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thunderbird 3.1 beta 2

Mozilla Thunderbird 3.1 beta 2 was released, the new version featuring a new "Quick Filter" bar and better Thunderbird 2 upgrade/import tools (read full release notes).

I gave up installing Thunderbird from the Ubuntu official repositories or even Ubuntu PPAs a long time ago so nowadays I simply go to Help > Check for Updates to update my Thunderbird, because I installed the .tar.bz2 package downloaded from the Mozilla website. If you want to install it this version too in Linux, here's how to do it.

1. Download and install Thunderbird 3.1 beta 2 with one command:
wget -O - http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/thunderbird/releases/3.1b2/linux-i686/en-US/thunderbird-3.1b2.tar.bz2 | tar xj -C ~

This installs Thunderbird 3.1 beta 2 in your home folder. You can download Thunderbird 3.1 beta 2 with a localization for your country by editing the "en-US" in the above url. Or manually download it from HERE.

2. If you used the package from the Ubuntu repositories, this step is not required, but if you've installed Thunderbird 3.0 or 3.1 from a PPA, you can migrate all your profiles to the new Thunderbird installation using the following command (make a backup first!):
mkdir ~/.thunderbird
cp -r ~/.thunderbird-3.*/* ~/.thunderbird/

3. Now you most probably want a menu entry or shortcut for the new Thunderbird.

a) Panel shortcut

To add a shortcut on the Gnome panel, right click a panel, select "Add to panel", select "Custom application launcher", then under "Name" enter "Thunderbird 3.1 Beta 2" and in the "Command" field, enter: "/home/your_username/thunderbird/thunderbird", replacing "your_username" with your username.

b) Menu entry.

We'll create a new .desktop file for Thunderbird 3.1 beta 2:
sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/thunderbird3beta.desktop &

and paste this in the newly created file:
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Thunderbird 3.1 beta 2
Comment=Read/Write Mail/News with Mozilla Thunderbird
GenericName=Mail Client
Exec=/home/YOUR_USERNAME/thunderbird/thunderbird %u

In the code above, replace YOUR_USERNAME with your username.

That's it!