Opening URLs in Thunderbird

Since changing from the monolithic Mozilla browser and email client a few months ago, I’ve had one small problem. Clicking on a link in Thunderbird doesn’t open up Firefox. I was unable to find an answer to this until recently. There’s some discussion about it on the Fedora Forum and the Mozilla Thunderbird site.

There are two ways you could open a web page. One is if it’s attached to the email. The setting for this is in Tools/Options/Attachements in the File Types box. This uses /usr/bin/htmlview to start a browser. I created ~/.htmlviewrc to contain this:


but this doesn’t handle embedded URLs in emails. For that, the pages above tell you to change a user preference, but it’s not accesible from Thunderbird. You have to edit a preferences file. The page didn’t say where it was, so I modified a preference from the Options dialog (to force the file to be updated) and then ran this:

find ~ -type f -mmin -10

which will show all files in my home directories that were modified within the last 10 minutes. In the list was .thunderbird/default.y81/prefs.js. I added

user_pref("", "/usr/local/bin/launch-firefox"); and created /usr/local/bin/launch-firefox from the Thunderbird directions, substituting /usr/local/firefox for /opt/firefox-builds/current in MOZILLA_FIVE_HOME and openURL\("$url",new\-tab\); for openURL\("$url"\); because I prefer opening pages in new tabs rather than new windows.