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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Thu, 18 Aug 2011

Icedove 5.0 available for Debian Squeeze

The Icedove (aka Thunderbird) mail client is back in the Debian Mozilla team APT archive.

http://mozilla.debian.net used to be the place to get a newer version of the Mozilla mail application for Debian, but Icedove disappeared from the archive for awhile when version 3.1 moved into Debian Backports proper. Now that Icedove in Backports seems stalled at 3.1 (and is the same in Wheezy and Sid for the time being, with a newer version in Experimental), the Mozilla Debian team has brought the app back into its own archive at version 5.0.

While the move from 2.x to 3.0 was huge for Icedove/Thunderbird, for me the move from 3.0 to 3.1 was also pretty important as it added the Quick Filter search function, which makes it way easier to search through your mail.

And now that Icedove 5.0 is available for Debian, I figure 6.0 is not far behind. After all, Iceweasel/Firefox 6.0 is already in the Debian Mozilla Team APT archive.

To set up your Debian system for Icedove 5.0, go to the the Debian Mozilla team APT archive and set the dropdowns for "I am running Debian stable (Squeeze) and I want to install Icedove version release," and you will get the lines for your /etc/apt/sources.list (or in my case /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mozilla.list since I'm using a number of .list files instead of cramming everything into /etc/apt/sources.list itself).

After a quick sudo aptitude update followed by sudo aptitude upgrade (assuming you're using sudo, which I encourage you to do, even if you're not in Ubuntu), you'll be able to upgrade your existing Icedove package to 5.0.

If you've never used the Debian Mozilla team APT archive or Debian Backports before, there are instructions at both sites on how to get started. These repositories go a long way toward allowing users of Debian's Stable release to enjoy newer key applications on their stable Debian base.

Thanks go to all those in the Debian community who make this possible. A stable, known operating system that runs great on my hardware paired with new versions of my most-used applications (web browser, mail client, office suite): I can't think of a better way to run Linux on the desktop.