Configuring Thunderbird

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1 Setting Up the Inbox Accounts

The instructions given below explain how to set up the "Support" account on Thunderbird.


1. Open Mozilla Thunderbird. Choose the "Create a new account" option. Click on "Skip this and use my existing email" option on the "Welcome to Thunderbird" window.

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2. In the Mail Account Setup window, enter "support@neosys.com" for Your Name, "support@neosys.com" for Email Address and the password provided by Neosys staff. Click on continue.

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3. Click on "Manual Config".

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4. Key in "imap.neosys.com" for incoming IMAP host name, server hostname "smtp.neosys.com" and port "587" for outgoing SMTP and "support.neosys" as username. For SMTP, change the SSL to "STARTTLS" and authentication to "No authentication". Click on the "Re-test" button and then click "Done".

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BEFORE clicking on inbox and BEFORE adding other inboxes, you MUST refer to Adding email accounts with large numbers of emails. This is because if you add all the accounts together at once, they will all sync together and it will take 1-2 days for the sync to complete.

For backups@neosys.com, support2@neosys.com (Nagios), name.neosys@gmail.com repeat the steps mentioned above, with the below-mentioned replacements.

1. For backups@neosys.com, enter "backups@neosys.com" for Your Name, "backups@neosys.com" for Email address and enter the password provided by Neosys staff. Enter the username as "backups.neosys".

2. For support2@neosys.com, enter "support2@neosys.com" for Your Name, "support2@neosys.com" for Email address and enter the password provided by Neosys staff. Enter the username as "support2.neosys".

3. For name.neosys@gmail.com, enter your full name for Your Name, "name.neosys@gmail.com" for Email address and enter the password. You do not need to follow the steps for manual config as the settings will be automatically configured.

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2 Account Settings

Verify that the account settings for all the accounts are entered as shown below.

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For backups@neosys.com account, under "Synchronization and Storage", change the setting to "Delete messages more than 365 days old"

The Synchronisation & Storage settings should be changed to the settings shown below only at a convenient time, since downloading all the emails will take a lot of time for accounts with large number of emails. Also see Adding email accounts with large number of emails

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2.1 Adding email accounts with large numbers of emails

After adding email accounts with large numbers of emails, in order to avoid long wait while downloading all the emails, it is best to change the account settings - BEFORE clicking on INBOX, which triggers the download/sync - to download the bodies of only the last 30 days of emails. The email headings are always synced but that does not take long.

See Account Settings, Synchronisation and Storage.

Since searching of emails only works when the bodies of emails have been downloaded, if you need to text search all emails, then, at a convenient time, you can remove or increase the number of days in the setting and somehow trigger the full sync.

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2.2 Configuring alternative outgoing mail servers

Alternative outgoing mail servers mailout.neosys.com and mailout2.neosys.com MUST be added so that in case the main mail server goes down we can at least send emails.

To add a new mail server click the Add button under "Outgoing Server (SMTP) Settings" section. Enter mailout server name/port, choose Connection security: "None" and Authentication method: "No authentication".

  • Add alternative outgoing mail server mailout.neosys.com, port: 2500. This mail server should be used in case smtp.neosys.com has problems.
  • Additionally add outgoing server mailout2.neosys.com, port: 2500. mailout2.neosys.com is better than mailout.neosys.com since mailout.neosys.com is on the same server as imap.neosys.com and we should have incoming and outgoing via different servers.

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  • When switching to alternative outgoing server, ensure that the account's settings use the alternative outgoing server as shown in the screenshot below. You do not need to set the alternate outgoing mail server as Default.

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3 Viewing long running processes on Thunderbird

When setting up and configuring Thunderbird, using its Activity Manager (Tools > Activity Manager) and possibly using the header bar "Always on top" option on the Activity Manager window may be helpful to know what long running processes are being performed.

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4 Deleting Thunderbird accounts

Check the option "Remove Message Data" when removing accounts from Thunderbird. Otherwise, the old messages stay forever taking space on the disk.

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Select Remove Message Data option as shown below.

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5 Add-ons

  1. Install addons: General settings menu (Top right 3 bars) > Addons
  2. Search and install the addons in below screenshot.
  3. Configure Mailbox Alert by Right e.g support inbox > Mailbox Alert:
    1. Check default sound and message.

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6 Other configurations

6.1 Configure inbox to display selected columns

The below options MUST be set in Support Inbox. To do so Right click on a column heading and select the below options:

  1. Thread
  2. Starred
  3. Attachment
  4. Subject
  5. Correspondents
  6. Received: You MUST add column RECEIVED which is the email date received to email inbox because the default Date seems to be the DATE SENT whereas we are primarily interested in the date we received the email. The difference is due to delays in email servers or spam tricks.

