Icedove and Iceowl-extension compatibility

I have noticed a few reports that Lightning 2.6.4 is not working with the Debian variant of Thunderbird, called Icedove. Together with one of our users (thanks Arie!) this was reported to the Debian package maintainers.

There are slight differences in how Icedove and Thunderbird are compiled, the result is that the Linux symbol versions required are different. The maintainers are working on fixing this, in the meanwhile all you need to do is make sure you are using only one source for the packages:

  • If you are using Icedove, make sure you install and use iceowl-extension instead of Lightning.
  • If you are using Thunderbird from, make sure you are using Lightning from You can install it into /opt if you don’t want to conflict with your Debian packaging system.

Unfortunately, this difference in compilation has cost us some negative reviews. If everything is working for you or this post has helped you to use the right versions, please show some love and write a review ♥.



  1. Carsten Schoenert

    Yes, we had some issues with the Mozilla plugin Lightning. We have tracked down the reasons for the incompatibility with Lightning with some help from users (like Arie) and Philip. The main reasons are symbol versioning, wrong compiler flags and at least a wrong usage of the libmozjs library.
    Currently the Icedove versions in Debian testing and sid are fixed with version 24.5.0-2. The same version in Debian Wheezy isn’t fixed doe package upload policy in Debian. But it will be fixed within the next upload for the upcoming version 24.6.0 in Debian Wheezy (stable-security).

    But as written above, the easiest way is to use the package ‘iceowl-extension’ from the Debian repositories. It *is* the same as Lightning, just rebranded and rebuild while Icedove package build.

    Regards Carsten
    (on behalf of the Debian Icedove Packaging people)

  2. I have tried all ways up to install the Lightning Add-on to my Thunderbird calendar. It just is not happening. I have made sure I have the latest Thunderbird. I have followed the instructions on the mozilla add on page. I get as far as downloading the .xpi onto my hard drive. However it is when I get to the step which says go to Tools – Add Ons – Install Add-on from file that I have the problem. My Add-on does not have any further options – I just start going back round the circle again. My operating system is Windows 7 Home Premium if that is of any relevance. Is it me??!!