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How does thunderbird find a profile nowadays?

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
tanstaafl
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Post Posted June 18th, 2004, 12:35 am

The thunderbird 0.7 release notes at http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird/releases/ states there is a "New Profile Manager which also supports running from a USB device." but it doesn't have a pointer to any more info.

I created a new profile using "thunderbird -p" and noticed that it did not have a .slt directory. I also don't see any sign of my profile in ...\application data\thunderbird\registry.dat (I used a hex editor). There is no sign of any thunderbird related files under ...\application data\mozilla.

Can somebody comment on how thunderbird finds profiles these days? I know how it used to.

wintogreen
 
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Post Posted June 18th, 2004, 2:26 am

I would like to know this also. I see that there is now a file called profiles.ini which, if I recall correctly, did not exist before. It seems that this files contains relative profile locations. As I've just found out through a little experiment, a profile created with the 0.7 profile manager is NOT picked up by TB 0.6. I also see that you can delete registry.dat and TB 0.7 will still find the profiles, without creating a new registry.dat. Hmm.

It sounds like TB thus gets the profile locations from profile.ini rather than registry.dat. My guess is that profile.ini itself is in a relative location -- relative to the program installation directory, perhaps? -- rather than the way registry.dat was in an abolute position on the boot drive. That way, if you install the app on a USB stick, profile.ini will be there as well rather than the way registry.dat would always go onto the boot drive. Just guessing, though.

wintogreen
 
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Post Posted June 18th, 2004, 3:19 am

Well, my guess was wrong. I installed TB on a USB stick (WinXP) and here's how it went:

1. Launched app from USB stick. Profile manager came up and asked me which of 3 profiles (which already exist on the hard drive, where TB 0.7 is also installed) I wanted to use. It thus picked up the profile locations from either registry.dat or profile.ini on the hard drive.

2. Went to another XP machine (on which TB is not installed), inserted the same USB stick and launched the app. TB created a Thunderbird folder on the hard drive, inside of which it also created registry.dat and profiles.ini and a default profile. Nothing was created on the USB stick as far as I could see.

3. Exited the app, deleted the Thunderbird folder, launched the TB profile manger from the USB stick, created a new profile on the USB stick, and started the app. Once again, Thunderbird folder was created on the hard drive, along with registry.dat and profiles.ini. Nothing similar created on the USB drive.

4. Exited the app, deleted Thunderbird folder again, restarted app, and now it cannot find the profile on the USB stick. Using the same USB stick on the first XP machine, it also cannot find the profile on the USB stick.

Not sure what I'm doing wrong here, but I can't see how to run TB from a USB stick if registry.dat/profiles.ini aren't stored on the USB stick itself.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted June 18th, 2004, 4:03 am

I'm using win2k. I found profiles.ini in ...\application data\thunderbird . I copied it to my thunderbird program directory, and then renamed the original. When I ran thunderbird it did not see my profile, it ran the wizard to create an account, and created a new profile.ini in ...\application data\thunderbird.

I deleted the new profile.ini and restored the original. I then deleted my registry.dat and ran thunderbird. No problem. So I think thunderbird only depends upon profile.ini. At least the format is simpler. Mine has:

[General]
StartWithLastProfile=1

[Profile0]
Name=Eric
IsRelative=0
Path=E:\Profiles\Thunderbird\Eric
Default=1

http://lxr.mozilla.org/seamonkey/source ... ce.cpp#334 seems to have the code for parsing profiles.ini . I haven't had a chance to study it yet.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted June 18th, 2004, 4:23 pm


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