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Old 9 Sep 2023, 07:54 AM   #1
Folio
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 77
Thunderbird 115

With Thunderbird 115, Fastmail now authenticates using OAuth2 instead of an app password. According to the Fastmail help article:

"...you will see a pop-up window where you'll be prompted to enter your Fastmail login credentials. Here, you'll need to enter your username and your account's master password, not the app password you generated, then click Log in.

"If you have 2FA enabled for your account, you'll be prompted to authenticate using your two-step verification method." [1]

I get an empty pop-up window and am never prompted for login credentials. I'm using Thunderbird 115.2.0 on Debian 11.7, and I have 2FA enabled.

I wanted to check if others were encountering an issue like this.

[1] https://www.fastmail.help/hc/en-us/a...up-Thunderbird

UPDATE: I tried a completely new installation of Thunderbird 115 and setting up Fastmail went completely smoothly -- no problems at all. But, then I found myself unable to add my Gmail account. So, I've gone back to Thunderbird 102.

Last edited by Folio : 9 Sep 2023 at 08:51 AM. Reason: Further clarification
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Old 9 Sep 2023, 04:47 PM   #2
Mr David
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FM's documentation for TB was updated to include info for TB 115 shortly after I submitted a support ticket for a similar problem.

My OS is Ubuntu 20.04 and it has TB installed via Ubuntu repos and via Flatpak. TB-Flatpak updated to v115 in mid-July IIRC. My repo installation is still at v102.x.

In my instance, after TB-Flatpak updated to v115 the *TB account* in my *TB profile* with credentials to access my *FM account* was able to sync messages in my FM account. However, when TB-Flatpak was running it kept launching a popup window requesting my FM account's username and password to authenticate access to my FM calendar.

The popup authentication window would not accept the FM app password I had created for that TB profile. That app password had permissions for messages, CalDAV and CardDav. I was wary of using my FM username & master password. Through the FM support ticket exchange I learned TB 115 had been updated to accept OAuth2 authentication.

After getting to grips with AOuth2, authenticating my TB-Flatpak account to access my FM calendar was straightforward and uneventful. Enter username & password in the popup window's fields, enter 2FA code. Bingo, all good.

When I first setup this profile and its FM account TB was unable to sync natively with FM contacts. At that time the workaround suggested in FM's documentation for TB setup was to use the CardBook extension.

Both TB 115 and the current version of TB 102.x can natively sync one's FM contacts. This relies on AOuth2 authentication too.

In short, to setup a new TB account to access your FM account you will need an FM app password to get started. OAuth2 only comes into the picture when trying to sync the new TB account with your FM calendars and contacts.

I have no idea why you are getting an empty (presumably blank or vacant) popup window. Did you use an FM app password in the first TB account authentication step?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Folio View Post
UPDATE: I tried a completely new installation of Thunderbird 115 and setting up Fastmail went completely smoothly -- no problems at all. But, then I found myself unable to add my Gmail account. So, I've gone back to Thunderbird 102.
Be careful when going backwards and forwards between TB 102 and TB 115. TB 115 modifies profiles such that they become incompatible with TB 102. Make sure you backup your TB 102 profile before moving it to TB 115.

A short while ago I created a new TB profile to access a Gmail account. I think I used TB 115. The profile is in the collection of profiles used with TB-Flatpak (TB 115). Setup went without a hitch.
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Old 9 Sep 2023, 04:59 PM   #3
Mr David
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For news and info about the TB project:
https://blog.thunderbird.net/
https://mastodon.online/@thunderbird
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Old 9 Sep 2023, 07:24 PM   #4
Folio
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Thanks for that excellent write-up Mr David. I think my problems were cookie related. I typically disable cookies in Thunderbird, but it looks like they need to be set during the initial OAuth2 authentication.
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Old 10 Sep 2023, 02:37 PM   #5
Mr David
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Hey Folio, you made my day.

If you disable cookies in TB you might be interested in a TB-specific version of uBlock Origin that was recently released:
https://addons.thunderbird.net/en-US...ublock-origin/

That titbit was found among the info I scanned at the TB project's blog. There are more pearls to be found there besides. For starters, illustrated guides to help navigate around the new UI / UX are handy for getting up to speed with TB 115.

More broadly the motivation and direction of TB's revival is discussed. That begins with money. The TB project has established an independent income stream from donations. This amounts to $6M a year, enough to pay for necessary infrastructure and a modest staff of engineers and developers. Donations come from ordinary users all over the world. Average donation is $12.

Before reading TB blog articles and listening to the project's 'Thundercast' podcasts it had not dawned on me that TB relies on a substantial foundation of Firefox coding. FF has hundreds of developers working on it to produce a constant stream of updates, improvements and fixes. TB has a staff of only tens of developers. This means it's not possible for TB to match the FF's rate of releases. Hence TB releases have coincided with the FF ESR releases. The latest FF ESR was v115.

Since the revival of the TB project began a huge amount of work has been done to rewrite TB's code from top to bottom to bring it up to contemporary standards. Of course all that had to be done in a way that would end up with TB looking and feeling more or less the same as it did before the renovation so as not to alienate TB's existing user base. Not easy to achieve when many users do not like or cannot handle change.

The TB project has some grand ambitions. Its leaders want TB to become the best online communications client available. Moves are already afoot to release an Android version (K-9 Mail has been merged with TB to expedite this). An iOS developer was recently hired. There is a desire to shift to a monthly release schedule.

TB Sync is getting close to release. It will permit syncing of TB account settings and authorisation credentials. Presently it is not possible to copy TB accounts from one TB profile to another, but TB Sync will enable it. The holy grail of TB Sync for this user would be message sync between profiles; maybe one day perhaps.
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