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= Icedove Package Development =
== Preparation and Requirements ==
The sources of Icedove Debian package are within a git repo on [[http://git.debian.org/?p=pkg-mozilla/icedove.git;a=summary|git.debian.org]]. They're maintained using [[http://honk.sigxcpu.org/projects/git-buildpackage/manual-html/gbp.html|git-buildpackage]]. If you want to help or take a look inside you need to install some tools:
{{{#!wiki note
'''additional packages'''

git gitk git-buildpackage git-pbuilder devscripts git-email
Icedove is currently not yet converted to debhelper, the Icedove build is still done with [[CDBS]]. To be able to build a personal Icedove package you need to setup a build environment, the maintainers doing there testing and final builds with gbp-buildpackage and git-pbuilder.

== Cloning and Updating the Repository ==
Icedove is one of the bigger packages with a lot of source code which have to be prepared to be buildable on every platform. Mostly with every major update on the Mozilla Thunderbird package the build for almost all platforms breaks. Any help to fix any [[https://buildd.debian.org/status/package.php?p=icedove&suite=experimental|build problems]] are much appreciated! Also any help to fight [[http://lintian.debian.org/maintainer/asac@debian.org.html#icedove|lintian issues]]! If you want to help please don't hesitate to write a mail to pkg-mozilla-maintainers@lists.alioth.debian.org.

If you've found a fix for a bug you can build a patch that is then applicable with the `git am` command. Use the following work flow to create such patches.

Be sure you have checked out the current Git tree of Icedove, if not done yet, just use git-buildpackage with the [[http://honk.sigxcpu.org/projects/git-buildpackage/manual-html/man.gbp.clone.html|gbp clone]] command instead of manual git commands. This will make sure the necessary branch tracking is set up.
{{{#!highlight bash
$ gbp clone git://anonscm.debian.org/pkg-mozilla/icedove.git
If you already have a local clone of the repo just update your clone. Also, use the [[http://honk.sigxcpu.org/projects/git-buildpackage/manual-html/man.gbp.pull.html|gbp pull]] command from git-buildpackage. This ensures that all the needed branches from remote get updated.
{{{#!highlight bash
$ gbp pull
gbp:info: Branch 'master' is already up to date.
gbp:info: Updating 'upstream'
gbp:info: Branch 'pristine-tar' is already up to date.

== Patching the upstream sources ==
In order to change the current behavior of Icedove you have to make changes to the original (upstream) sources. To make your changes later available for the package maintainers you have to respect some few things. If you don't understand the workflow you can write your questions to the package manitainers, and of course, improve then this article. :)
Icedove uses the Debian Source 3.0 (quilt) format. In order to patch the upstream source you need to create a patch in debian/patches/. This is simplest when creating a patch queue. `git-buildpackage` will do the most of the needed steps. To start verify that your local repo is clean (check with `git status`) and you are on the 'master' branch. Let's start.

=== 1. Import the patch queue ===
That imports the debian patch queue from the directory debian/patches on top of the source and switches to the branch `patch-queue/master`.
{{{#!highlight bash
user@host:~/gitprojects/icedove [master] $ gbp pq import
gbp:info: Trying to apply patches at 'aa5491b2e4141b0ec1f829c1d6c003650a0000c3'
Switched to branch 'patch-queue/master'
gbp:info: Patches listed in 'debian/patches/series' imported on 'patch-queue/master'
user@host:~/gitprojects/icedove [patch-queue/master] $

