Why is Thunderbird outdated in Fedora repository?

Hello, I see that the Thunderbird version in Fedora’s repository is 68.11 but the really last released version is 78.2.1. The Fedora package isn’t maintaned anymore? It’s pretty old and usually the Fedora packages are always updated.


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The package was last updated yesterday (to 68.12, not build yet), so no, it is not unmaintained. Upstream recommendation was to wait for 78.2 before upgrading, since that only came out at the end of August, I’d assume the maintainers simply haven’t gotten to upgrading/testing it yet.

Edit: The above regarding 78.2 isn’t quite correct - see @jonathans’s answer below for the correct details.


General note: when dealing with packages in the Fedora repositories, it is best to speak directly to the maintainer. They will be able to tell you exactly what the status of a package is. Maintainers do not necessarily monitor all the user focused Fedora channels there are, like this one. So, it is best to file a bug against the package, which will notify the maintainer.


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This is NOT a bug.

The release notes for Thunderbird 78.2.1
specifically state:

Thunderbird version 78.2.1 is only offered as direct download from thunderbird.net and not as an upgrade from Thunderbird version 68 or earlier. A future release will provide updates from earlier versions. Automatic updates are available for users already running version 78.0 or higher.

So this is a Thunderbird issue and nothing to do with Fedora. Whether this update will ever hit Fedora 32 is a different matter; it’s a radical update (hence no direct upgrade). Not everything necessarily gets updated to the latest version - think of LibreOffice.

And as lcts says, the 68.12 release was built by the Fedora maintainers yesterday (8th). Thunderbird are therefore keeping two streams maintained at the moment - 68 and 78, the former for those who are on 68 or earlier and therefore can’t upgrade to 78.


The underlying issue here is Encryption. GPG will be a native Thunderbird function in version 78 and Enigmail won’t work anymore. In order not to break things (for people using Enigmail for PGP), the upgrade to 78 won’t be pushed to the distros (or distros are advised not to build TB78 for their users).


Thank you everyone for your answers. I didn’t know all these informations and now I’m fully satisfied. Thank you.

I didn’t want to open a bug report, I’m ok with Thunderbird 68 but I was wondering why an important package like Thunderbird wasn’t updated to the last v78. Now I have all the answers :slight_smile:


If you are not using PGP at all, you can install Thunderbird 78 from this COPR: https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/fepitre/thunderbird-78/

or from here: https://snapcraft.io/thunderbird (sudo snap install thunderbird --edge)

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The blog article here: https://blog.thunderbird.net/ has a little more informtion.