Getting Started

This page has all the information you need to get your development environment set up and ready to hack on Thunderbird.

Build Prerequisites

Before you can build Thunderbird, please follow your platform's build prerequisites page:

General Information

Mercurial Version Control

Mozilla uses the Mercurial version control software to propose, review, incorporate, and log changes to its code. In order to contribute to Thunderbird, you will need to be able to use this software.

Information for how to install Mercurial is available via the download page on their wiki.

Mozilla Code Base

mozilla-central vs. comm-central

The latest Mozilla source code comes from Mozilla's mozilla-central Mercurial code repository, often called source/ but it can be named anything you like. The latest Thunderbird source code comes from Mozilla's comm-central Mercurial code repositoryand needs to be placed inside the Mozilla source code, in a directory that must be named comm/.

Mozilla-central will build Firefox without the comm-central repo present and a few options set (detailed on the Building Thunderbird page).

Additional Documentation

Thunderbird is built on the Mozilla platform, the same base that Firefox is built from. As such the two projects share a lot of code and much of the documentation for one will apply, in many ways, to the other. If at any point you are looking for answers that you can't find here, here are some additional useful resources:

What's Next

If you have already gone through the relevant build prerequisite steps, then let's build the latest Thunderbird:

pageBuilding Thunderbird

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