=== 2. Modify the source as you wanted, for example improve something on the sources of Icedove/Thunderbird ===
For example change the file ''debian/icedove-branding/thunderbird-branding.js'' to point the News website to http://mozilla.debian.new/.
{{{#!highlight bash
user@host:~/gitprojects/icedove [patch-queue/master] $ vi debian/icedove-branding/thunderbird-branding.js
 ... # make your changes
user@host:~/gitprojects/icedove [patch-queue/master] $ git diff
diff --git a/debian/icedove-branding/thunderbird-branding.js b/debian/icedove-branding/thunderbird-branding.js
index 7caf6b6..39256ad 100644
--- a/debian/icedove-branding/thunderbird-branding.js
+++ b/debian/icedove-branding/thunderbird-branding.js
@@ -8,6 +8,6 @@ pref("mailnews.start_page.welcome_url", "about:");
 // start page override to load after an update
 //pref("mailnews.start_page.override_url", "chrome://messenger/content/start.xhtml");
-pref("mailnews.start_page.override_url", "about:");
+pref("mailnews.start_page.override_url", "http://mozilla.debian.new/");
 pref("app.vendorURL", "http://www.mozillamessaging.com/%LOCALE%/thunderbird/");

=== 3. Commit your changes with the '-s' option, please fill in a useful commit message! ===
That should be easy. But don't forget to add a `Gbp-Pq-Topic` info, that's needed to classify the patch and make life easier if the patch queue must be reworked in case of working on a new major release. In most of the cases some patches doesn't apply then anymore and can be dropped or have to reworked, the `Gbp-PqTopic` helps then to decide if the patch will be needed any longer.
Proper Gbp-Topic's will you find in form of the directory names in `debian/patches/`.
{{{#!highlight bash
user@host:~/gitprojects/icedove [patch-queue/master] $ tree -d debian/patches/
├── debian-hacks
├── fixes
├── icedove
├── iceowl
├── porting
├── prefs
└── system-libs
Use one of these names to mark your patch in the `Gbp-Pq-Topic`, just add a line into your commit message with the correct topic. See the next shell output to know how.
{{{#!highlight bash
user@host:~/gitprojects/icedove [patch-queue/master] $ git commit -s debian/icedove-branding/thunderbird-branding.js
  1 thunderbird-branding.js: change the mailnews URI to mozilla.net
  3 Gbp-Pq-Topic: icedove <--- adding a patch queue topic
  5 Signed-off-by: Peter Petersen <p.petersen@mailprovider.com>
  7 # Please enter the commit message for your changes. Lines starting
  8 # with '#' will be ignored, and an empty message aborts the commit.
  9 # Explicit paths specified without -i nor -o; assuming --only paths...
 10 # On branch patch-queue/master
 11 # Changes to be committed:
 12 # (use "git reset HEAD <file>..." to unstage)
 13 #
 14 # modified: debian/icedove-branding/thunderbird-branding.js

=== 4. Export the patch queue ===
To do this just use [[http://honk.sigxcpu.org/projects/git-buildpackage/manual-html/man.gbp.pq.html|gbp pq export]] from `git-buildpackage`.
That exports the debian specific patches into a [[UsingQuilt|quilt patch]] series and change back to the `master` branch.
{{{#!highlight bash
user@host:~/gitprojects/icedove [patch-queue/master] $ gbp pq export
gbp:info: On 'patch-queue/master', switching to 'master'
Switched to branch 'master'
gbp:info: Regenerating patch queue in 'debian/patches/'.
# On branch master
# Changes not staged for commit:
# (use "git add <file>..." to update what will be committed)
# (use "git checkout -- <file>..." to discard changes in working directory)
# modified: debian/patches/debian-hacks/Add-another-preferences-directory-for-applications-p.patch
... # you will see more of modified files, this is a know error in git-buildpackage !!! Read further!
# modified: debian/patches/system-libs/Allow-to-build-against-system-libffi.patch
# Untracked files:
# (use "git add <file>..." to include in what will be committed)
# debian/patches/thunderbird-branding.js-change-the-mailnews-URI-to-m.patch
no changes added to commit (use "git add" and/or "git commit -a")
After this `git-buildpackage has` put the new generated patches into the directory debian/patches/.