The below options MUST NOT be set in Support Inbox

  1. Junk status: Emails will automatically be moved to Junk folder if the junk icon in this column is clicked. Hence remove Junk Status column so that emails are not accidentally moved to junk. To remove, right-click on a column heading and untick "Junk Status".

6.2 Configure Mail Content

Preferences > Privacy > untick "Allow remote content in messages"

Support MUST set the "Allow remote content in messages" as blocked in Thunderbird without adding any exceptions for any email id. The reason is remote content i.e embedded images, stylesheets etc is a privacy concern as it sends your private information to the mail sender. We do not know the source of these embedded content in emails so cannot trust them as they can be web bugs.

6.3 Configure Layout View

Layout view should be set as Vertical view.

6.4 Thunderbird Preferences

  1. Preferences > Display > Advanced > untick " Automatically mark messages as read".
  2. Keep settings as below for Preferences > Security.
  3. Keep settings as below for Preferences > Composition > Spelling.

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6.5 Configure MailAlert

Right click Inbox > Mailbox Alert > Edit Mailbox Alert alerts > Select Default message. Set as below. Once set Right click Inbox > Mailbox Alert > check Default message

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6.6 Configure Auto Resize Image

Set the preferences for the Auto Resize Image add-on as shown in the screenshot at the end of this section.

To handle different scenarios when resizing images in emails, follow the below steps:

  • Resize all images in the email: Click "Send" followed by "Confirm" on the Auto resize screen.
  • Skip resize all images in the email: Click "Send" followed by "Cancel Resizing" on the Auto resize screen.
  • Resize Images only in the email trail and skip resizing new images: Click "Resize" on top of your screen and proceed with writing the email/adding new images. When ready to send the email, follow above step for skipping resize all images in the email.

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6.7 Configure Header Tools Lite

Set the preferences for the Header Tools Lite add-on as shown in the screenshot below.

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6.8 Configure Dorando Keyconfig

Menu > Add-ons > Edit Keyconfig Preferences > Disable shortcuts for 'Archive' and 'Junk' as shown in the screenshots below.

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6.9 Getting access to NEOSYS support calendar

After confirming that the steps below are successfully done, delete your local personal calendar and make the shared support calendar the default.

In Thunderbird, add a new CalDAV network calendar by navigating to File (Alt+f) -> New -> Calendar.

You will have to enter your nextcloud user and pass.

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Location: https://nextcloud.hosts.neosys.com:44318/remote.php/dav/calendars/support/support_shared_by_steve/

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It should show a tick if successful, otherwise you will have to Unsubscribe and try again.

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Change the new calendar properties to Refresh every 5 mins.

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6.10 Applying filter for backup failure emails

In order to filter any backup failure emails as Important, go to Tools > Message Filters and create a new filter with settings as shown below:

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7 Email Retention Policy

8 Handling junk/spam emails

9 Clearing out old improperly deleted Thunderbird Accounts

If you delete Thunderbird accounts without checking the option "Remove Message Data" the old messages stay forever taking space on the disk.

To locate any such unnecessary files

ls -l -h /home/*/.thunderbird/*.default/ImapMail/*/INBOX

-rw------- 1 arvind arvind  16M May 25 16:36 /home/arvind/.thunderbird/odi5mrka.default/ImapMail/imap.gmail.com/INBOX
-rw------- 1 arvind arvind 668M Mar 29 08:54 /home/arvind/.thunderbird/odi5mrka.default/ImapMail/imap.neosys-1.com/INBOX
-rw------- 1 arvind arvind 242M May 28 14:45 /home/arvind/.thunderbird/odi5mrka.default/ImapMail/imap.neosys-2.com/INBOX
-rw------- 1 arvind arvind 755M May 25 12:39 /home/arvind/.thunderbird/odi5mrka.default/ImapMail/imap.neosys-3.com/INBOX
-rw------- 1 arvind arvind 420M Apr 24 10:27 /home/arvind/.thunderbird/odi5mrka.default/ImapMail/imap.neosys-4.com/INBOX
-rw------- 1 arvind arvind  13G May 28 14:37 /home/arvind/.thunderbird/odi5mrka.default/ImapMail/imap.neosys.com/INBOX

Check the dates, which indicate the date of the last message received, to get a rough idea of what accounts are in use and not in use

Check which of the folders are currently in use by looking in Thunderbird settings for each account one by one, "Server Settings", "Local Directory"

Delete the folders and files which are not in use using whatever method you like.

".thunderbird", like all files and folders which start with a dot, is a hidden folder which you can make visible in Nautilus File Manager by pressing Ctrl+h