Customizing Thunderbird new account wizard – Putting it all together

If you have shovelled through all my blogs to date you now have the makings of a customized Thunderbird installation:

  • An ISP file (RDF/XML)
  • Modified mailnews.js
  • (possibly) prefs.js
  • localstore.rdf
  • Modified accountwizard.xul (inside of messenger.jar)

You can deploy this a number of ways:

  • simply transfer these updated files/archives to your client machines
  • Create an installer file that can be administratively pushed to machines (MSI file for Windows machines in an Active Directory, Macintosh Package for installing via login script or Apple Remote Desktop deployment, etc.)
  • Create (re-create) a semi-manual installer like Mozilla org. uses

For this article, I will only concern making a Windows self-extracting EXE installer such as Mozilla’s original installation file.

1) Download Thunderbird Setup from, and launch it. 

2) Go to %TEMP% copy out the temporary installer folder (lui1.tmp – or similar) to a shortname-convention path such as c:\TbirdTMP (11 files – setup.exe, install.ini, various XPI containers, etc).  Cancel the Thunderbird setup GUI.

3) On the copy of the Setup Folder:

  • Edit install.ini on line 153:   Welcome_Message0=You are about to install University of Northern Iowa‘s Customized %s.

4) Use 7-zip (or WinRAR,etc) open newsblog.xpi archive – inject UNIVMS.xml into bin\defaults\isp

5) Use 7-Zip, open mail.xpi archive – replace bin:\defaults\pref\mailnews.js and bin:\defaults\profile\localstore.rdf (optionally bin:\defaults\profile\prefs.js)

6) Use 7-Zip, open mail.xpi\chrome\messenger.jar\content\messenger\AccountWizard.xul – change the default selection and order of accounts in the wizard

7) Pack this copy of the setup folder back into a self-executing single-file compressed .EXE archive that launches setup.exe – such as ChilkatZipSE  This was updated in 2008 – and is a much better (but still free) alternative to Packsetup2  – that I used previously.

Thats It!  Post your finalized EXE to your Intranet page for people in your organization to access and install on their own.

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