icedove(1) Mail User Agent (MUA) and newsgroup/RSS client for X11 derived from the Mozilla Thunderbird.


icedove [OPTIONS] [URL]

/usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin [OPTIONS] [URL]


Icedove provides IMAP/POP support, a built-in RSS reader, support for HTML mail, powerful quick search, saved search folders, advanced message filtering, junk mail controls, message grouping, labels, return receipts, smart address book, LDAP address completion, import tools and the ability to manage multiple identities in email and newsgroup accounts.

Icedove provides enterprise and government grade security such as S/MIME, digital signing, message encryption, and support for certificates and security devices.


icedove is a executable file that will set up the environment for the starting executable, icedove-bin. If there is an Icedove mail client already running, icedove will arrange for it to create a new mail client window; otherwise it will start the Icedove application.


A summary of the options supported by icedove is included below.

X11 options

X display to use
Make X calls synchronous
Make all warnings fatal

Mozilla options

-h, -help
Show summary of options.
-v, -version
Print Icedove version.
-P [profile]
Start with profile. When no profile is given, displays the Profile Manager. May require -no-remote, see below.
Start with migration wizard. May require -no-remote, see below.
Start with profile manager. May require -no-remote, see below.
Don't connect to a running Icedove instance. Don't accept or send remote commands. This option can be necessary in conjunction to several of the options above, that won't have any effect when an Icedove instance is running unless -no-remote is used at the same time.
Open a new instance instead of a new windows in the running instance.
-UILocale locale
Start with locale resources as User Interface locale. By default, it is guessed from environment and available locales for Icedove.
Starts Icedove in safe mode, i.e. disabling all extensions and showing a bit more debugging messages.
Start with Javascript Console
Open the address book at startup.
Compose a mail or news message.
Open the mail folder view.
-mail URL
Open the message specified by this URL.
Open the news client.
Set Icedove as the default mail client.
Open the options dialog.
Open the specified email file.


To debug Icedove, you need to run with the absolute path of icedove.

/usr/lib/icedove/ [DEBUGOPTIONS] /usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin


A summary of the options for debugging icedove is included below.

-g, -debug
Starts Icedove through a debugger (gdb by default).
--debugger program
Use program (instead the default) as a debugger for Icedove. Implies -debug.


MOZILLA_DISABLE_PLUGINS - when set, totally disables loading plugins.


/usr/bin/icedove - shell script wrapping icedove-bin

/usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin - icedove executable


Some typical use case for starting Icedove from a console

Starting Icedove without any extra options, useful to any messages from icedove in case something went not o.k.:


Starting Icedove without any extensions or themes, useful if extensions may make some trouble:

icedove -safe-mode

Starting Icedove with a composing window:

icedove -compose

Starting Icedove with the default debugger:

/usr/lib/icedove/ -debug /usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin

Starting Icedove with the specific debugger:

/usr/lib/icedove/ --debugger /foo/bar/debugger /usr/lib/icedove/icedove-bin


To report a bug, please visit and/or report bugs to the Debian Bug Tracking System, as usual.


The Mozilla Organization