I've posted a tutorial about Thunderbird+Enigmail earlier this month. But for Icedove users, although this mail client is based on Thunderbird, things may be not easy, so I write this tutorial. This explains how to install Enigmail into Icedove especially for you using Trisquel, Debian, PureOS, or Parabola where you have Icedove instead of Thunderbird there. This including how to import your personal GPG key pair. Enjoy!

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1. Download XPI


With your browser, go to https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US/thunderbird/addon/enigmail and press 'Download Now' button. You will get a .xpi file.

Downloading the Enigmail add-on file

2. Install XPI


  • Run Icedove.
  • Go to hamburger menu > Add-ons
  • Click gear button> Install Add-on From File
  • Select the XPI file you've downloaded  > OK
  • Accept the installation request by OK
  • Done! No need to restart Icedove.

How to install the add-on

Installed add-on looks like this:

Installed Enigmail add-on

3. Import Your Own Keys


For you without prior knowledge in email encryption, skip to next section.

Your pair of public+private keys must be imported to Enigmail otherwise you cannot decrypt emails sent to you. I assume you've exported your pair. Now import your key pair:
  • Run Icedove
  • Go to menu Enigmail > Key Management > Key Management dialog appears
  • Go to menu File > Import Key > select the file of your key pair (.asc)
  • Enter your Passphrase (password created by you for this key pair file)
  • Your keypair imported successfully. 

Successfully imported key pair

4. Configure Enigmail


For first timers in email encryption, read Thunderbird+Enigmail tutorial for configuration steps. There's no difference in configuring it as Icedove is basically same as Thunderbird. It's easy. Successful Icedove+Enigmail setup will show your encrypted email like this.

See red signs? They show that this email is encrypted

Happy encrypting!


This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.


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