Tag Archives: dropbox

How to make Thunderbird portable

The title to this post might be deceiving, since I am not going to walk you through on how to make Thunderbird portable, but rather how to make Thunderbird portable cross different devices by using a file sharing tool (ie. Dropbox).

Let’s say that you have two Linux, Mac, or Windows machines and would like to have your Thunderbird mailboxes and configurations to be the same.  So, whenever you make a change on one machine, it will synchronize on the other.  Key that you want to consider is how much space your Thunderbird profile is taking and if you will have enough space in Dropbox.

The following was tested in two different Ubuntu Linux machines (I also did it on Windows machines, but the steps below are for Linux).  Here is what you will need to do.

  1. Make sure that you have Thunderbird configure the way you want it/like it on PC#1
  2. Then close out Thunderbird to make the following changes
  3. Go to folder /home/pc1_user/.thunderbird/
    where pc1_user will be change to your actual user profile
  4. You will see couple of files and folders in there.  The ones that you will be interested are “profiles.ini” and “randomfoldername.default”
    where “randomfoldername.default” will be something like this “z85gg4eg.default”
  5. Move “randomfoldername.default” to your Dropbox account.  In my case I created a folder for Thunderbird where this new folder will be under.
    Here is how it looks… /home/pc1_user/Dropbox/Thunderbird/randomfoldername.default
  6. Now, let’s update “profiles.ini”.  Your configurations might look like something like this

    What you are going to do is to make some modifications to this file by changing “IsRelative” and “Path” to look this this
  7. Now you should be able to open Thunderbird on the computer with no problem :).  Just note that by doing this doesn’t fix your problem on having Thunderbird synchronized in two computer.
  8. You will need to do something similar on PC#2.
    1. Make sure that you have Thunderbird installed
    2. Make sure that you have Dropbox installed
  9. Go to folder /home/pc2_user/.thunderbird/
    where pc2_user will be change to your actual user profile
  10. You will see couple of files and folders in there.  The one that you will be interested are this time is only the “profiles.ini”.
  11. Now, let’s update “profiles.ini”.  Your configurations might look like something like this

    What you are going to do is to make some modifications to this file by changing “IsRelative” and “Path” sections to look this this
  12. There you have it!!! Now you can enjoy Thunderbird in two (or many more) machines with the same settings, mailboxes, and configurations.


SparkleShare – Full Ubuntu Server 11.04 and Ubuntu 11.04 client setup

Have you heard about the amazing tool of Dropbox?  Well if you haven’t you are missing a lot!!! For those of you that haven’t heard about this tool – “Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Dropbox was founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, two MIT students tired of emailing files to themselves to work from more than one computer.” (Dropbox 2012) .  Now if that sounds cool/good to you, the only thing bad about Dropbox is that doesn’t allow you to do the awesomeness that it does with your own hosted server.  Well, there is this new tool called SparkleShare that will allow you to have Dropbox awesomeness into your own hosted server without too much hassling.

Before you start with the tutorial, please keep in mind that everything that was configured was setup base on program installation defaults.  So if you have customized the path of installation, then this tutorial may vary base on your configurations.  Also this is base on a local network setup, if you want to access your files remotely you would need to have your firewall/router setup to allow port 22 for SSH connections.


Host = svrmain
User = yoda
Host = cltworkstation
User = skywalker


The following tutorial will show you the process of installing and configuring git and openssh-server in order to have SparkleShare working properly.

Install Git

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install git

Install Openssh-server

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install openssh-server

Configure SparkleShare

Login to your server and perform the following commands or equivalent depending on your system:

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adduser –disabled-password yoda
mkdir /home/yoda/projfiles
sudo git init –bare /home/yoda/projfiles
sudo mkdir /home/yoda/.ssh
sudo touch /home/yoda/.ssh/authorized_keys

Please note that SparkleShare doesn’t accept any folder names with periods (“.”) in them.

sudo chmod 700 /home/yoda/.ssh
sudo chmod 600 /home/yoda/.ssh/authorized_keys
sudo chown -R yoda:yoda /home/yoda


  1. Start SparkleShare and enter your name and email address.
  2. Click Continue.
  3. SparkleShare has now created a special key file.  Replace the username skywalker with the actual username from your client PC.
    Linux /home/skywalker/SparkleShare
    Mac OS /Users/skywalker/SparkleShare
  4. Leave the window open and go to your terminal.  Copy the key RSA to the server authorized keys file created with the following command.  Please note that the username and host name is given as part of the console.

skywalker@cltworkstation:~> cat .ssh/id_rsa.pub | ssh yoda@svrmain ‘cat >> .ssh/authorized_keys’
yoda@svrmain password:

  1. Go back to SparkleShare and enter the server address.  In this case the server will be = yoda@svrmain
  2. On Folder name – specify the whole path where the Git folder got configured.  For example in my case is /home/yoda/projfiles
  3. Click “Sync” and you should be done!!!

Now you should be able to enjoy sharing and synching your files with others.

Adding more than one client to the same server

Also in the future if you would like add more clients to the same server

  1. Go and do Client section and do all steps.
    The only difference will be the username from the client computer.
    This gives the client access to the git repository. If you want to give more people access to your project, just paste their keys on a new line at the end of this file.