=== 5. Commit the new patch to the Icedove packaging repository ===
The next step is now to commit this patch ('''and only this patch!''') but also the file `series` (debian/patches/series) to git.
{{{#!wiki note
'''If you work with Wheezy'''

Please please ignore the other modified patches, don't commit thees changes! The other noise comes from a known issue of `git-buildpackage` and is fixed in Testing/Jessie. You can install `git-buildpackage` from Testing to fix this problem.
{{{#!highlight bash
user@host:~/gitprojects/icedove [patch-queue/master] $ git add debian/patches/thunderbird-branding.js-change-the-mailnews-URI-to-m.patch
user@host:~/gitprojects/icedove [patch-queue/master] $ git commit debian/patches/thunderbird-branding.js-change-the-mailnews-URI-to-m.patch debian/patches/series
  1 changing the News URI from 'about' to 'http://mozilla.debian.net'
  3 Signed-off-by: Peter Petersen <p.petersen@mailprovider.com>
  5 # Please enter the commit message for your changes. Lines starting
  6 # with '#' will be ignored, and an empty message aborts the commit.
  7 # On branch master
  8 # Your branch is ahead of 'origin/master' by 1 commit.
  9 #
 10 # Changes to be committed:
 11 # (use "git reset HEAD^1 <file>..." to unstage)
 12 #
 13 # new file: debian/patches/thunderbird-branding.js-change-the-mailnews-URI-to-m.patch
 14 #
 15 # Changes not staged for commit:
 16 # (use "git add <file>..." to update what will be committed)
 17 # (use "git checkout -- <file>..." to discard changes in working directory)
 18 #
 19 # modified: debian/patches/debian-hacks/Add-another-preferences-directory-for-applications-p.patch
 20 # .... more of modified files
Now you can clean up all of this modified marked files because we don't want them.
{{{#!highlight bash
user@host:~/gitprojects/icedove [master] $ git co -f
Your branch is ahead of 'origin/master' by 1 commit.
user@host:~/gitprojects/icedove [master] $ git st
# On branch master
# Your branch is ahead of 'origin/master' by 1 commit.
nothing to commit (working directory clean)

=== 6. Extract your last changes and mail them to the maintainers ===
Just use git-email to provide your patch(es) to pkg-mozilla-maintainers@lists.alioth.debian.org or append your patch to an existing bug.
{{{#!highlight bash
user@host:~/gitprojects/icedove [master] $ git format-patch HEAD~1

== Building own Packages ==
After some modifing the build environment or the sources itself you have to build your own package of Icedove to check if the changes you have made are just fine. To do this sure you have already set up, or have updated your [[git-pbuilder|build environment]].

To build your own version is very easy with `git-buildpackage`. It will checks most of the needed things to let you successfull build your own package version. After you have made some changes in the way decribed above your next step will be to update the `debian/changelog` file so `git-buildpackage` can hand over a correct version the building tool (pbuilder, cowbuilder, ...). Please use the command `git-dch` to do this. This will create a correct formated new entry to `debian/changelog`.
{{{#!highlight bash
git-dch -a -S # -a means 'automatic' and -S means 'Snapshot'
After this you have to commit the changed `debian/changelog` file because `git-buildpackage` is normaly unhappy with uncommitted files.{{{#!highlight bash
git commit debian/changelog -m "made my own test version"
Next you can start you build.
{{{#!highlight bash
git-buildpackage --git-pbuilder --git-pristine-tar
That's it, after some time and two coffees later you will hopefully se your own created Icedove package.

== Building own Packages other the HEAD ==
You can rebuild every tagged Debian version of Icedove. To do this you have to checkout the tagged version into a new local branch, for example if you want to rebuild or modify the tag `debian/3.0.11-1+squeeze15` let git this checkout in the local branch `mine-3.0.11-1+squeeze15`:
{{{#!highlight bash
git checkout -b mine-3.0.11-1+squeeze15 debian/3.0.11-1+squeeze15
If you want to change something like the source itself do it like described above. If you just want to modify something like compiler options you just have to commit your changes you made into the git tree. For example:
{{{#!highlight bash
vi debian/rules # modify some variables
git commit debian/rules
If you are ready with your changes don't forget to change the file `debian/changelog` too! Remember, `git-dch -a -S` will do this for you. If you want to change the version in the changelog file please consider that the version must be greater then the previous version in the changelog file, normaly there is nothing to be done by you. Finaly you have to commit your changes to the changelog file like described above because `git-buildpackage` read out the version that the deb package will become.

