ThunderBird/Lightning and Multiple Accounts

A Continuance Of Split Personalities
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Quick Summary:

/ doesn't store login credentials correctly when:

You are logging in to the same server, using CalDAV resources within Lightning, from Different Accounts, even under the same Domain on a groupware server that is hosting a number of domains. Thunderbird is a mail reader and obviously it does IMAP really well. Julie and I have been working on DAV for what seems a really long time now, and she solved the CardDAV problem with the  AddOn which actually works really well (we have many address books). Feed it the asset's URL, give it credentials for that asset and, Presto! Works.

By default, the same is Not True of CalDAV and it's been an effing thorn in my side.

The symptom is connecting to the same server (say with credentials to get a calendar asset from a data store works fine.  Create New Calendar => DAVURL. Credentials are say . Now then, I need also to access and  on that same groupware server. Nooooooooooo. Those explode. Both use cases, same domain and different domains both break and you will not be getting CalDAV assets from those two accounts, but Sky Is The Limit for any container available to .

What happens is Thunderbird will assume you want to use on server from that point forward. It will not prompt for additional login credentials and so it won't obviously store additional login credentials. This process will solve that problem (though I've been told that my rage about "useful fucking defaults" has been amusing).

Caveat: If you follow these steps after you build IMAP accounts, it'll store your new DAV credentials but then Thunderbird oddly seems to loose its mind maintaining IMAP login credentials. [I don't write the bugs (well, not these anyway), I just report them.] The result of that is that Thunderbird will keep asking you for your damned IMAP account password for each of those accounts every time you start Thunderbird (I have a lot of accounts, this makes short work of a person's patience and mental stability).

The fix is easy, simple, and stupid, and I .

Here we go.

1. If you have an existing install of Thunderbird I'm going to ask you to Reinstall. And Stop Right There. I will bet you your Thunderbird is fine.There's some confusion here. Thunderbird code is fine, probably (I'm using 52.8.0 Kubuntu (x64), Standard Repo Install (I have the new Beta for kicks), this works on the beta, and in Windows) and the latest version(s) of Thunderbird comes with Lightning built in (Windows And Linux Users: There Is No Need To Install Lightning from the Repo or from AddOns!). The mess is in the  (you should take the time to read that page). If you've been using Thunderbird for a while, you've got some stuff we want to back-up and that's as easy as renaming the profile directory. Windows users, {RClick+Rename} ... Bash is painfully difficult:

mv ~/.thunderbird ~/.thunderbird_MuchCruft

Remember this. You'll forget, but that's ok, you have a backup of your mail and stuff. It's there. You'll forget.

2. Start Thunderbird and you will see something like this screen But Stop! HIT ESCAPE RIGHT NOW!!!. No, really The Escape Key is your friend. Or click on that "Later" Button. I explained above what happens if you start adding IMAP accounts now. So, don't.



3. Go to the "Edit" Menu, near the bottom will be "Preferences".

4. Apparently we're doing something "Advanced" so select that icon in the upper, right-hand corner. We'd like to have a chat with the Config Editor (which does the same as about:config in Firefox). There will be warnings and yelling about warranties. We break warranties. Go ahead and continue.



5. You will get a search box like so. Simply type the world "realm" in that box and you will get a single result:

You will notice that it is currently set to Boolean "False". Double Click that.



6. You should now see | Status: User Set | Type: Boolean | Value: True

[I maximized the window for dramatic effect.]



7. Close the about:config window.

8. Close the Preferences window.


10. Start Thunderbird.

At this point you can happily add IMAP resources (certainly), CardDAV assets, and effing Calendar and Task assets on a CalDAV server from different accounts, the same or different domains, but on the same bloody groupware host.

Your Thunderbird is now 100% Cal/CardDAV Capable and ready to throw it at the Groupware server(s) of your choice.



Note: Next Thunderbird article will be about some of the plugins I use, and why.

Note: I'll get around to talking about Groupware servers at some point.

Note: Don't hold your breath on an article about how to make Thunderbird work well with Exchange. Nobody wants me near Exchange (I usually put an xNIX server between me, and it, anyway).

Note: You should keep an eye out for an OutLook and Open Source Groupware servers. I will write that.