Postbox: how to add an add-on manager to the GUI

Thunderbird users know, that the former main Developer of Thunderbird, Scott MacGregor, left Mozilla in 2007. This week, he released a new desktop email client named Postbox, based on the Thunderbird 3 code. The recent versions, when I write this entry, are Postbox 1.0beta7 and Thunderbird 3.0beta1.

Postbox features are described here or commented here. You will find a lot of features you don't see in Thunderbird. But: you will see no add-on manager in Postbox, so you cannot add extensions at the moment to Postbox!

Here is a description, how to add the Thunderbird add-on manager to Postbox's user interface, and how to install extensions, which are compatible with Thunderbird 3, in Postbox.

Warning: This may be dangerous and is at your own risk. I am not responsible for anything, what happened to your PC. If you loose data's, do not come to me and cry, Postbox is beta, me is pre-alpha!

What you need:
  • Mr. Tech's Toolkit
  • The following code , which you will find in the default install.rdf in the program-installation-path of Postbox, like C:\Program Files\Postbox\extensions\{972ce4c6-7e08-4474-a285-3208198ce6fd}
Steps to add the add-on manager:
  1. Install the latest version of Mr. Techs Toolkit in your profile of Thunderbird 2 or 3
  2. Open the installation path of this extension in your Thunderbird profile
  3. Open the install.rdf of this extension
  4. Add the code above to this install.rdf
  5. Save an close the install.rdf
  6. Copy this whole Thunderbird installation path of this extension
  7. Paste it in the profile folder ...\extension of your Postbox-profile (this folder is empty by default)
  8. Start Postbox
  9. Right-click on the menu-bar, choose "customize toolbar"
  10. Drag and drop the buttons "Extensions" and "Restart" to the toolbar
  11. Click on button "Extensions"
You now will see nearly the original Thunderbird add-on manager in Postbox with the one add-on Mr. Tech's Toolkit
  • Click on "Options"
  • Uncheck "Enable add-ons compatibility checking"
  • Restart
Test the Postbox add-on manager by installing an extension of your choice. Be carefully and take only extensions, which are allowed by extension author for Thunderbird builds from 3.0b2pre or higher.

I tested it with extension ThreadKey. This extension replaces the in Thunderbird 3 banned shortcut "G" of old Thunderbird 1, 1.5, and 2 (see bug#275871).

The result of my description you can see here:

But keep this in mind: there is no guarantee, that Thunderbird 3 compatible extension will work (properly) in Postbox 1. In the case of Mr. Tech's Toolkit, some buttons don't react. And do not add Thunderbird 3 themes to Postbox, this does not work or can destroy your Postbox installation!

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