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#1 2020-10-31 16:29:18

ynuwyytqaw
Member
Registered: 2019-03-17
Posts: 8

Current status of Thunderbird

Since various threads have been opened regarding the outdated version of Thunderbird (the current packaged version is 68.12.0 from 25 August), let me summarise the information that is available. Perhaps others can add missing pieces.

Thunderbird 78 comes with built-in OpenPGP. This allows to send encrypted messages without the need of a certificate chain that is required for S/MIME. That's great news, finally PGP is a core function in Thunderbird. However, it is not compatible with Enigmail, the extension that provided an interface with GnuPG for many years. The Enigmail author created a version of the extension for Thunderbird 78 that simply migrates the PGP information to the new built-in OpenPGP function. There are a few things that OpenPGP does not yet provide that Enigmail had, so some people may not be completely happy with that.

When Thunderbird 78.0.0 launched, the OpenPGP function was not yet ready for production. Up to version 78.2.1 the release notes include the warning «Thunderbird version 78.0 is only offered as direct download from thunderbird.net and not as an upgrade from Thunderbird version 68 or earlier.» On 18 July, the Thunderbird team recommended via Twitter that distributions stick with versions 68.x.x until 78.2 was available:

https://twitter.com/mozthunderbird/stat … 9153497090

There was also a thread in the email list about this:

https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/a … 47997.html

During a number of weeks there were two active main releases of Thunderbird (68 and 78), which led to confusion about what versions were affected for a number of security advisories. The forum thread can be found here:

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=258280

On 10 September the Thunderbird team releases version 78.2.2, which is the first 78 version ready for upgrade from versions 68.

In that same thread on 29 September someone asks whether «there is an issue that still needs resolving» to which a forum administrator replies «#6: When it's ready https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=130138».

Since the upgrade-ready version was released on 10 September and the most-recent information on the forums is old, from 30 August, in the past week two more threads were opened to inquire. Both were swiftly closed, both times with a comment that information is available in the forums and to please search before posting.

Then, on 28 October a forum administrator adds «this question comes up a lot and it's relatively useless to have threads here as long as the maintainers haven't made a decision/got to packaging yet.»

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php … 5#p1934395

Unless I read this incorrectly, this phrase actually gives some insight: since 10 September the maintainers are actually waiting, because there is a decision to be made. Now I searched the forums, but could not find any information about that decision. If you do know something about this, please reply.

Did I leave something out and do you have more information? Please reply.

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#2 2020-10-31 16:58:29

V1del
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-16
Posts: 11,168

Re: Current status of Thunderbird

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#3 2020-10-31 17:01:57

ynuwyytqaw
Member
Registered: 2019-03-17
Posts: 8

Re: Current status of Thunderbird

Hello V1del, thank you.

Last edited by ynuwyytqaw (2020-10-31 17:04:55)

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#4 2020-10-31 17:03:34

V1del
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-16
Posts: 11,168

Re: Current status of Thunderbird

It's not. It's the most recent mailing list thread of this month.

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#5 2020-10-31 17:19:52

ynuwyytqaw
Member
Registered: 2019-03-17
Posts: 8

Re: Current status of Thunderbird

The one concrete bit of information on that thread is a comment from 28 October: «the maintainer, seems quite busy and want to triple check things around the new GPG interface before pushing».

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#6 2020-11-09 11:07:15

ynuwyytqaw
Member
Registered: 2019-03-17
Posts: 8

Re: Current status of Thunderbird

For those interested in the latest news on this topic, there are updates (and probably will be more updates) on the arch-general mail list thread posted by V1del, especially this post:

https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/a … 48337.html

There is a hidden feature in Thunderbird to enable the use of GnuPG for your private keys (but not for the use of public keys):

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird:OpenPGP:Smartcards

Currently there is an issue with it, which is reported here:

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1675939

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#7 2020-11-20 06:31:12

XoseM
Member
Registered: 2013-08-17
Posts: 11

Re: Current status of Thunderbird

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