Home > FOSS, linux > Sunbird and Lightning removed from Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

Sunbird and Lightning removed from Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

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News update: if you are upgrading from 10.04 to 10.10 and already followed this tutorial before, visit this updated instruction set.

This weekend I devoted some time to upgrading and fresh installing the latest Ubuntu long term support release (LTS). Although I found it awesome, some of the annoyances took me some time to solve, and others were just minor obstacles.

One of those stupid minor issues is the removal of both Sunbird and Lightning from the Lucid repository. I never trusted Evolution enough to move my data over to it, so I kept using Sunbird for ages. Neither did I trust Lightning project when it started -as an extension for Thunderbird-, nor do I like Thunderbird as an email client, but nevertheless I have been using Thunderbird + Sunbird for years now… I still wonder what all these birds are doing in my linux box…

So after upgrading my Ubuntu box from Karmic Koala (9.10) to Lucid Lynx 64-bit, I noticed that my Sunbird icon had disappeared, together with the application. So no calendar data in my freshly upgraded box. No problems, because I have backups for everything. So the question is how to fix the problem fast.

I went to Sunbird’s website and noticed they are suggesting the installation of Lightning. Why not give it a try? The version that is directly linked in the website is not for the 64-bit version of Ubuntu, so I picked up a copy of the release candidate from the contributions site and saved it to a local directory in my PC.

Then I installed the extension from within Thunderbird (menu Tools > Addons > Extensions). Don’t launch directly the XPI file from within Firefox, or it will try to install the extension into Firefox. You won’t break anything if you do so, but you will get an error message saying the extension is not compatible.

OK. Now you have your Lightning Calendar extension installed and running within Thunderbird. How about your data? Let’s see how you can move the data from the old Sunbird calendar to Sunbird without exporting the data to an ICS file and re-importing it into Lightning.

First look for a file called storage.sdb in your old Sunbird calendar. It probably resided under:

/home/your-username/.mozilla/sunbird/random-string.default/storage.sdb

Then copy it directly to the new folder:

/home/your-username/.thunderbird/random-string.default/calendar-data/

and rename the file to local.sqlite. If you did not change the colors or general preferences of Sunbird, then you are done. If you made config modifications (you probably did), you will need to move your preferences from Sunbird to Thunderbird/Lightning.

For this to happen, you should first make sure Thunderbird is not running. You have probably opened it to see if the data was imported; you felt the relief to see your data is there. So now close the file. Open the file:

/home/your-username/.mozilla/sunbird/random-string.default/prefs.js

with an editor such as gedit. Also open the file:

/home/your-username/.thunderbird/random-string.default/prefs.js

Now go back to the first file you opened with gedit (Sunbird’s prefs) and select all lines starting with ‘user_pref(“calendar.‘ and copy them to the second file (Thunderbird’s prefs), somewhere at the end of the file, after the last entry. Save your changes to Thunderbird’s file and start Thunderbird. All your color changes or new categories should be there too. You could have also used the about:config interface of Thunderbird to input the config lines one by one.

If you made some error, remember that gedit usually saves a backup copy of your files. They are saved on the same directory, appending a trailing ~ character to the original file name.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial. I will soon report more experiences around Ubuntu’s new release.

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  1. phelpsbg
    May 7, 2010 at 02:53

    Much thanks! I don’t think I could have figured out how to get my calendar back without your blog!

  2. kristvaesen
    May 16, 2010 at 20:01

    Hi,
    thank your for the great blog! But…Your solution worked for me for a while. I restarted thunderbird, and my calendar data displayed perfectly.
    When I opened thunderbird next day, everything was gone again. I tried to apply your solution again, but now to no avail.
    Any idea what might have happened?

  3. August 30, 2010 at 11:59

    I was not aware of the contrib directories, thanks for the tip. I was able to successfully install 1.0b1 on my 64 bit 10.04:

    ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/calendar/lightning/releases/1.0b1/contrib/linux-x86_64/

    1.0b2 is apparently not compatible with Thunderbird 3.0.6. I have not tried 1.0b2rc{1,2,3}.

  4. anotherandr01d
    March 21, 2012 at 00:33

    For others who find their way here I found the above instructions where not _exactly_ correct. For me, they didn’t work. See this thread:
    http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=2432579&sid=bfc912c502e2eebdd05a001df1ac1fbd

    Or, in short:
    0) shutdown thunderbird
    1) remove the calendar-data directory from the thunderbird profile directory (if it exists)
    2) move the storage.sdb into the thunderbird profile directory
    3) install lightning (if not installed), restart thunderbird

    It will automatically import the storage.sdb and create the calendar-data directory and the local.sqlite file.

    Export your calendar to ics before any upgrade!

  1. October 13, 2010 at 19:42

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