Bug #12734

Thunderbird doesn't start if ~/.icedove exists and is empty

Added by goupille 2017-06-19 09:51:41 . Updated 2018-01-23 19:50:17 .

Target version:
Start date:
Due date:
% Done:


Feature Branch:
Type of work:

Affected tool:
Email Client
Deliverable for:


as a workaround, set up an administrator password in the greeter, then after Tails has started, open a terminal and type

sudo sed -i '/icedove/d' /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/persistence.conf

and enter.


Related issues

Related to Tails - Feature #12242: Adjust to Icedove → Thunderbird Resolved 2017-02-16
Blocks Tails - Feature #13234: Core work 2017Q3: Foundations Team Resolved 2017-06-29


#1 Updated by goupille 2017-06-22 07:20:26

a user affected by this issue reported that deleting the icedove line from /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/persistence.conf doesn’t fix the issue because during Tails startup a script add the line to persistence.conf and /live/persistence/TailsData_unlocked/icedove is created again

#2 Updated by Anonymous 2017-06-27 13:02:44

  • Category set to Persistence

#3 Updated by intrigeri 2017-06-28 17:03:59

  • Priority changed from Normal to Low
  • Target version set to Tails_3.2
  • Affected tool set to Email Client

4-5 affected users reported this bug, but they’ve all migrated successfully now. So at the help desk / foundations team meeting today, we deemed this ticket as low-priority. FWIW I’ve seen another similar report on XMPP today. Please don’t spend too much time on it: if the fix is trivial, or a workaround can be documented easily, do so; if it’s any harder, reject.

#4 Updated by anonym 2017-06-29 13:21:52

#5 Updated by anonym 2017-06-29 13:46:43

Hypothesis: the affected users once migrated from Claws Mail. The code we still have for the Claws -> Icedove migration in live-persist creates the empty icedove folder which causes this problem.

#6 Updated by intrigeri 2017-09-07 06:27:09

  • Status changed from Confirmed to Rejected
  • Assignee deleted (anonym)

(Given how anonym’s plate for 3.2 looks like, I doubt this should be prioritized for this release. And it’s not worth our time to do it later as most affected users should have bypassed this limitation already, so rejecting.)

#7 Updated by anonym 2017-09-28 18:56:08

  • Target version changed from Tails_3.2 to Tails_3.3

#8 Updated by anonym 2017-09-28 19:00:09

  • Target version changed from Tails_3.3 to Tails_3.2

#9 Updated by goupille 2017-12-25 14:50:43

  • Assignee set to anonym

a user reported this issue with Tails 3.3, the workaround provided solved the problem… I don’t know if that worth documenting it in the known issues list though.

#10 Updated by intrigeri 2018-01-02 14:26:17

  • Status changed from Rejected to In Progress
  • Assignee changed from anonym to intrigeri
  • Target version changed from Tails_3.2 to Tails_3.5
  • Feature Branch set to bugfix/12734-claws-persistence-breaks-thunderbird

intrigeri wrote:
> most affected users should have bypassed this limitation already, so rejecting.

Apparently not. It seems trivial to avoid creating more instances of this problem, let’s do it.

#11 Updated by intrigeri 2018-01-02 14:27:55

  • Assignee changed from intrigeri to anonym
  • % Done changed from 0 to 50
  • QA Check set to Ready for QA

(Disclaimer: I’ve not even bothered building an ISO given this change feels as non-risky as it can possibly be.)

#12 Updated by intrigeri 2018-01-02 14:29:11

And FWIW we had agreed on Feature #12242#note-12 to do this but apparently we forgot.

#13 Updated by intrigeri 2018-01-02 14:29:24

#14 Updated by anonym 2018-01-19 22:45:28

  • Status changed from In Progress to Fix committed
  • Assignee deleted (anonym)
  • % Done changed from 50 to 100
  • QA Check changed from Ready for QA to Pass

Verified that the fix works => merged.

#15 Updated by anonym 2018-01-23 19:50:17

  • Status changed from Fix committed to Resolved