These notes apply to Kubuntu 18.04 and Thunderbird 60.9.1.
After Google restricted access for LSA’s (Less Secure Apps) it was necessary to change the Gmail account authentication method from “Normal Password” to OAuth2. After this gcontactsync failed – after logging into Google and successfully allowing access to Contacts it was blocked. After extensively trawling the net for a solution one was found. This said the problem was due to Thunderbird being corrupted and the solution offered was a complete rebuild – drastic but it worked!
The rebuild steps are follows:
Save Update History
Save version history, using apt policy,, which might be needed to rollback later, e.g. when TB automatically updates when not desired.
$ sudo apt policy thunderbird
*** 1:60.2.1+build1-0ubuntu0.18.04.2 500
500 http://au.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic-updates/main amd64 Packages
500 http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic-security/main amd64 Packages
500 http://au.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic/main amd64 Packages<<
$ sudo apt install thunderbird=1:52.7.0+build1-0ubuntu1
Backup Address Books
In Address Book export each address book in LDIF format to Desktop\Contacts. The exported files names take the same name as the address book, e.g. Personal Address Book = Personal Address Book.ldif
Ensure all Thunderbird windows are closed
Using Synaptic Package Manager search for “thunderbird” and mark for complete removal and apply
Rename Thunderbird data folders
mv /home/user/.thunderbird /home/user/.thunderbird 60.9.1 backup
mv /home/user/.cache/.thunderbird /home/user/.cache/.thunderbird 60.9.1 backup
This effectively wipes all traces of Thunderbird data.
Using Synaptic Package Manager search for “thunderbird” and Mark for installation and Apply
Search for Thunderbird and launch. From launchpad right-click Thunderbird and pin it to Desktop icons and Search and Launch.
- Add Google account by following the installation wizard
- In Config Editor Edit > Preferences > Advanced > Config Editor set the following:
- Set “app.update.enabled” to false to disable automatic updates!!!
- Set “general.useragent.compatMode.firefox” set to true to prevent Google Calendar continually asking for passwords and allow gcontactsync to display Google contacts lists to sync with
- Restore contacts in Address Book by importing saved address books
- Add gcontactsync and setup sync’ing of required address books with respective Google contact lists – should work now
- Add Provider for Google Calendar to synchronise calendars
- Add other email accounts as required
Notes for installing Thunderbird manually
Download required version from Thunderbird Releases
Install as follows
$ tar -zxvf thunderbird-60.9.1.tar.bz2 #creates thunderbird folder off Downloads
$ sudo su
# mkdir /opt/thunderbird
# cp thunderbird /opt
Create Thunderbird launcher
$ kate ~/Desktop/Thunderbird.desktop
Comment[en_GB]=Thunderbird email client
Comment=Thunderbird email client