Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Friday, March 11, 2016 at 15:00

This article covers how to upgrade Mozilla Thunderbird manually in Ubuntu. This article uses Ubuntu 15.04 as example but it should be compatible with any other version of Ubuntu. This article consists of three simple steps. We like the manual way so we know what happen while doing upgrading. We will use command line to do this.

1. Reload

Perform command:
sudo apt-get update
Important: before running command, you must ensure that the component vivid-security main is enabled (enabled means line written without # mark in the beginning of line). If you are using another version of Ubuntu, change the name vivid into the name of your current Ubuntu version, such as trusty-security for 14.04 or xenial-security for 16.04 and later. Check this by seeing your /etc/apt/sources.list file in the system. Picture below shows the content of our sources.list in 15.04. What you need is to have the same.

In 15.04, we need vivid-security repository with the component main because the new version of thunderbird package is located in there (more precisely vivid-security/main). It is exactly the same with another Ubuntu version, but the release names. You will see vivid-security/main (or just differs in release name in another version of Ubuntu) when installing.

2. Check The New Version

You should check what version number available for your Ubuntu system after doing the reloading. Perform this command
apt-cache policy thunderbird
You must see at least two different versions like this:

In this picture, below the Version table: field, we see 38.5.1 version and 31.6.0 version for thunderbird package. We see also three asterisk signs (***) in 31.6.0 line indicating that the installed version is 31.6.0. What you will install or upgrade to is the 38.5.1 one. This version information comes from our system, your information may be different.

3. Upgrade

To upgrade Thunderbird, simply run this command:
sudo apt-get install thunderbird
This command will read the same version information as you saw above then download the new version and upgrade the already installed version of Thunderbird. In our system, this needs 34 MB data to download. While finished, you will have the new Mozilla Thunderbird version.