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QA is a big space, and there are many ways you can help. If you have no experience, you can help make Thunderbird better. Jump in, and you too can feel you contributed to the new release of Thunderbird.

You can take a quick look at the items below. To have a quick chat about QA please visit IRC #tb-qa. Learn about some of the people who help in the QA Interviews.

For other types of Thunderbird information such as development, releases, add-ons, building, plans, etc, please visit Thunderbird wiki and Mozilla Messaging.

How You Can Help in Thunderbird QA

Ways you can help maintain and improve Thunderbird's quality:

General Information:

Triage references:

Bug Days

Test Days

Test new features, specific features, or new releases Testdays information. Previous / planned QA days.

Patch Love

Give love so that patches get checked in, and patch authors stay involved in Thunderbird.

QA Wanted

Some bugs need more work to be usable for our developers. Those bugs are marked with the Keyword qawanted. The idea there is to figure out a way to reproduce, find a proper test case and then add that information to the bug.

QA New Releases

Release candidates for new versions/releases are run through QA (Quality Assurance) testing to ensure we ship high quality code. To properly QA a new release we need many volunteer like you from each OS. To be notified of testing opportunities, please sign up for the testers mailing list and/or you can set up to watch wiki pages at Upcoming / In-progress New Releases | Past releases.

3.0 RC1 builds are available for testing. Please file any new bugs found during the testing period as blocking on bug 524434.

Daily Testing

If you can handle some risk**, a fantastic way to help speed development and improve the Thunderbird's quality is to continuously run test builds in your daily work.

** Ability to "handle the risk" means you have great backups of your profiles and mail store, and have some tolerance for risk. Dataloss is rare, but is always a possibility. Stability is amazingly great nightly for branch builds, but not guaranteed. Fixes to major problems don't come overnight, especially trunk builds. But many people run unsupported builds. Branch nightlies are branded Lanakai, and trunk nighties are code named Shredder.
Some extensions won't work. But many like enigmail and calendar work if you use the right download for trunk or nightly. Many work if you override the version check and carefully test. Determine individually which ones work using Nightly Tester Tools extension.
You can also run the current "production" version of Thunderbird at the same time.

Thunderbird Binaries has more detail, and links to the get the builds. Submit bugs for any problems that you find. And talking to other nightly users is easy in forums or on IRC.

See what fixes have checked in at comm-central and watch the changes via RSS. "Daily Build Thread" in the Build forum is also a great source of information if you are running trunk builds.

MozMill Tests

MozMill is a tool to use for UI automation in any mozilla platform developed application. It can provide Thunderbird with the capability to quickly repeat tests in a consistent manner, being another aid to avoid faults creeping into the application with the constant development.

MozMill is still being developed, however the basic concepts are there and it is possible to run tests manually, see this link for an example within Thunderbird.

The MozMill scripts are written in Javascript, there is some documentation available and it should be noted that you do not need an in-depth knowledge of Thunderbird's internals.

Litmus Tests

Litmus is used to organize and assist human (i.e. non-automated) testing of mozilla software products. We need your help to:

    • Trunk - The baseline test plan for Thunderbird accessibility and localization L10n.

If you need more information, please post on IRC or in newsgroup.

Documentation and Procedures

Most of our documentation is on Mozilla Wiki in a few locations. Anyone can edit and improve these pages, you just need an easy to obtain wiki account.

With an account, you can also watch for updates to pages that might interest you. Some wiki pages, like QA days, change for every new date ... so watch is a great notification mechanism.


QMO,, is a new facility providing integrated QA environment. QMO are preparing to roll out this functionality for Firefox, but for Thunderbird to leverage the QMO infrastructure, we need volunteers to step forward to review, plan and build the Thunderbird specific pieces.

Test Automation

Ideas for Thunderbird's unit test framework can be found here.

Automated testing for Mailnews