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Setting up Mozilla Thunderbird

Please note the following issue and the suggested workaround

(With thanks to CERN)


You experience the following problem: some messages appear in the list of messages in Thunderbird, but when you try to open them the message's contents seem empty or attachements seem to be corrupted.
This problem may appear after your mailbox is migrated to Exchange 2010.


if you are running Thunderbird from Windows or Mac:
Enable the offline cache: open Account Settings in the Thundebird options, go to "offline and disk space" settings for your CERN mailbox account, check "Make the messages in my Inbox available when I am working offline"
If you are running Thunderbird from Linux:
Open Edit menu -> Preferences. In the "advanced" tab, click "Config editor".
Locate the following setting: mail.imap.mime_parts_on_demand_threshold and double-click it to set the value to 21000000
Then locate the following setting: mail.server.default.fetch_by_chunks and double-click it to set the value to false.
Close and restart Thunderbird


The following walkthrough is based on Thunderbird 3.1 running on MS Windows but the setup of other versions and other platforms is similar. Start Thunderbird and on the top menu click Tools and then Account Settings... . The following dialogue appears.

In this example, we're setting up an account for John Doe. Give the account a sensible name to identify it e.g. My Physics Mailbox and fill in your name and email address as below.

Next select Server Settings from the left hand side. Fill in server name as below, and set the connection security to include SSL. Your username should be given in the form <login name>@physics.ox.ac.uk. NB this starts with your physics network login name NOT your email address.

Click on Copies and Folders on the left hand side and the dialogue below appears. Typically you should keep all your drafts, sent items etc on the server so that they are safe and accessible from other clients. To do this, make sure that the fields in this section are set to match the account name that you sent earlier, in this case My Physics Mailbox. In the case of `Pace a copy in` I have chosen to use the `sent items` folder on the physics server so that outgoing mail from all clients is stored in one folder.

Next, we need to set up the outgoing server. Click on Outgoing Server (SMTP). The following appears. Add a definition for an outgoing server until it agrees with the details below and if you have more than one make it the default. The setting shown below will work whether you are inside or outside of the department as your identity is given as part of the connection process. Replace User Name with your own login name following by @physics.ox.ac.uk.

Then return to the Server Settings menu and check that the outgoing server is set to the one you have just defined.

You should now be able to send and receive emails, so click ok and try.

Most people find it very useful to have the department's email directory available so that common names can be used instead of email addresses. To do this, click on Composition and Addressing. Click on Use a different LDAP server and then Edit Directories


The following appears, click Add to create a new directory service.

You should set up the directory as following, giving your login name as usual.

Click OK until all the setup windows close and then click Tools on the top menu followed by Options. The following appears. Select Composition and then the Addressing tab. You can now select the directory service that you want to use for auto-completion of email addresses when you are sending.

Click OK to remove all setup windows and test. If you have trouble getting your client to work, please remember that the web interface requires no setup so you can use this to email IT support for help. The web interface is at