The call of `git-buildpackage` differs a little bit because you are not on a Debian branch anymore. The old version 3.0.11-squeeze15 in this example is used in Squeeze stable, so at minimum you have to tell it `git-buildpackage`. Also the plattform you are using, for example `amd64`. To build your changed version the call of git-buildpackage have to look like:
{{{#!highlight bash
git-buildpackage --git-pbuilder --git-pristine-tar --git-ignore-branch --git-arch=amd64 --git-dist=squeeze
= More useful informations =
There are more resources to find informations for working with Icedove.

 *[[Icedove/WhatsNew]] Information about the changes within the Icedove/Thunderbird versions
 *[[Icedove/Devel]] Development related things for Icedove

Translation(s): English

Icedove is the Thunderbird email client rebranded by Debian.


Display Email User Agent

  • Access the "Config Editor" from Edit->Preferences->Advanced (click "I'll be careful...")

  • Search after mailnews.headers.showUserAgent and double click on it to activate it
  • Restart Icedove and notice that, when viewing a message, below the "To" field the "User agent" is present now

External Editor for Writing Mails

  • If you want to use a external editor for composing your message take a look at globs.org

Icedove seems impossible to send mails via STARTLS after installation of libnss 3.14-1

  • This problem is not really a Icedove bug (#692886 #692491). With releasing version 3.14-1 of libnss no certificates with a md5 signatures are allowed. It's recommended to check your signatures if you are using md5 based signatures in case of problems. You can do this this

    openssl s_client -connect hostname:587 -starttls < /dev/null | sed -n '/BEGIN/,/END/p' | openssl x509 -text

    Search for "Signature Algorithm". For further information please take a look at https://wiki.mozilla.org/CA:MD5and1024


Take a look at https://support.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/kb/keyboard-shortcuts

Create Own Mail Headers

With editing (or creating) your own ~/.icedove/user.js file you are able to create own, not already shipped Mail Header entrys. It have to looks like that. The entry '{custom headers}' is a comma-separated list of the custom headers you want to be available. "Sender,X-Y" adds the Sender: and X-Y: headers, for example.

// This is a comment
user_pref("mail.compose.other.header", "{custom headers}");

In detail take a look at the following example. More infos on this on mozillaZine

// my own Icedove settings in $HOME/.icedove/user.js
// add these headers to the list of possible headers
user_pref("mail.compose.other.header", "X-Debbugs-CC,X-Debbugs-No-Ack");

Selecting Url in Icedove Causes New Page Open In Iceweasel To Take Focus

This problem is reported in #496632. When selecting url in icedove, window focus is stolen by iceweasel when it loads the url. A temporary workaround is to set the browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground setting. This substantially changes the behaviour of iceweasel, so this may not be acceptable for everyone. To access this setting, enter 'about:config' in the url bar. This brings up a warning page, with a button labelled "I'll be careful, I promise!". Scroll to the entry titled "browser.tabs.loadDivertedInBackground". Double clicking on this line toggles the setting. Setting this to "true" will prevent iceweasel from stealing focus in the described case. The instructions for changing this setting were originally found at http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/how-stop-firefox-stealing-window-focus.htm

Problems with Indexing of mails/news

In rare cases it may happen that Icedove is permanetaly keeps indexing of your mails and messages. The reason for this behavior is mostly a broken or damaged SQLite database. This issue will be easy to fix, you have to delete the broken database. Icedove is creating a new database if not present.

  1. Close the Icedove application
  2. Remove the file $HOME/.icedove/[Your_Profile]/global-messages-db.sqlite

  3. Restart Icedove

Icedove and the Mozilla Lightning Extension

The Lightning extension from Mozilla isn't usable with Icedove >= version 24! This happen because of different internally lifetime linking inside the extension. So please use the iceowl-extension from the Debian repositories.

