Thunderbird may crash on Fedora 38

If you try to import a calendar into Thunderbird on Fedora 38 or add a new action for processing a mail attachment, Thunderbird will pause for some seconds and then crash without giving an error message. Under Fedora37, these functions will work correctly.

These crashes occur when an “Open/Browse files” dialog is invoked. This is caused by an incompatibility between Fedora 38 which uses a new version of the library gdk-pixbuf 2.42.8 whereas Thunderbird 102, the version coming with Fedora 38, seems to use an older version of this library. In gdkpixbuf 2.42.8, the support for PNG and JPEG is built in (it’s linked statically, and not as shared libraries like it was the case in 2.42.4).
This also means that the shared libraries to be able to load such files are
not generated nor install by Guix at all anymore. For further information, see Missing shared libraries for gdk-pixbuf break non-Guix applications on foreign distros.

The reason for this incompatibility is this change in the gtk library structure that has been implemented in Fedora 38, but not in Fedora 37 and Thunderbird 102. Hopefully, the upcoming Thunderbird 115 will incorporate this change and thus be compatible again - but this version of thunderbird is only scheduled for Fedora 39. Until then, these seems to be no real workaround but to use Thunderbird from an AppVM based on a Fedora 37 template.


Do you mean just opening something like File->Open->.. causes inevitable crash even before actual file selection? Because I do not have this issue on derivative template from fedora-38-minimal.

It’s more complicated than that: When trying to import a calendar, the .ics File to be imported has to be selected. The crash does not occur immediately, but only after you have positioned to the directory containing this file. According to the documentation mentioned above, this may have to do something with Thunderbird trying to display an icon for this file.

Possible temporary workaround can be making thunderbird use KDE filechooser dialogs (like from xdg-desktop-portal-kde), if it is possible.

Currently, my workaround is rather simple: I installed an additional template: just vanilla Fedora 37. Before performing one of the crashing operations, I connect my Thunderbird AppVM temporarily to this template, execute the operation, and assign it back. Fortunately, standard operations like sending and receiving mail are not affected.

Good idea, but with a flaw: thunderbird profile used inside a newer thunderbird version (in f38) does not have to be compatible with older thunderbird version f37. There is a huge chance that it will break something inside the profile, so make periodical backups of it.

Firefox breaks its profile all the time if one does this downgrade of firefox version with the profile.

If I were you I would still report it here: Issues · QubesOS/qubes-issues · GitHub
I mean it is not like Qubes OS Team will fix it and it will be closed, but at least users will see the ticket and understand they are not alone with it. Thunderbird is popular, Fedora-38 is the latest official template (probably the most popular, too), big deal.

Fortunately, Fedora 37 and 38 both use Thunderbird 102. So the same profile works for both.

I created issue #8416.

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