Turn Thunderbird into a Full-Blown PIM with Lightning

Thunderbird logo

Continuing the recent trend of posts about email client and personal information manager (PIM) software, this post will look at the Lightning extension for Thunderbird.

Mozilla already make a standalone calendaring client called Sunbird, but what if you prefer having all of your information in one app, perhaps like GNOME's Evolution, but want to remain cross-platform (which is more difficult with Evolution)?

The Lightning extension brings Sunbird's calendaring functionality and places it into Thunderbird. Despite how cut-and-paste that may sound, it works rather well; you access the Calendar module from a switcher at the bottom of the sidebar.

Thunderbird with Lightning installed, showing Calendar module

The Lightning extension is available for all the platforms where Thunderbird can run. Linux users should first check their package manager for lightning-extension or similar (and beware that installing in this way will install it for all users).

Or, you can install it by browsing to the add-on page for Lightning in your web browser, downloading the extension and installing it into Thunderbird.

Once you've downloaded it from that page, go to Tools > Add-ons in Thunderbird, click Install and locate the downloaded file.

Installing Lightning into Thunderbird

If you're a sucker for an integrated PIM solution, but want the universal platform flexibility that Thunderbird offers you, Lightning is an excellent solution for adding calendar into the mix.

As an added bonus, because Lightning is based on Sunbird, you can do cool things like, I don't know, direct access to Google Calendar with CalDAV.

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold - http://peter.upfold.org.uk/

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Turn Thunderbird into a Full-Blown PIM with Lightning

  1. # Posted on 17 January 2009 at 08:10 PM

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