Recently I upgraded from Thunderbird 2 to Thunderbird 3.0.1 on my old Fedora 8 Linux workstation. I found that Thunderbird 3.0.1 was consuming a lot of memory when I left it running for a few days, sometimes as much as 1GB, which was really hurting my system performance as I only have 2GB of RAM on my workstation in the office. With the release of 3.1 now available, I decided it was time to make the upgrade and hopefully get a more stable email client.
As the root user, make sure that the Remi repo is enabled:
rpm -Uvh http://rpms.famillecollet.com/remi-release-8.rpm
Now list the versions of Thunderbird available to you:
yum --enablerepo=remi list thunderbird
[root]# yum --enablerepo=remi list thunderbird remi | 2.6 kB 00:00 remi/primary_db | 266 kB 00:00 Excluding Packages from Fedora 8 - i386 Finished Excluding Packages from Fedora 8 - i386 - Updates Newkey Finished Installed Packages thunderbird.i386 3.0.1-1.fc8.remi installed Available Packages thunderbird.i386 3.1.5-1.fc8.remi remi
As you can see above, the package 3.1.5-1.fc8.remi is available which is the version for my Linux installation (fc8 stands for "Fedora Core 8", but these days it is just called Fedora). Now update from 3.0.1 to 3.1.5:
[root]# yum --enablerepo=remi update thunderbird
Upon first launch of the new version of Thunderbird, you may find that some of the plugins you have installed are no longer compatible. The Lightning plugin for calendar functionality in Thunderbird that I had installed was too old and was disabled by Thunderbird 3.1.5, so I had to update it. Here are the steps involved:
Afterwards when Thunderbird starts up, you should have Lightning up and running again.
I have been running Thunderbird 3.1.5 for over 24 hours now on an inbox that has tens of thousands of emails, and so far memory consumption is hovering around 80MB, which is a marked improvement over the 0.5 to 1.0GB I was seeing on Thunderbird 3.0.1. Hopefully after a few days of constant usage the memory footprint will remain low, so far so good!
Updated 2022 : note that the above post was originally published in 2010, but is left here for archival purposes. The steps are outdated, and I have removed a dead link.