Thunderbird Export URLs

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Two Ways of opening links in Thunderbird with Firefox

There's an easy way to get Thunderbird sort of working with Firefox right out of the box with Arch.

The preferred method (does not need require restarting Thunderbird)

Launch Thunderbird and navigate to the Config Editor by clicking the following menu items:

Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> General -> Config Editor.

Right click in the list of parameters, select New and String in the menu.

A box appears, asking you for the preference name. Put :

Click OK, the box then asks you for the value : set it to :


Do it again for the preference named .

N.B. Xfce4 users may want to set this preference value to "exo-open", which then will use the browser set up in "Preferred Applications",

You can now click on URL directly to launch them into Firefox !

Alternative method

Go to your hidden thunderbird directory in your home directory.

cd /home/YOURUSERNAME/.thunderbird

Or use a graphical filebrowser like Konqueror or Nautilus. Make sure to enable 'view hidden files and folders.'

You'll see a folder that looks something like this


Go into that folder and find the file named prefs.js and open it with your text editor of choice.

IMPORTANT - Make absolute sure that Thunderbird is CLOSED. Otherwise this change to the text file will have no effect.

Add to the bottom of the prefs.js file the following lines and save the file (alternatively, you can add the lines to a new file called user.js).

user_pref("", "/usr/bin/firefox");
user_pref("", "/usr/bin/firefox");

Note: As far as the standard firefox package from the extra repository is concerned, the binary path is now /usr/bin/firefox. To check the path of your firefox binary manually, use the command:

which firefox

Setting Firefox to open links in new tabs/new windows

You can change whether links are opened in new tabs or in new windows by opening up /usr/bin/mozilla-firefox in a text editor.

There are two lines near the top that say:


This setup will open URL's in a new window. Simply comment the first line and uncomment the second line to open URL's in a new tab!

Another way to do that is to select the right radiobutton in Edit/Preferences/Tabs in your Firefox browser menu.