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Links not opening in Thunderbird 3?

If you’re using KDE and upgraded to Thunderbird 3 lately you might have the problem that links in emails don’t open in a browser anymore. For my case that happened even without a user visible error message.

If that sounds familiar for you, check the error console (Tools/Error-Console). If there is an error like:

Error: uncaught exception: [Exception... "Component returned failure
code: 0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE)
[nsIExternalProtocolService.loadUrl]"  nsresult: "0x80004005
(NS_ERROR_FAILURE)"  location: "JS frame ::
chrome://communicator/content/contentAreaClick.js :: openLinkExternally
:: line 188"  data: no]

Then Thunderbird just (silently) fails to launch the browser. Guido pointed me to gconftool. gconftool -R / | grep url-handlers told me that some components of gnome still had Firefox configured as http-handler (which is strange since it was rebranded to iceweasel ages ago). Resetting them solved the problem for me.

The sad part of the story: x-www-browser, sensible-browser and KDE’s http handler where all correctly configured and pointed to iceweasel. All applications behaved correctly only Icedove used a (for me) hidden setting pointing to firefox.