More on the Broken Thunderbird in Linux Mint

Yesterday, I did some more testing on Linux to see if I could still create the blank User Interface by running a profile from Thunderbird 3.1.x with the Add-on Compatibility Reporter installed in Thunderbird 5.0 on Linux Mint. So I made a duplicate of my Thunderbird 3.1.x profile which had the Add-on Compatibility Reporter installed using the ProfileManager tool and then attempted to run that profile in Thunderbird 5. As expected, the result was the same a blank UI and a dead profile.

In another test, I was able to successfully ‘resurrect’ the ‘broken’ profile by launching the profile in Thunderbird 3.1.x and removing the Add-on Compatibility Checker add-on. Restarted Thunderbird and looked in the about:config and saw no entries for “extensions.checkCompatibility. Closed and started the profile on Thunderbird 5.0 and Thunderbird worked fine.

So I decided to approach this situation for a different direction. Instead of having Thunderbird ignore that the add-on reports that is not compatible,  I made the add-on compatible with Thunderbird 5.0 instead. Simple process (but should be tested on a burner profile before trying to install the modified add-on to your live profile):

  1. Change the extension of the extension file from .xpi to .jar
  2. Open the archive in an archive manager (such as 7-Zip)
  3. Edit install.rdf file changing the value for <em:maxVersion> to 5.0.*
    Note: Since the same extension file will work on multiple applications be sure you are changing this value in the correction section. The file will have comment lines such as <!– Firefox –> or <!– Thunderbird –>.
  4. Save the changes
  5. Change the extension of the file back to .xpi for .jar