Open Address Book only

Create a launcher with the following command

 icedove -addressbook 

The future of Icedove

What is the future of the upstream Thunderbird project and consequently the Icedove package(s) in Debian?

Mozilla has changed their approach to developing and managing Thunderbird. A very public anouncement was made about this on 8 July 2012. Since this announcement Mozilla decided to change the focus of their own contributions to the project and will put more emphasis on their web projects and of course on FirefoxOS. Mozilla plans to open the Thunderbird development to a more community driven project but will also be there for security and stability maintenance. There are no plans to close the packaging of Icedove from the Debian side. There is a project webpage from the developer Bejamin Smedbergs which shows the activity from the Mozilla project members. See also the Mozilla TB ESR Release Plan and on the Rapid Release Calendar. As long as Mozilla will provide ESR versions there will be packaged versions of those inside the various release of Debian. The current stable release Debian Wheezy is getting Icedove 17 versions as security updates from the Thunderbird 17 ESR releases. This happen because the Thunderbird 10 ESR circle is marked as end of life and no more security updated will be provided by Mozilla. After the Thunderbird 17 ESR cycle version 24 will be the next ESR release by Mozilla. If possible version 24 will replace version 17 in stable.

It is important to look at this situation in perspective:

  • Even though Thunderbird receives less attention from Mozilla than before July 2012, the long term support is still significantly stronger than the support for many other open source projects. There are several examples of popular open source projects that have been completely abandoned by upstream but lived on nonetheless, procmail is one such example.

  • The Mozilla announcement doesn't mean that any features will go away, it just means new ones may not be added so quickly. Users and potential users should make any decision about their use of Thunderbird/Icedove based on merit alone, e.g. comparing the features available now against the features in similar packages.

Reporting Bugs

Sometimes Icedove doesn't doing things as expected or some error happen. Then you need help or want to report the issue. Before you do this please visit the web pages Bugs in icedove, calendar-google-provider, calendar-timezones, icedove-dbg, icedove-dev, iceowl-extension and/or icedove-l10n-* and check if you find a solution for your problem or some other bug is closed to yours reported. Please do this careful! Because errors reported twice or more take a lot of time to coordinate!

Your problem isn't there or you want to provide extra information to an already opened bug? You can report it best with reportbug, really! :-) But you can also use a EMail client to send bug reports. To do this please visit Bugs and Reporting.

Before you send your report, please check if you can append some useful information for the developer! Please read the following chapter for this. If you use a version from testing or unstable/experimental please check also if a similar problem is reported to the Bugzilla on Mozilla and provide the URL to that bug entry if possible. This helps the developer (and the reporter too) to get automatic notifications if the status of the upstream bug has changed. If you are an advanced user and you can't find the bug in the database on Mozilla you can create there your new bug report and then open a bug report on the Debian with the upstream URL to this bug. This helps the package maintainers too.

And if you are an expert and can help to scaling down the bug list any help is appreciated! If you can provide some patches to improve Icedove or some other package please don't hesitate to write a mail to the packages maintainer!


Sometimes you need some debug information for tracking down problems, for example to give the maintainer more useful information if you have some trouble with Icedove. To get a digestible output with gdb while debugging the application (Icedove and used libraries) must have so named "debugging symbols". For the normal use this symbols inside the application are not necessary. To track file actions there is the possibility to use strace to monitor this.


There some dependencies to get a proper debug output. May be you need to install some additional packages. Once the applications with the debugging symbols and the tools to get the output while debugging. Both are necessary. You will need to install the following packages.

additional packages

gdb icedove-dbg strace

Starting Debugging

If these packages are installed you have to start Icedove from a terminal. This is quite simple, you have to give an argument -g to the starting wrapper script of Icedove if the version is <= v10.0.x (like Wheezy or Squeeze). If you use a version of Icedove if > 10.0.x (like stable-security, testing or above) the debugging call has changed. This should be true for all Wheezy installations with security update support (this the default setting while installation). The debugging must be called by the wrapper script /usr/lib/icedove/run-mozilla.sh with option g or debug and the Icedove binary /usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin. If Icedove is crashing down please also append -safe-mode to prevent the usage of any extension or themes inside Icedove.

