One Thunderbird Profile for Both Windows and Linux

approximately 2 minutes of reading

If you have more than one Operating System installed on your machine, it is doable to use just a single instance of Thunderbird's Profile on both of them. With this, when switching between systems, your mailbox is fully in sync.

Let's clarify some things here:

  1. The fact that Linux is able to read content of FAT / NTFS partitions.
  2. The idea of symbolic links

☝🏻 At the end of this tutorial, both operating systems will use Windows's profile of Thunderbid as the main one.

Our test environment consists of:

  • Windows 7
  • Ubuntu 9.10
Windows Part

Location of Windows 7 profile is:

C:\Users\slick\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\udrquvb7.default

This profile contains lots of mailboxes, 3 e-mail accounts and many personal folders. All of that counts in thousands of files and many gigabytes of data.

Ubuntu Part

Now run Ubuntu – it should be cleaned. Install Thunderbird if not present. Open terminal and switch to it's profile:

cd ~/.mozilla-thunderbird

Change the name of profile's directory to make a backup:

mv an8ii60u.default an8ii60u.default_backup

Now create a symbolic link between existing profile (located in Windows) and this in Ubuntu

ln -s /media/WINDOWS7/Users/slick/AppData/Roaming/Thunderbird/Profiles/udrquvb7.default an8ii60u.default

That's all!

Reboot your computer and enjoy one instance of Thunderbird on both Operating Systems.


⚠️ Some hints:

  • an8ii60u.default – profile name under Ubuntu
  • udrquvb7.default – profile name under Windows

Remember to have Windows (NTFS) partitions automatically mounted under Linux – with this you can dodge issues with a locked profile "parent.lock". When partition is mounted, system will be able to manage locks correctly when shutting down.


Words: 276
Published in: Ubuntu · Windows

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