Posts tagged with “Thunderbird”

Sharing big files with Thunderbird filelink on self-hosted webdav

Written by Simone

Thunderbird filelink with self-hosted webdav

Me and friends on had a discussion about big attachments in Thunderbird and one person ("idice"), which I thank, suggested to use (long forgotten by me) Thunderbird's "filelink" functionality.

filelink lets you upload your big attachments to the cloud and send a link to download them, to your email contact. For it to work, you have to download an extension for Thunderbird and choose a cloud instance.

There are a few in the community, ranging from Dropbox, to Nectcloud and webdav. I chose webdav, because I already have a docker container with a running instance.

The tricky part in setting the extension up and working with my server was to have a private and a public URLs: you have credentials for webdav, so the private one is easily accomplished, while I had never thought about having a public site to share stuff without authentication; and in the end it was really straightforward.

What I did was basically: mount a volume in docker where I want to publish stuff to be shared. So at first when uploading I'm asked for credentials and everything just works.. files go to the volume.

Then, to have people access those files, I simlinked (ln -s) the docker volume dir to a path under my main site's virtualhost in nginx. Like:

My site is in /var/www/html/, so I changed dir to that location and:

ln -s /path/to/public-docker-volume/ public

Now I have a /public/ dir in my website with all the files that I publish in webdav and since index is off in nginx, you can't just browse it - you have to know the exact file name to access it.

And that's it.

Now for the Thunderbird setup, I'll show a few shots. For starters, this is the extension I used:

This is the "attachments" settings in Thunderbird, the only place where you configure the extension:

As you can see it asks for a private and a public URLs, as explained before.

When you compose a new message, go to the attachments menu as always and you'll find a new item, called Filelink - WebDAV:

Click it and select your attachment from disk. It will ask for a username and password (those you set up for webdav in docker) and will begin uploading the file.

Then you'll see the message being populated like this:

It says:

I have linked 1 file to this email:

  • mibunny.png

    Size: 408 KB

    Link: the link

If you keep uploading files, the number in the first row will be automatically incremented and there will be another file section with new info about it.

And.. we're done!? 😀

If you got any question, leave a comment down below.

Thunderbird Autoconfiguration

Written by Simone

Set up Thunderbird autoconfiguration for my lil mail server. Working good.

nginx config:

server {
        listen [::]:443 ssl http2;

        ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/live/;
        ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/live/;

        root /var/www/mail/;
        location / {
                try_files /.well-known/autoconfig/mail/config-v1.1.xml =404;

    access_log /var/log/nginx/autoconfig.log;
    error_log /var/log/nginx/autoconfig_error.log;


<?xml version="1.0"?>
<clientConfig version="1.1">
    <emailProvider id="">

      <displayName>Woodpeckers Mail</displayName>

      <!-- type=
           "imap": IMAP
           "pop3": POP3

      <incomingServer type="imap">
           <!-- "plain": no encryption
                "SSL": SSL 3 or TLS 1 on SSL-specific port
                "STARTTLS": on normal plain port and mandatory upgrade to TLS via STARTTLS
            <!-- Authentication methods:
                          Send password in the clear
                          (dangerous, if SSL isn't used either).
                          AUTH PLAIN, LOGIN or protocol-native login.
                           A secure encrypted password mechanism.
                           Can be CRAM-MD5 or DIGEST-MD5. Not NTLM.
                           Use NTLM (or NTLMv2 or successors),
                           the Windows login mechanism.
                           Use Kerberos / GSSAPI,
                           a single-signon mechanism used for big sites.
                           The server recognizes this user based on the IP address.
                           No authentication needed, the server will require no username nor password.
                           On the SSL/TLS layer, the server requests a client certificate and the client sends one (possibly after letting the user select/confirm one), if available. (Not yet supported by Thunderbird)
                           OAuth2. Works only on specific hardcoded servers, please see below. Should be added only as second alternative.
                           No authentication

      <outgoingServer type="smtp">
         <socketType>STARTTLS</socketType> <!-- see <incomingServer> -->
         <username>%EMAILLOCALPART%</username> <!-- if smtp-auth -->
            <!-- smtp-auth (RFC 2554, 4954) or other auth mechanism.
                 For values, see incoming.
                 Additional options here:
                     authenticate to incoming mail server first
                     before contacting the smtp server.
                  Compatibility note: Thunderbird 3.0 accepts only "plain",
                  "secure", "none", and "smtp-after-pop".
                  It will ignore the whole XML file, if other values are given.
            <!-- If the server makes some additional requirements beyond
                 "client-IP-address": The server is only reachable or works,
                     if the user is in a certain IP network, e.g.
                     the dialed into the ISP's network (DSL, cable, modem) or
                     connected to a company network.
                     Note: <authentication>client-IP-address</>
                     means that you may use the server without any auth.
                     <authentication>password-cleartext</> *and*
                     <restriction>client-IP-address</> means that you need to
                     be in the correct IP network *and* (should) authenticate.
                     Servers which do that are highly discouraged and
                     should be avoided, see {{bug|556267}}.
                Not yet implemented. Spec (element name?) up to change.
         <!-- remove the following and leave to client/user? -->


    <!-- This allows to access the webmail service of the provider.
         The URLs are loaded into a standard webbrowser for the user.
         Specifying this is optional. -->
      <!-- Webpage where the user has to log in manually by entering username
           and password himself.
           HTTPS required. -->
      <loginPage url="" />

      <!-- Same as loginAutomaticDOM, but the website makes checks that
           the user comes from the login page. So, open the login page
           in the browser, get the page's DOM, fill out name and password
           fields for the user, and trigger the login button.
           The login button might not be an HTML button, just a div, so
           to trigger it, send a click event to it.
           HTTPS is required for the URL. -->
      <loginPageInfo url="">
        <!-- What to fill into the usernameField.
             Format is the same as for <username> within <incomingServer>,
             including placeholders. See below for valid placeholders. -->

    <clientConfigUpdate url="" />