How to remove incompatible extensions / add-ons from Thunderbird or Firefox

When I upgraded Thunderbird 8.0 (on Gentoo Linux) some of the extensions I was using turned out to be incompatible with the latest version. When I viewed the extensions via Tools -> Add-ons -> Extensions tab they were described as incompatible and shown greyed out next to a warning icon (an exclamation mark). They were also missing the ‘remove’ button, which meant I couldn’t remove them using this UI.

I could however remove these incompatible extensions by quitting Thunderbird (or Firefox) and deleting them from either my user’s profile extensions directory or from the global extensions directory. As it turns out I had to do the latter.

Checking the contents of ~/.thunderbird/abcd1234.default/extensions/ showed that I didn’t have any extensions installed at the user level:

me@pc ~ $ ls .thunderbird/8cwe8m4b.default/extensions -a
.  ..

Checking the global extensions at /usr/lib/thunderbird/extensions/ found that I had a number of them installed globally:

bpc extensions # ls
{972ce4c6-7e08-4474-a285-3208198ce6fd}  {e2fda1a4-762b-4020-b5ad-a41df1933103}

A quick grep for their titles showed which directories contained the actual extensions I wanted to remove:

bpc extensions # grep Enigmail * -lR
bpc extensions # grep 'Timezone Definitions' * -lR
bpc extensions # grep 'Provider for Google Calendar' * -lR

Then it was simply a matter of quitting Thunderbird and deleting the three offending extension directories (I moved them to a temporary location first so that I could put them back if it turned out I broke something):

bpc extensions # mv \{847b3a00-7ab1-11d4-8f02-006008948af5\}/ calendar-timezones\ \{a62ef8ec-5fdc-40c2-873c-223b8a6925cc\}/ ~/tmp/.
(Thunderbird started ok and incompatible extensions no longer listed, so assume safe to delete them forever)
bpc extensions # cd ~/tmp
bpc tmp # rm \{847b3a00-7ab1-11d4-8f02-006008948af5\}/ calendar-timezones\ \{a62ef8ec-5fdc-40c2-873c-223b8a6925cc\}/ -r

Source: Cannot uninstall an add-on

Last modified: 19/12/2011 Tags: ,

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