Sync between Thunderbird desktop and mobile

I read this information in K9 blog :slight_smile:
With syncing coming to Thunderbird desktop in 114, the ability to sync accounts and other data (such as filters) with the mobile Thunderbird experience should be supported.
So what it that?
Can we will sync data between Android version and Linux desktop version without a third partie as Nexcloud (for example) ? …and without Mozilla account ?

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My current understanding is that Thunderbird Sync is unlikely to make it into the next Thunderbird release (115).

The general idea is to sync accounts and settings between devices. Data like emails or calendar events won’t be synced via this mechanism. Like today, IMAP and CalDAV accounts will be needed for that.

Thunderbird Sync is based on Firefox Sync and will require an account. You’ll most likely be able to host your own Sync server. In the future there will probably be an API for extensions to add support for custom sync mechanisms.


Ok, maybe in future, a fast way to sync calendar and address book without a third partie (if desktop and mobile Thunderbird version are on the same wlan) will be great !

Calendars and contacts are not as closely tied to email if you are on Android, compared to the PC. They are mostly managed directly by the Android system, supporting all kinds of front-end apps and back-end synchronization services. So K-9 is maybe not the best app if you look for contacts synchronization. I would rather ask at the DAVx5 forum, for example, which is a calendar and contact sync backend.

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Yes, that’s the solution I’m currently using :), in order to stay away from GAFAM.

But using DAVx5 implies using a server solution like Nexctloud.
It’s annoying because it requires to have a full Apache PHP MySQL server on my computer just to synchronize some contacts and calendar, it’s …too much !
(Note that actually I have a Xampp system on my computer and not a solution on external web hosting provider, and I don’t want an external solution for more reason)

So, that’s why I would like to have a simpler synchronization system, based for example on SQLite, and working simply between different Thunderbird installations (I don’t know if SQLite is usable on Android). For example, I imagine a system integrated to Thunderbird (like KDE-connect) where the different Thunderbirds (connected on the same lan) would communicate easily and directly between them. This is just an idea, I don’t know if it’s easy or complicated, if it’s heavy or light, secure or not, etc…

That’s an excellent question! I was intrigued by that mention of syncing in the K-9 blog post as well.

From what I can tell so far, direct syncing between Thunderbird on desktop and Thunderbird on Android is still a work in progress. The Thunderbird 114 release enabled an initial framework for profile syncing, but it doesn’t yet support syncing with the Android app specifically.

I believe the idea is that eventually you’ll be able to seamlessly sync emails, contacts, calendars etc. between Thunderbird on desktop and mobile without needing a third party service. But it doesn’t sound like that calendar 2024 direct sync is fully functional yet.

For now, it looks like using a sync service like Nextcloud is still the recommended way to sync Thunderbird data between devices. I’m hopeful that native, non-cloud syncing will be possible in a future update though! It would definitely make things much smoother to sync Thunderbird directly across platforms.

Let me know if you hear any updates on this! I’d love it if native Thunderbird sync arrives soon.

Nextcloud is actually what you need for those couple of sync capabilities, reframe your thinking of what youre looking for from an email client application. nextcloud is not “too much” if you want to get into self hosting services and not rely on a “big box” cloud provider like google/MS which specializes in these things. i have nextcloud running in docker which is fairly easy. i added the extra components like sql, redis, and other services to improve performance with it but they are not needed in all situations. using docker it might simplify your setup if you are finding apache/php/mysql requirements for nextcloud difficult to manage, but then you’d have to learn how to manage docker.

I have nextcloud as my main source for calendar, contacts, and file storage(and other stuff like notes with its apps), from there i sync its calendar and contacts with the thunderbird desktop and on android using davx5. For mail from my domain names i have desktop thunderbird syncing down from my domain host but leaving messages on the server for a certain amount of days, then in k9 i set up imap to sync those emails and i can get notifications on my phone when i get new emails.

i have no need to keep all my devices in constant sync with all my emails, its unnecessary. i have gigs and gigs of emails going back to 2008. i dont want that on my phone or every single device. my main desktop is where my emails will live where i can back up the email box files and keep them safe on my NAS.

what you all are looking for is running something like an exchange server to host your email/calendar/contacts and i dont think that is anywhere on the roadmap for thunderbird/k9mail, which primary function is an email client