   1 # use this if you are running a plain Wheezy without security support (stable) or Squeeze (oldstable)
   2 user@pc:~ $ icedove -g [-safe-mode] 2>&1 | tee /tmp/icedove-gdb-$(apt-cache show icedove | grep Version | awk '{ print $2 }')_$(date +%F_%T).log 

   1 # use this if you are running stable-security, backports, testing or greater
   2 user@pc:~ $ /usr/lib/icedove/run-mozilla.sh -g [-safe-mode] /usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin 2>&1 | tee /tmp/icedove-gdb-$(apt-cache show icedove | grep Version | awk '{ print $2 }')_$(date +%F_%T).log 

This starts the gdb with Icedove as program to debug and logs all the output to /tmp/icedove-gdb-[version]_[timestamp].log. The file can be send to a bug report as attachment (consider about packing this file it before!). This is mostly needed if your Icedove is crashing at some action. Please check the output of the gdb! If you see something like no debugging symbols found check the packages you have installed. With no debugging symbols it's worthless to go further! The next step is to start the Icedove inside the gdb with the "run" command.

   1 (gdb) run

The start of Icedove is taking a little time, after a few seconds you will see (hopefully) the normal GUI screen of Icedove. In the terminal there must be some information to see, in normal case the starting and terminating of Threads, this should looks like this.

   1 user@pc:~ $ # !!! use one of the above described command lines !!!
   2 /usr/lib/icedove/run-mozilla.sh -g /usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin
   3 MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME=/usr/lib/icedove
   4   LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/icedove:/usr/lib/icedove/plugins:/usr/lib/icedove
   5 DISPLAY=:0
   6 DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/icedove:/usr/lib/icedove
   7      LIBRARY_PATH=
   8        SHLIB_PATH=/usr/lib/icedove:/usr/lib/icedove
   9           LIBPATH=/usr/lib/icedove:/usr/lib/icedove
  10        ADDON_PATH=
  11       MOZ_PROGRAM=/usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin
  12       MOZ_TOOLKIT=
  13         moz_debug=1
  14      moz_debugger=
  15 moz_debugger_args=
  16 /usr/bin/gdb  --args /usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin
  17 GNU gdb (GDB) 7.4.1-debian
  18 Copyright (C) 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
  19 License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <http://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>
  20 This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it.
  21 There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.  Type "show copying"
  22 and "show warranty" for details.
  23 This GDB was configured as "x86_64-linux-gnu".
  24 For bug reporting instructions, please see:
  25 <http://www.gnu.org/software/gdb/bugs/>...
  26 Reading symbols from /usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin...Reading symbols from /usr/lib/debug/usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin...done.
  27 done.
  28 (gdb) run
  29 Starting program: /usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin 
  30 [Thread debugging using libthread_db enabled]
  31 Using host libthread_db library "/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libthread_db.so.1".
  32 [New Thread 0x7fffe5993700 (LWP 9761)]
  33 [New Thread 0x7fffe4ad0700 (LWP 9762)]
  34 [New Thread 0x7fffe42cf700 (LWP 9763)]
  35 [New Thread 0x7fffe36ff700 (LWP 9764)]
  36 [New Thread 0x7fffe23ff700 (LWP 9765)]
  37 [New Thread 0x7fffe1bfe700 (LWP 9766)]
  38 [New Thread 0x7fffe03f6700 (LWP 9767)]
  39 [New Thread 0x7fffdf7ff700 (LWP 9768)]
  40 [New Thread 0x7fffdeffe700 (LWP 9769)]
  41 [New Thread 0x7fffddfff700 (LWP 9770)]
  42 [New Thread 0x7fffdc0ff700 (LWP 9771)]
  43 [Thread 0x7fffe03f6700 (LWP 9767) exited]
  44 [Thread 0x7fffdeffe700 (LWP 9769) exited]

If a crash occurs and Icedove stops working and quits, it's possible to get a backtrace of this. For this run the command bt in the terminal there the gdb runs. Remind that Icedove is programmed as a multithreaded program, because of this we want to see all these threads. For more information about gbd around this take a look on How to get a backtrace.

