Thunderbird and Firefox 10 in CentOS and RHEL

CentOS 6’s default repository still only has Firefox/Thunderbird version 3.1, and a lot of newer and greater versions has been released since then.

To begin with, make sure you have the older version of Firefox/Thunderbird installed. This is necessary, as we are going to use their launch scripts as a template to create the launch scripts for the newer version.

To shorten things up, I will refer to Thunderbird as TB, and Firefox as FF. For the most part, I will refer to TB instead of both TB and FF. All you have to do is change where I write ‘thunderbird’ to ‘firefox’ and it will most likely work. To begin with, you want to download the latest version of Thunderbird or Firefox.

  • 32 bit TB:
    wget 'http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/thunderbird/releases/10.0-real/linux-i686/en-US/thunderbird-10.0.tar.bz2'
  • 64 bit TB:
    wget 'http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/thunderbird/releases/10.0-real/linux-x86_64/en-US/thunderbird-10.0.tar.bz2'
  • 32 bit FF:
    wget 'http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/10.0/linux-i686/en-US/firefox-10.0.tar.bz2'
  • 64 bit FF:
    wget 'http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/10.0/linux-i686/en-US/firefox-10.0.tar.bz2'

Untar and unzip the file you just downloaded (as said before, name may vary with the product you are installing). Afterwards, delete the tar file, which is no longer necessary.

tar xf thunderbird-10.0.tar.bz2
rm -rf thunderbird-10.0.tar.bz2

The simplest way is to delete the current TB/FF install, and move the newly downloaded files to the old directory. This command will vary for 32 and 64 bit systems. IMPORTANT: For Firefox, change the number 3.1 to 3.6 for both architectures. As for the commands, for 32 bit:

rm -rf /usr/lib/thunderbird-3.1/*
mv thunderbird/* /usr/lib/thunderbird-3.1/

For 64 bit systems:

rm -rf /usr/lib64/thunderbird-3.1/*
mv thunderbird/* /usr/lib64/thunderbird-3.1/

Congratulations! You are more or less done. Now, you may want to get rid of the empty FF/TB folder by running the command:

rm -rf thunderbird

That’s pretty much all. Running command ‘thunderbird’ or going to ‘Applications -> Internet -> Thunderbird Email’ will launch the newly installed version!

Beyond TB/FF 10, the ‘automatic upgrade’ feature should kick in. As you can see in the two screenshots above, TB and FF will automatically look for new versions, and will automatically upgrade when they exist. This way, you can run much newer versions than those found in the CentOS/RHEL repo.