Mozilla Thunderbird Bug – open with 1


Using the laptop instead of the main PC I needed to refer to an email attachment. No problem, open Thunderbird and find the email. The attachment is a.bmp file; no worries, double click to open it. Problem; Thunderbird doesn’t know how and offers 2 options, “open with”and “save file”. As I’m in a hurry I just want a quick look at it so I choose “open with”. Now it wants me to choose a file using a file manager window. How annoying and stupid is that. It should give me a list of installed applications, not a list of all the files available to the machine.

A simple task turns into a major time wasting nightmare. This is precisely why computers suck and the people who make these choices for us should be prevented from breeding. Something that is otherwise so good is completely screwed by one little bug.

This was using a standard install of Kubuntu 10.04, Thunderbird and Firefox. It has also been a problem with Kubuntu 11.10.

It’s the sort of simple but very annoying bug that keeps Linux beyond the average desktop user; who is going to switch back to IE.

Under “preferences-attachments” you can manage how Thunderbird handles attachments; but wait there’s more, YOU ALMOST CAN. It gives you the ability to delete associations but not the ability to manually create them. Probably the same programmer who decided a list of all files on the machine was the best way for the average user to select an application.

My main PC doesn’t have this problem and as far back in its history as I can remember it never did. The only difference is that it has a theme applied to Thunderbird.

For now, I’m just really pissed of with Thunderbird. Something that should have taken a few seconds has now consumed an hour.


It’s a problem with Thunderbird, not Linux or Firefox. This solution worked for my Kubuntu 10.04 and 11.10. There may be changes to Thunderbird and/or Linux that will affect how it’s done but this should suggest a starting point if it doesn’t work.

Make sure you have an email with a link in it; send yourself one. Open the email and click on the link. When it asks, select to choose an application and navigate to “/usr/bin/firefox” and select/OK it. Make sure to click to remember this option. It should now work – when you click on the link in the email, it will be opened in Firefox.

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