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Thread: Thunderbird how to auto-start on boot minimised?

  1. #1
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    Thunderbird how to auto-start on boot minimised?

    hi,

    using 18.04.

    i am trying to get thunderbird to autostart BUT minimised on boot.

    i tried the startup app, then adding it but it always starts up the window.

    i tried changing to thunderbird --headless

    that i thought worked as it started but when you click on the icon it says that the app is already running and to close it before starting it up again.

    i cant seem to find out how to do it is there a command thunderbird --something?

    if not how do you do it?

    edit a conf file?

    if you know please a simple step by step idiots guide would be appreciated.

    thx

  2. #2
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    Re: Thunderbird how to auto-start on boot minimised?

    One method is to install the firetray plugin : https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US...ddon/firetray/

    But first verify that you have added Thunderbird to the list of Startup Applications in System Preferences.

    After restarting Thunderbird GOTO:

    Tools -> Add-ons -> FireTray - Preferences and check Start program minimized.
    /path/to/Truth

  3. #3
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    Re: Thunderbird how to auto-start on boot minimised?

    The prior post sounds easier, if you trust the addon author. I have no opinion.

    A window manager should be able to "iconize" any window. https://askubuntu.com/questions/7036...-from-terminal

    And just to be clear for lurkers. None of this is possible at boot. No GUI application can be controlled at boot. There is a sequence of events that must happen before **any** GUI program can be run.

    First, the system has to be setup to start a GUI - in the systemd terminology, this is the "graphical.target"

    Second, automatic login for some userid has to be setup. There are security implications in doing this.

    Third, the WM session has to startup. This is normally an X-Session, but if Wayland is used, it might be something different. IDK.

    Forth, the WM or DE has to support an autorun or autostart configuration. I think they all do, but I don't know. There are lots of WMs (50+) that I've never touched.

    Fifth, the correct application has to be configured to be run, under the session, with the desired options. Options for any program should be documented in the manpage for that program. Programs with huge, complex, GUIs tend to have extremely poor documentation. Thunderbird is a perfect example of this terrible documentation. Firefox is another. Chrome and Chromium are also in that group. GUI programmers think that F1 should be sufficient. Getting help when there isn't any internet won't work in thunderbird - they try to open a webpage.

    All the options for well-written X applications are documented here: https://www.x.org/releases/X11R6.7.0/doc/X.7.html
    Well-written X-applications running on WMs that follow standards, like openbox, should support the -iconic CLI option. Alas, thunderbird does not. I tested it. It worked with a number of other x-apps, but not thunderbird. Perhaps the mozilla cross-platform code team decided that supporting non-X-Windows platforms with native capabilities is too hard.

    So ... that link near the top has an xdotool method. A little scripting might be needed to get the windowID. I've done this to launch chromium-browser go to full-screen mode for years. This sends the "Chomium" Window the F11 key:
    Code:
    $ xdotool search --sync --onlyvisible --class "Chromium" windowactivate key F11
    If you did something like that after launching thunderbird with a 1, 2, or 3 second delay (whatever it requires), it should work. Just need to find the x-event to send.

    A different WM might provide control over this more easily. I know fvwm does, but it isn't everyone's taste.

  4. #4
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    Re: Thunderbird how to auto-start on boot minimised?

    To my knowledge there is no clean way to do this anymore, i used to have it setup like that (start minimized and say in the tray), but with firetray, minimize to tray, and minimize to tray revived no longer being supported by recent versions of Thunderbird
    the most you can do is use xdotool to minimize it automatically after it opens, but it still uses space in the task list and if you close it it will not minimize like you could have happen with those addons
    at this time what i have resorted to is having my raspberry pi blink a LED when i have email
    here is the script i made to blink the led when i have mail
    Code:
    #!/usr/bin/python
    import RPi.GPIO as GPIO, feedparser
    from time import sleep
    from thread import start_new_thread
    from subprocess import call
    
    # recommend file permission being root only access since the password are in plain text here
    ACCOUNTS = [["googleUserName1", "googlePassword1"],
        ["googleUserName2","googlePassword2"],
        ["googleUserName3","googlePassword3"],
        ["googleUserName4","googlePassword4]]
    
    GPIO.setmode(GPIO.BOARD)
    pin = 37
    GPIO.setup(pin, GPIO.OUT)
    def blink_LED():
        while True:
            if found:
                GPIO.output(pin, not GPIO.input(pin))
            else:
                GPIO.output(pin, 0)
            #print found, GPIO.input(pin)
            sleep(1)
    ACT_LEN = len(ACCOUNTS)
    found = False
    start_new_thread(blink_LED,())
    while True:
        try:
            if int(call('ping -c1 -w1 -W1 10.0.0.50 > /dev/null',shell=True)) == 1:
                found = False # do not bother checking if the main computer is not on, meaning i am not around to see it blink
            else:
                test = False
                for x in range(0,ACT_LEN):
                    #print "checking", ACCOUNTS[x][0]
                    cur_mails = feedparser.parse("https://" + ACCOUNTS[x][0] + ":" + ACCOUNTS[x][1] +"@mail.google.com/gmail/feed/atom")
                    total=int(cur_mails["feed"]["fullcount"])
                    if total > 0: # check if unread cound is greater than 0
                        test = True
                        break # found a unread message no nead to check remaining accounts
                found = test
                #print "found",test
            if found:
                sleep(30)
            else:
                sleep(60)
        except Exception,e: # Probally a network conection error
            print e
            sleep(60)
    Laptop: ASUS A54C-NB91 (Storage: WD3200BEKT + MKNSSDCR60GB-DX); Desktop: Custom Build - Images included; rPi Server
    Putting your Networked Printer's scanner software to shame PHP Scanner Server
    I frequently edit my post when I have the last post

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Thunderbird how to auto-start on boot minimised?

    Life was so much easier when xbiff worked.
    xbiff is a small utility for the X Window System that shows a mailbox with its flag raised whenever the user has new e-mail.
    It is only a little icon that had 2 settings - no mail (white, flag down) and mail received (black, flag up). If you pull all email local and use the mbox format, it will probably still work. It is loaded on my systems already. I didn't specifically load it, so that's good. Just tested it with thunderbird. I only have imap email accounts and it didn't work. Bummer.

    Hummmmm, perhaps ...

    https://www.nongnu.org/imapbiff/ it isn't in the repos I have setup. Hummm. It is perl and Tk. I like perl. Not a big fan of Tk, but that is how we did GUI stuff in them-thar-olden-days. Looks like manual dependency solutions are needed. If there is interest, I might figure it out, otherwise, not really that interested myself.

  6. #6
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    Re: Thunderbird how to auto-start on boot minimised?

    A version of FireTray that works Thunderbird +60 versions can be found here:

    https://github.com/Ximi1970/FireTray...ses/tag/v0.6.2

    Right-click on the tray icon -> Preferences -> Windows -> Choose Start Application Hidden To Tray
    Close Thunderbird. Log Out/In. Restart Thunderbird.

    This is tested to work on Ubuntu Budgie 19.04.

    You may need to install a Gnome extension to create a System Tray in Gnome 3.26+.
    /path/to/Truth

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