to automatically reuse your prior (version 68 release build) profile. Don't blame him, he's just saying what is the mood of the core team.

I suggest you complain to the community manager (Ryan Sipes). He is #21 in the list of core contributors at https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird/Core_Team . It includes his email address.

"So Mozilla intentionally left v78 stable release, where users would have to recreate all accts from scratch? Attaboy! "

Don't think in terms of Mozilla, think in terms of Firefox and Thunderbird. Firefox makes decisions that are in their best interest that sometimes have unfortunate bad side effects on Thunderbird, and the Thunderbird developers too frequently do nothing about it. Sometimes they have considered it but decided to do nothing because they're worried about the cost of maintaining those changes. I think the basic problem is a combination of being too influenced by Mozilla and being used to having low staffing/little money. However, they're up to 13 full-time employees now, I'd hope eventually things change.

"Go back to an earlier version"? (that article was about v2 & v3)."

Perhaps you were confused by the "From 3.x to 2.0.0.24" section. I think I'll drop that section when I port the KB article to the new wiki. The "Go back to a recent release" section uses how to find the setup for the US English version of Thunderbird 45.8.0 for Windows as an example.

phkhgh
 
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Post Posted July 23rd, 2020, 11:54 pm

Well thanks. That method is faster than copying files from old profile to new. We'll see if it works in Linux.

I don't remember exactly how I got Tb 78 working on the laptop, but I'm pretty sure I didn't recreate several accts & fairly complex message filters by hand. If I'd been forced to do all that work, I probably would've shipped a box of doggie dew to Mozilla Central. Paid the delivery person to set it on fire, ring the doorbell & run.
Don't think in terms of Mozilla, think in terms of Firefox and Thunderbird.

Yes & no. Yes they have different teams, but Tbird is still a Mozilla product, under the (for profit) Mozilla Foundation. Didn't I read that the Firefox group would provide some assistance to the new Tb developers?

Seems like their decision is going to leave a lot of non-tech users scratching their heads & maybe frustrated enough to drop Tbird.
I didn't see this issue addressed in any conspicuous place or searching for the specific problem, nor in v78 or 78.1 release notes. It's like they're thinking, let's see how long it takes average users to figure this out with no tutorials or anything to guide them.

There aren't many well developed apps I remember that wouldn't use or convert older data (like a password mgr DB) to a newer file format or work with a "big new release." Where manually re-entering lots of data would take significant time.
If you're unsure what profile to use

I always include dates & other important info in profile names, backup names, important files, etc., & encourage others to use unique, human readable file naming.

Not everything in a file cabinet can be under 'T', for The Acme Acct, The Dingleberry Acct...

tanstaafl
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Post Posted July 24th, 2020, 2:31 am

"Yes & no. Yes they have different teams, but Tbird is still a Mozilla product, under the (for profit) Mozilla Foundation. Didn't I read that the Firefox group would provide some assistance to the new Tb developers?"

No. You are way out of date. Firefox developers were explicitly told not to worry about Thunderbird. Any assistance or worrying about the impact on Thunderbird of any changes they made was viewed as a tax on Firefox developers efforts that they wanted to get rid of (and did).

Mozilla does not provide any funding or developers for Thunderbird. Its just a fiscal/legal home for a community lead project. Thunderbird chose between "the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), The Document Foundation (TDF) and a new deal at the Mozilla Foundation" back in 2017.

Thunderbird is now "operating from a new wholly owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation, MZLA Technologies Corporation." "Moving to MZLA Technologies Corporation will not only allow the Thunderbird project more flexibility and agility, but will also allow us to explore offering our users products and services that were not possible under the Mozilla Foundation. The move will allow the project to collect revenue through partnerships and non-charitable donations, which in turn can be used to cover the costs of new products and services."

phkhgh
 
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Post Posted July 24th, 2020, 9:41 pm

will also allow us to explore offering our users products and services that were not possible

I like that spin.
There are other good open source email clients, if the new Tb developers get a little too cra-cra. Many a good project or company has gone over the cliff after changing hands.

It's not all that reassuring, given some big issues they didn't fix before releasing 78. What's up with search prefs.js not working "known issue"? I guess you'd have to open it in a text editor to do your work, then save it back to profile.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted July 25th, 2020, 5:52 am

"What's up with search prefs.js not working "known issue"?"

Are you talking about "Preferences search not available" in the known issues section of the 78.0 release notes? Since the search feature works in the config editor and I've never noticed a search field in tools -> options or tools -> account settings (in 78.* or 68.10) I don't know whats its talking about.

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