I am trying to get the External Editor extension for thunderbird to work, so that I can use Emacs to compose emails. I haven't had much luck in getting this to work. Can anyone describe the steps they used to make this work. I think that my first problem is that the external editor plugin itself is not working, as I cannot even get it to work with gedit.



  • Ubuntu 11.10
  • Emacs 23
  • Not sure which version of External Editor to use
  • The latest Thunderbird from the main repositories
  • you should supply some more information (operating system, thunderbird version, etc.). External Editor 1.0.0 is working fine for me with thunderbird 8 and emacs 23. – mgalgs Dec 1 '11 at 2:20
  • @mitch_feaster I just added that information. Thanks – stevejb Dec 1 '11 at 8:38
  • did you actually install External Editor? If so, did you set up your external editor in the add-on preferences? If you want help you need to tell us exactly what you've already done and exactly what's not working (error messages, etc). – mgalgs Dec 1 '11 at 17:02
  • I'm on icedove (aka thunderbird) 10.0.4, Debian testing, and could not get it to work. I tried Emacs23 (both /usr/bin/emacs and /usr/bin/emacsclient) as well as Emacs24 (/usr/bin/emacs-snapshot), but trying to open the external editor via the Tools menu is always a no-op. No error message, just nothing. – Evgeniy Berezovsky Jun 27 '12 at 1:50

In the external editor settings (Tools, Add-ons, Extensions, External Editor Preferences), make sure to put in the path to emacs where it says "Text Editor". I'm doing this on OS X, so here's what it says for me:


You would want to put in the location of your emacs executable: likely something like:

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.