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Linux on the desktop

mailto and other links with FireBird

Christian Kairies


Linux-User are known to be keen to experiment and therefore you may also be one of the countless testers of future web browser generations of the Mozilla family. Besides the astounding stability of version 0.7 of the future browser FireBird, the speed of this application was the thing that impressed me mostly. Nevertheless I was a bit astonished and disappointed when after the click on a "mailto: link the following alert box popped up:


OK... down to the nitty gritty configuration: There must be a menu hidden somewhere, where I may configure my preferred mail client as the default application to be used for mailto: links. After checking all submenus of the very few "Options" and being sure not to find anything desired, I started to "google" around.

Like the actual Mozilla suite FireBird offers developers the opportunity to implement plugins and extensions. Google gave me a hint for "MozEX" which gives the opportunity to include various external programs, i.e. to view source code or to configure news-, telnet-, FTP- or even mailto-links.


Start Firebird as "root" and visit the "MozEX installation page". Under:
*NIX installation instructions
Item 1 contains the link to install the extension.
After restarting FireBird - better done as a "normal" user - there is a new menu entry (right click into the web page):


Under: Tools => Options in the part "Extensions" there is the fresh installed "MozEX":


"MozEX" can be configured very comfortable using the "Options" button:


In the "MozEX FAQ's" you can also find hints i.e. how to include Thunderbird, the "standalone" mail client of Mozilla, or other eMail clients.

To define Kmail as default mail application for FireBird there is only a small entry:
/opt/kde3/bin/kmail --subject %s %a
and the mailto links will work again...

A script to make Thunderbird the default mail client can be found here.

Mutt: xterm -e mutt mailto:%A?subject=%S&cc=%C&body=%B
Evolution: evolution mailto:%A?Subject=%S&Cc=%C&body=%B
KMail: kmail -s %s -c %c --body %b %a
Balsa: balsa -m mailto:%A?subject=%S&cc=%C&body=%B
Sylpheed: sylpheed --compose mailto:%a?subject=%S&cc=%c&body=%B
see also MozEX FAQ

If you want to share your experiences with "MozEX" or if you have additional hints how to connect your preferred mail client with FireBird and "MozEX" I would like to read about it.