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Thunderbird Beta FAQ

Updated 6.2.11

Q: What’s new in Thunderbird Beta for Windows, Mac and Linux?

A: Notable changes in Thunderbird Beta include: a new Addons Manager and Extension management API, Tab enhancements, revised account creation wizard to improve email setup, new troubleshooting infromation page, and several user interface fixes and improvements. Full details are available in the release notes.

Q: When will the next version of Thunderbird be final?

A: As part of the new rapid release cycle we plan to deliver a final release of the next version of Thunderbird at the end of June 2011.

Q: Why is the version Thunderbird 5?

A: Thunderbird 5 ties into the Gecko versioning. For Thunderbird 5, the gecko version will be 5.0. For Thunderbird 6, the gecko version will be 6.0 and so on.

Thunderbird Rapid Releases

Q: Why switch to a rapid release cycle for Thunderbird?

A: Rapid releases let us deliver new features, performance enhancements, security updates and stability improvements to users faster.

Q: How does the rapid release cycle work? What is the rapid release timing?

A: We now have three Thunderbird channels: nightly, beta and release. Each stage of the development process lasts for six weeks.

  • Nightly - Test builds including unpolished features not tested by Mozilla QA
  • Thunderbird Beta - Broadly test the stability of new features and improvements in the next version of Thunderbird
  • Thunderbird Release - Delivers the polished and stable features in Thunderbird to millions of users

Q: Is there an aurora channel for Thunderbird?

A: Not right now. We recently added a beta channel to Thunderbird to get more feedback from users and prepare for rapid releases. The beta channel is in addition to the existing nightly test builds and final release channel of Thunderbird. There may be an aurora channel soon- stay tuned!