   1 (gdb) thread apply all bt

This gives out a collection of the last status from the stack. This information is needed if you reporting errors with a crashing Icedove.


In some special cases a crash of Icedove can produce a crash of your X-Server. If this happen you have to start your Icedove from a screen session. Without this you can't see the output of the backtrace because the terminal is also cleaned up while the X-Server is crashed. After you relogin to your X-Sessions restart your terminal and reattach the screen session with screen -r.

Debugging of file system activity

It is also possible to see what Icedove is trying do on the file system. For this you can use the tool strace. For this Icedove must also started from a terminal. strace logs every system call Icedove makes, and this is a lot! So it is useful to log directly to a file. Note that the file will growing very fast! Best practice is to write the file to the /tmp folder. The file will be dropped if you turn off your PC.

   1 user@pc:~ $ strace -e file -f -s2048 -o /tmp/icedove_dbg.txt icedove

Debugging Icedove Activity

The activity of Icedove itself can be also logged. For this you have to tell Icedove what component with which level (1 to 5, but just use always 5!) into which file you are want to log. This can be done from the CLI (Command Line Interface -> the console) or via extra start script nor extra setting. Possible components are the MCD (MissionControlDesktop), SMTP or IMAP.

For example to log the MCD with level 5 to ~/icedove-mcd.log from the console do this

   1 user@pc:~ $ NSPR_LOG_MODULES=MCD:5 NSPR_LOG_FILE=~/icedove-mcd.log icedove

Attention! The log file can be growing fast and getting big. If you want to send this file to a bug report don't forget it to pack!

You can also put you requirements to a extra file and export/unexport the variables. You may want to do this

   1 # icedove-dbg.sh
   2 # just execute this script to setup this variables
   3 # other options for NSPR_LOG_MODULES are
   4 #       SMTP or
   5 #       IMAP
   7 export NSPR_LOG_MODULES=MCD:5
   8 export NSPR_LOG_FILE=~/icedove-dbg.txt

Backports for Squeeze

Right now the latest version in backports.debian.org for Icedove is 10.0.12-1 for Squeeze (old-bpo). If you wanna use this you have to add the Debian backport repository to your sources and just run an upgrade or reinstall of Icedove. Locales for this version are also available.

Newer versions then 10.0.x probably will never be available for Squeeze because of dependencies that can't be solved for squeeze.

Backports for Wheezy

For Wheezy currently there are no Debian backports available. The current version in stable-security is 24.4.0 so there are no needs for backports. If you use the Lightning extension from Mozilla please uninstall this first, the Lightning extension don't work with Icedove >= 24. Then install iceowl-extension to use the calendar functionality.

Mike Hommey provides unofficial backports for Icedove. You can install these versions to the current Debian stable release. Please visit mozilla.debian.net for further instructions and information. For locales support you have install the related language manually from the wheezy pool.

But please remember! The packages from mozilla.debian.net not packaged by the Icedove maintainers! If you found issues please remember to write about the repo you use in your bugreport.

Known Problems

There are some problems that needs a lot of time to work on or some rethinking.

  • migration, transition of $HOME/.mozilla-thunderbird to $HOME/.icedove or $HOME/.mozilla/thunderbird and /etc/thunderbird to /etc/icedove
  • restructuring dependencies for locales of icedove (l10n)
  • wrong description in /etc/icedove/pref/icedove.js (#486617)

  • out of date backports (#668578)

More useful informations

There are more resources to find informations for working with Icedove.