Mozilla Thunderbird 60.0 Ships With New Photon Look, Important Changes

Thunderbird 60 Linux

After more than one year since the previous major stable release (52.0), Mozilla Thunderbird 60.0 was released with some important changes, including a new Firefox-like "Photon" look, new logo, and attachment management improvements, among others.

The free and open source email, news, RSS and chat client Thunderbird version 60.0 includes a Firefox-like Photon look, in which the tabs are square (and other theme improvements), along with new light and dark themes. WebExtension themes are enabled in Thunderbird with version 60, and you'll also find multiple chat themes.

Also, the native Linux notifications have been re-enabled with this release.

Like the latest Firefox, Thunderbird 60.0 supports client side decorations (CSD) on Linux. Enable CSD in Thunderbird 60 by opening the Config Editor from Edit > Preferences, on the Advanced > General tab, searching for mail.tabs.drawInTitlebar in the Config Editor and changing its value from false to true, like this:

This is how Tunderbird 60 with CSD enabled looks in Ubuntu 18.04 with Communitheme (Yaru) theme (though note that themes with window titlebars that use round corners will have white pixels around the corners):

The new Thunderbird 60 dark and light themes:

Thunderbird 60 Linux dark theme
Thunderbird 60 "dark" theme

Thunderbird 60 Linux light theme
Thunderbird 60 "light" theme

I don't exactly understand what the point of the dark theme since the panes are not themed, but maybe it will be improved. The new light and dark themes can be enabled from the Thunderbird Add-ons Manager (Tools > Add-ons).

I should also mention that the new light theme has a small menu issue on Linux (the menu header text becomes very light gray on white background when a menu is activated) with some Gtk themes like Yaru (previously Communitheme), Canta, and probably others.

There's an updated Thunderbird logo as well with this release, which you can see in the About Mozilla Thunderbird dialog above.

Attachment management was improved with this release. The Attach button was moved to the right side of the compose window, and pressing Alt + M toggles the attachment panel. Also, attachments can now be re-ordered using drag and drop, a dialog, or keyboard shortcuts.

To help prevent attaching the wrong files, when hiding a non-empty attachment pane Thunderbird shows a placeholder paperclip to indicate the presence of attachments.

Thunderbird 60.0 also includes multiple calendar improvements, including:

  • Allow copying, cutting or deleting of a selected occurrence or the entire series for recurring events
  • Provide an option to display locations for events in calendar day and week views
  • Provide the ability for sending/not sending meeting notifications directly instead of showing a popup
  • Option to select the target calendar when pasting an event or task
  • Allow email scheduling for CalDAV servers supporting server-side scheduling
  • Reminders on read-only calendars can now be dismissed, while reminders for missed events will now only be displayed for writable calendars if option "Show missed reminders for writable calendars" is selected

Other changes in Thunderbird 60.0:

  • Thunderbird now uses Mozilla's latest proxy technology (add-on FoxyProxy now supported)
  • An option under Tools > Options, Advanced, General now allows to select whether date / time display will follow the application locale (adjusted by operating system's format settings for that locale) or the locale selected in the operating system's regional settings
  • OAuth2 authentication for Yahoo and AOL
  • Thunderbird now allows the conversion of folders from mbox to maildir format and vice versa. This is an experimental feature that needs to be enabled by setting the preference mail.store_conversion_enabled. Note that this functionality does not not work if the option Allow Windows Search/Spotlight to search messages is selected.
  • Thunderbird now uses the latest Rust-based Mozilla technology, including Quantum's CSS engine (based on Servo) and encoding_rs, for displaying and encoding message

The complete Thunderbird 60.0 release notes can be found here.

Download Thunderbird

To install Thunderbird 60.0 on Linux, check if it was updated in your Linux distro repositories. If it wasn't, you can download the binary from the link above, extract the archive, and run the thunderbird executable.

Mozilla Thunderbird is available on FlatHub, but it hasn't been updated to version 60.0 yet.