Thunderbird starts with two window instances
2018-03-24

2018-04-22 12:30:18 Linux,Kubuntu,KDE,E-Mail,Thunderbird,EN

German Version: /post/2018/03/24/thunderbird-startet-mit-zwei-fenster-instanzen/

Problem description: Thunderbird always starts with two window instances, no matter how Thunderbird is started: via QuickStarter, from the K-Menu, or via console. If one of the two windows is closed, both always close.

Solution: The Thunderbird file ~/.thunderbird/*.default/session.json contains two windows objects. Delete one of them.

Thunderbird's session.json

The content of the file can be displayed formatted on the console:

cat ~/.thunderbird/`awk -F "=" '/Path/ {print $2}' ~/.thunderbird/profiles.ini`"/session.json" | python -m json.tool

Example Output

{
    "rev": 0,
    "windows": [
        {
            "tabs": {
                "rev": 0,
                "selectedIndex": 0,
                "tabs": [
                    {
                        "ext": {
                            "quickFilter": {
                                "filterValues": {
                                    "text": {
                                        "states": {
                                            "body": false,
                                            "recipients": false,
                                            "sender": true,
                                            "subject": false
                                        },
                                        "text": null
                                    }
                                },
                                "visible": false
                            }
                        },
                        "mode": "folder",
                        "state": {
                            "firstTab": true,
                            "folderPaneVisible": true,
                            "folderURI": "xxx://xxx@example.com/INBOX",
                            "messagePaneVisible": true
                        }
                    }
                ]
            },
            "type": "3pane"
        },
        {
            "tabs": {
                "rev": 0,
                "selectedIndex": 0,
                "tabs": [
                    {
                        "ext": {
                            "quickFilter": {
                                "filterValues": {
                                    "text": {
                                        "states": {
                                            "recipients": true,
                                            "sender": true,
                                            "subject": true
                                        },
                                        "text": null
                                    }
                                },
                                "visible": true
                            }
                        },
                        "mode": "folder",
                        "state": {
                            "firstTab": true,
                            "folderPaneVisible": true,
                            "folderURI": "zzz://zzz@example.com/INBOX",
                            "messagePaneVisible": true
                        }
                    }
                ]
            },
            "type": "3pane"
        }
    ]
}

As you can see in the above example output, the windows array has more than one object. And exactly there is the problem: One Thunderbird window instance is created for each object.

Edit

The following small bash snippet first creates a copy (session.json.YYYYY-MM-DD) of the current file (session.json), formats (beautify | prettify) the JSON code so that it becomes more readable and finally opens the file in the editor Kate:

  1. finish Thunderbird
  2. open the file ~/.thunderbird/*.default/session.json for editing with Kate via console

    cd ~/.thunderbird/`awk -F "=" '/Path/ {print $2}' ~/.thunderbird/profiles.ini`;NOW=`date '+%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%S'`; cp session.json "session.json.$NOW"; cat session.json | python -m json.tool > /tmp/session.json; kate /tmp/session.json; cp /tmp/session.json session.json;
  3. remove the unwanted object in the JSON code
    (Have the edited code checked with a JSON parser such as http://json.parser.online.fr/; copy'n'paste)._
  4. save file in Kate [CTRL+S] End Kate [CTRL+Q]

Now Thunderbird can be started again. It starts with only one window instance


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