How to Install Thunderbird on Debian 12 "Bookworm"

Endrit Qerreti

Endrit Qerreti

Thunderbird is an open source email app that you can use to manage your emails on Linux. The good thing about thunderbird is that, it is a cross-app, which means you can use it on Windows, MacOS, and Linux.

If you have multiple emails that you need to check daily, you don't have to login to check each email individually, you can achieve this very easily by using Thunderbird, as you can connect multiple email accounts and have them in one place.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Thunderbird on Debian 12.

Step 1 - Update Debian 12

Before you install Thunderbird, make sure that your Debian 12 system is up to date. Perform a simple system update, by using the command below

sudo apt-get update

Step 2 - Install Thunderbird

Thunderbird is available on Debian 12 repositories, which means you can install Thunderbird on Debian 12 very easily by one line command.

Launch terminal, and run the command below to install Thunderbird on Debian 12

sudo apt install thunderbird

Next, confirm the installation, by pressing the Y key, and then press enter to start the installation.

And Thunderbird is now installed on your system

Step 3 - Use Thunderbird

Depending your desktop environment, you can find Thunderbird on applications menu. For example we are using Gnome, and to launch Thunderbird, we need to open Gnome Software, and search for Thunderbird on the search box.

And click to the Thunderbird icon to launch it

Once Thunderbird is launched, you can now proceed to connect your email address. To do this simply fill out the credentials of the email address that you want to connect, and click to the "Continue" button.

Next, you should see the configuration window. IMAP is selected by default as the protocol. However, you can also use POP3 if you want.

The difference between IMAP and POP3 is that, with IMAP emails won't be downloaded on your computer as they are kept in the server, while POP3 downloads and stores emails on your computer.

Let's say, you want to be able to read emails from multiple devices, then IMAP would be the best choice in this case, as POP3 would delete emails from the server and keep a copy only locally on one device.

Click "Done" to connect your email, and follow the on screen instructions.

Note: If you choose POP3 protocol, by default this option deletes emails from your server and downloads them locally on your machine. So if you want to keep emails on the server and on the computer too, then make sure to enable the setting "Leave messages on server" on Thunderbird


In this tutorial, you learned how to install Thunderbird on Debian 12 "Bookworm". We also explained what the difference between IMAP & POP3 protocols is when connecting an email account to Thunderbird, and why IMAP is a better choice than POP3.