Mozilla Thunderbird Print
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 06:34

ThunderbirdMozilla Thunderbird is a free, open source, cross-platform e-mail and news client developed by the Mozilla Foundation. The project strategy is modeled after Mozilla Firefox, a project aimed at creating a web browser. On December 7, 2004, version 1.0 was released, and received over 500,000 downloads in its first three days of release, and 1,000,000 in 10 days.


Thunderbird aims to be a simple e-mail, newsgroup and news feed client. The vanilla version is not a personal information manager, although the Mozilla Lightning extension added PIM functionality. Additional features, if needed, are often available via other extensions.

  • Message management

Thunderbird can manage multiple e-mail, newsgroup and news feed accounts and supports multiple identities within accounts. Features like quick search, saved search folders ("virtual folders"), advanced message filtering, message grouping, and labels help manage and find messages. On Linux-based systems, system mail (movemail) accounts are supported.

  • Junk filtering

Thunderbird incorporates a Bayesian spam filter, a whitelist based on the included address book, and can also understand classifications by server-based filters such as SpamAssassin.

  • Extensions

Extensions allow the addition of features through the installation of XPInstall modules (known as "XPI" or "zippy" installation). One example is Lightning, the calendar extension mentioned above.

Extensions and themes (below) available on the Mozilla Update site may be upgraded through the client.

  • Themes

Thunderbird supports a variety of themes for changing its overall look and feel. These packages of CSS and image files can be downloaded from Mozilla Add-ons.

  • Standards support

Thunderbird supports POP and IMAP. It also supports LDAP address completion. The built-in RSS/Atom reader can also be used as a simple news aggregator. Thunderbird supports the S/MIME standard, extensions such as Enigmail and support for the OpenPGP standard.

  • File formats supported
    • mbox – Unix mailbox format
    • Mork – used for internal database
    • SQLite – also used for internal database (since version 3)
  • Cross-platform support

Thunderbird runs on a wide variety of platforms. Releases available on the primary distribution site support the following operating systems:

  • Windows
  • Linux
  • Mac OS X
  • OS/2 [12]
  • eComStation
  • OpenSolaris

The source code is freely available and can be compiled and run on a variety of other architectures and operating systems.

  • Internationalization and localization

Thunderbird does not yet support UTF8SMTP (RFC 5336) or Email Address Internationalization.
With contributors all over the world, the client is translated into at least 37 languages.

  • Security

Thunderbird provides enterprise and government-grade security features such as SSL/TLS connections to IMAP and SMTP servers. It also offers native support for S/MIME secure email (digital signing and message encryption using certificates). Any of these security features can take advantage of smartcards with the installation of additional extensions.
Other security features can be added through extensions. For instance, Enigmail offers PGP signing, encryption, and decryption.
Optional security protections also include disabling loading of remote images within messages, enabling only specific media types (sanitizer), and disabling JavaScript.
The French military uses Thunderbird and contributes to its security features, which are claimed to match the requirements for NATO's closed messaging system

Download Thunderbird