How to install Thunderbird mail client in Debian and set up GMail account in Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is a free email client that allows users of Windows, macOS, Linux, and other supported systems to send, receive and manage their email. With Thunderbird, you can receive emails from your email provider using IMAP or POP3 and send emails using SMTP.

In this article, we will walk you through installing Thunderbird both through the Debian user interface and from the command line. We will then explain how to launch the application and use it to configure Thunderbird to access and use an existing email account (GMail) on your Debian.

We have followed the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Debian 10 Buster system.

Installing Thunderbird on Debian 10

Here we show you two ways to install ThunderBird on your System:

  • From the ThunderBird website (GUI based)
  • Via terminal (command line based)

From the ThunderBird website (UI based)

The latest version of Thunderbird can be found at the following link:

Open the link in a browser and save the file on your system, preferably in the Downloads folder, as follows:

The downloaded file will be in .tar.bz2 format. Open the folder where you downloaded the file, extract it using the “Extract here” option from the context menu, as shown below:

Extract Thunderbird Archive

The extracted folder will contain another folder named “Thunderbird”. Open that folder and try to find an executable named thunderbird.

Run the Thunderbird installer

Double-clicking this file will open the Thunderbird application. Advertising

Install Thunderbird via Debian Command Line – Terminal

Open the Debian command line, Terminal, by searching in the Application Launcher as follows:

Debian terminal

We recommend running the following command before installing any software on Debian via the command line:

$ sudo apt-get update

This ensures that your system’s repository index matches the Internet repositories. This way, you can install the latest available software version.

Then run the following command to install ThunderBird:

                      $ sudo apt-get install thunderbird

Please note that only an authorized user can add, remove and update software in Debian.

Install Thunderbird with apt

The system may ask you for a password for the sudo user. Enter your password and the software will be installed on your system.

You can check if the software is actually installed on your system or not and also check the version number with the following command:

                      $ thunderbird --version

Check Thunderbird version

If you want to completely remove ThunderBird along with all its settings, use the following command:

                      $ sudo apt-get purge thunderbird

Remove Thunderbird

Launch ThunderBird

When you have installed ThunderBird using this method, you can launch it through Terminal by entering the following command:

                      $ thunderbird

Or from the user interface via the app launcher search bar.

Start Thunderbird and set up an email account

When you start Thunderbird for the first time, the following view appears:

Thunderbird Email Program

This allows you to set up one of the pre-existing email accounts in Thunderbird. Here I will explain how I used the wizard to set up my Gmail account in ThunderBird to send and receive email directly from my Debian desktop.

Enter your name, the email address you want to set up and the password for this email account in this view and click Continue:

Setting up an email account

ThunderBird will check your settings from the Mozilla provider database and display the following view if the entries match successfully:

E-mail address

Click the Finish button in this view after checking the configuration. The following Google login page will open:

Thunderbird GMail Account

Enter your email address and click Next. The next page will open asking for the password associated with your email ID.

Sign in

Enter your password and click Next. The following page will appear asking if you trust ThunderBird as a trusted application:

Grant access to your email account

Click Allow and you have successfully configured Thunderbird to send and receive emails from your pre-existing email account.

Thunderbird GMail Account

That was all you needed to know about installing ThunderBird if it is not already included in your Debian package. And also set up an existing account in ThunderBird so you can easily and easily use this email account right on your Debian desktop.

How to install Thunderbird mail client in Debian and set up GMail account in Thunderbird

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