How To: Fix Thunderbird failing to open HTTP / HTTPS links

If you recently upgraded Thunderbird to v52 onwards and all links in emails stopped working (i.e. clicking on a link doesn’t open them in your browser) then you can fix it like this:

  1. In Thunderbird, go to Tools | Clear Recent History and clear everything (this just removes your usage history, not any emails), then
  2. Close Thunderbird, go into your profile folder (i.e. where the emails are stored) and delete all the places.sqlite files.

Tap-tap. Job done.


How To: Fix Gnome Icon Themes That Won’t Change

When configuring your Gnome appearance and icon themes in Ubuntu 9.10 do they keep reverting to some ugly defaults? Yeah, mine were too. The problem’s related to gnome-settings-daemon, as seen here.

The fix:

Modify the file: /etc/X11/Xsession.d/55gnome-session_gnomerc so that it contains the following two additional lines (shown in comments):

rm -f /tmp/session-is-gnome
BASESTARTUP=`basename "$STARTUP" | cut -d\  -f1`
if [ "$BASESTARTUP" = gnome-session -o \
        \( "$BASESTARTUP" = x-session-manager -a \
        "`readlink /etc/alternatives/x-session-manager`" = \
                /usr/bin/gnome-session \) ]; then
  if [ -r "$GNOMERC" ]; then
    . "$GNOMERC"
  touch /tmp/session-is-gnome

Then modify the file: /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99×11-common_start to contain only the following code:

if [ -f /tmp/session-is-gnome ]; then
  exec /usr/bin/dbus-launch $STARTUP
  exec $STARTUP

Fixed! Next!

Update: Although gnome-settings-daemon is definitely the guilty party here, the above fix doesn’t resolve it dying on login all the time, although it does increase the odds of starting correctly. If your icons switch back to some drab default, or other such off behaviour, check gnome-settings-daemon hasn’t died on start with ps -ef | grep gnome-settings, if it’s not running, you know it’s the problem. Will have to research this a bit more…