Future Maintaining Thunderbird


I have been trying for a while to publish updates to the thunderbird snap (https://code.launchpad.net/~ken-vandine/thunderbird/snap/+activereviews) for a few months now. This build at least updates thunderbird to 60.6.1 and enables enigmail support and ubuntu 18 support. I have built this snap personally and all the features seem to work compared to the version offered in the snap store.

I was just wondering if it would be possible to maybe review the maintenance of this snap and maybe a transfer the maintenance/ownership to snapcrafters? I appreciate the work Ken Vandine and others have done to enable the snap but it is clear that the current solution is not keeping up with upstream updates.

As one of the few email clients on offer on the store, I think it’s a good idea to ensure this software is maintained. It also significantly benefits from being sandboxed.

Kind regards,


As I see from source this is just repackaged binaries from official mozilla tarball similarly to what mozilla does with firefox snap. That also means it comes with it own “updater” which will prompt users about fake update like Firefox auto update prompt .

Honestly I don’t think this is the quality we want from snaps. If you don’t want to build from source then at least repackage prebuild deb from mozilla-ppa bionic repo.

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This was just an unofficial proof of concept that has never been published to stable. We have plans to build it from source and properly maintain it, we just aren’t there yet.


As it is, the snap is not very useful and it replaces the deb in GNOME Software. If a user removes Thunderbird (or installs Ubuntu with the minimal option), the only Thunderbird they see is an out-of-date, buggy version. I don’t think Mozilla would be happy about that.

This would be a bug then, GnomeSoftware should not show snap packages that have never been released to stable. you should file it in launchpad.

This has been reported as bug #1835625.

Tbh, I have been using my own latest version based on Ken Vandine’s yaml.

It’s been rock-solid. I haven’t had any crashes, themes work, GPG/enigmail works. Albeit, the user needs to import the gpg keys manually which is a little bit of a pain.

Granted there are still minor things that can be improved such as the lack of need for camera plug. That and access to default things like pdf readers are a bit of a pain as well.

I still think this app should probably be updated more frequently and would benefit from a CI pipeline.


Nope, this was discussed $SOMEWHERE and the decision was made that it should show these snaps. snapd was update to show them as well. The default behaviour was to hide them, but we had to updated it to show them, i.e. it’s a conscious decision to show them, ergo feature not a bug. Happy to discuss this further though.

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Was upstream approached if they’re interested in maintaining it themselves? As mozilla maintains firefox, their infra should be ready for that.

We have had some meetings with them and they did seem interested at the time.

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