Installed Thunderbird from the AppCenter (uncurated of course), but when I start it, it wants to setup my Email accounts rather than using the settings in my ~/.thunderbird profile. When I tried instead to run it from the command line to see if there was some option I could give it to make it use my existing profile, I found that it was installed as some kind of containerized application that can't be run from the command line. The "ps" command reveals that is run by bwrap (with --args 42, so I don't even know what args were given to it). I guess that means it's using a virtual namespace, in which it seems my home directory does not exist. Is there some way to fix this, or should I give up and just use the "snap" version (or download it directly from Mozilla for Ubuntu)?

1 Answer 1


AppCenter will most likely install the flatpak version of thunderbird. There are a few ways to solve your issue:

  1. Move the contents of your thunderbird profile from ~/.thunderbird to ~/.var/app/org.mozilla.Thunderbird/.thunderbird
  2. In Terminal, run flatpak run org.mozilla.Thunderbird -P then select the right profile and tick "Use the selected profile without asking on startup" box.
  3. Remove the flatpak version and install the one from the ubuntu repos with sudo apt install thunderbird (this will most likely install an older version than flatpak)

For more details on flatpak Thunderbird: https://github.com/flathub/org.mozilla.Thunderbird

If you want to read more uo flatpaks and why we use them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatpak

TIP: to see a list of installed flatpak apps use flatpak list; to remove a flatpak app use flatpak remove org.mozilla.Thunderbird for example

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