Here are some tips on troubleshooting Enigmail installation and use:
1. Thunderbird/Mozilla displays a red error messages at the bottom of the mail window
After having installed Enigmail, Thunderbird/Mozilla displays errors like this at the bottom of the mail window:
<menu id="menu_Enigmail" ----^
Ususally the problem is that you are using a translated version of Thunderbird/SeaMonkey (or a translation pack). In this case, you must have a translated version of Enigmail, and the language pack must match the Enigmail version. Some languages are available from the Language Packs page. If your language is not available, you are encouraged to translate Enigmail yourself; a description for how to do it is provided on the same page.
2. SeaMonkey – Installation failure?
Note: this does not apply to Thunderbird.
At this time, only users with write access to the directory where SeaMonkey is installed can install additional components like Enigmail. On a multi-user Unix system where SeaMonkey is installed in /usr, only the system administrator (root) can install Enigmail. On Linux systems, try using the RPMs from the download page.
If you are unable to use the RPM/dpkg method, you will need to run SeaMonkey as root and use the XPI install method. After installing the Enigmail XPI files as root, you should restart the browser as root to initialize Enigmail and update SeaMonkey's component registry.
Of course, you may always install a copy of SeaMonkey in your own (non-root) subdirectory and then install Enigmail.
Installation requires access to a temporary directory. If that is full, then installation may fail.
If you received an installation failure message, try to locate the installation logfile. This is a file named install.log located in the same directory as the Mozilla/Netscape executable. (If you installed a Mozilla tarball, this would correspond to the mozilla directory.) Perusing the last few entries in the logfile should give you some information on the reasons for the installation failure.
3. I have updated Enigmail on Thunderbird, now it keeps telling me: "A previous install did not complete correctly. Finishing install."
Go to your Thunderbird installation directory and delete the file xpicleanup.dat. Then, start up Thunderbird and do the following steps:
Go to the menu Tools -> Add-ons
Click on the Enigmail extension and Disable it
Install the new version of Enigmail, then Enable Enigmail again
Restart Thunderbird and you're done
4. "This item will be installed after you restart Thunderbird" shown in the Add-ons Manager.
The Add-ons Manager checks to see if an extension is validated to work on the version of the application on which you are attempting to install it. If you have updated your application and are trying to install a previous version of Enigmail, it may be that Enigmail has not been validated against the new version.
You will need to remove Enigmail or use a version that is validated for your version of the application. The Add-ons Manager does not correctly remove extensions currently, therefore to remove Enigmail you will need to shut down Thunderbird and delete the Chrome and Extensions folders from your profile.
5. Is Enigmail working?
If installation was successful, you will need to restart the application. (On Windows 9x/ME systems, you may sometimes need to reboot before restarting.) After restarting the application, launch the Mail/News window, which should have an OpenPGP menu on the menubar. Choose the About OpenPGP option, which should display the version number and the GnuPG executable details.
Enigmail has only been tested with milestone releases of Mozilla Thunderbird and SeaMonkey. If you use a nightly build (or your own build), Enigmail may not work and may even crash your build!
6. Enigmail icons in the toolbar are misaligned?
If you're using SeaMonkey, try changing your theme twice. If you are using the Modern theme, switch to the Classic theme using the View > Apply Theme menu option, and quit Mozilla. Restart, change back to the Modern theme and restart again.
If you're using Thunderbird, then your theme does not contain icons for Enigmail. Talk to the author of your theme, and ask him/her to add the necessary icons.
7. Enigmail fails to access keyserver from behind a firewall?
If you are using HTTP proxy behind a firewall, you need to add the following line to your gnupg.conf file (where value is the proxy host):
8. My own signatures are invalid!
Enigmail replaces ">" in quoted messages with "|"
Enigmail replaces leading spaces with "~"
These problems are caused by format=flowed (RFC2646).
DON'T use it with OpenPGP signatures.
In Seamonkey, open a browser window to about:config, in Thunderbird, use the "Config Editor" button located on the General tab under Options --> Advanced and make sure that mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed is set to false. This is not really a bug, but a workaround that Enigmail uses to handle the text=flowed formatting used by Mozilla, which can invalidate signatures. You can avoid this replacement by setting the option mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed to false:
- On Thunderbird: open the Config Editor (Tools > Preferences > Advanced)
- On SeaMonkey: open the URL about:config
9. How to debug Enigmail or report bugs?
Check the Defects page, where you can find out how to turn on debug switches for Enigmail and generate log files containing debug information. You can also file a bug report using Bugzilla from there.
10. How to uninstall?
Go to the menu Tools > Add-ons
Click on Enigmail
Click on the Uninstall button
Click on the Uninstall button in the Enigmail preferences window
Manually (on SeaMonkey):
Enigmail installation creates the following files:
package/components/enigmail.js enigmail.xpt libenigmime.so enigmime.xpt ipc.xpt enigprefs-service.js package/chrome/enigmail.jar
where package denotes the directory where the Mozilla/Netscape executable program resides. (On Windows, the file enigmime.dll, rather than libenigmime.so, will be created.)
Enigmail also modifies the overlay files
package/chrome/overlayinfo/communicator/content/overlays.rdf and package/chrome/overlayinfo/messenger/content/overlays.rdf
by inserting lines which add enigmail-related entries.
Note: Do not manually delete package/chrome/enigmail.jar without removing the Enigmail entries from the overlays.rdf files. This could cause mozilla to hang!
11. I get an error message saying that Enigmail or Enigmime or IPC failed to initialize
Enigmail works only if it is built using the same build environment as Thunderbird SeaMonkey was built. This means that you can use the official Enigmail releases only if you use the official releases of Thunderbird or SeaMonkey provided by mozilla.org.
If you use a Thunderbird or SeaMonkey version coming from some other source (e.g. the provider of your Linux distribution), or if you built Thunderbird yourself, you should either use an Enigmail version built by the same source, or build Enigmail yourself. For building Enigmail, refer to the Source Code section. Please don't file any bug report concerning this problem, it is not solvable.
12. How can I use S/MIME and Enigmail concurrently?
The S/MIME button is hidden by default in Mozilla "Seamonkey". You can re-enable it in the Enigmail preferences, in the Advanced section. You cannot mix S/MIME and OpenPGP in the same message, this will fail as the two standards (and the implementation in Mozilla) interfere with each other. If you want to use S/MIME you should not enable the Enigmail option "encrypt if possible" (nor the one from S/MIME).
13. There is no Enigmail user interface (menu etc.) visible
This is sometimes a problem after having upgraded Thunderbird/SeaMonkey. Check in the Add-ons manager if Enigmail is compatible with the version of your application.
14. I installed a new extension and Enigmail stopped working
Some extensions can cause conflicts with Enigmail, preventing it from succesfully signing/encrypting outgoing mail or decrypting incoming mail.
Details for known extensions are available on the Exensions Compatibility FAQ entry
15 I need to create a new profile. How do I transfer my mail and settings?
Although this is not exactly Enigmail-related, we have been asked how to do this a few times, so we have put together this new profile howto as a guide.
16. I am using a non English Character Set and my signatures keep failing
When sending signed emails containing non English characters (such as å or ð) the signature fails to verify.
On Mozilla go to Edit > Preferences > Mail & Newsgroups > Composition
On Thunderbird go to Tools > Options > Composition
Make sure the option For messages that contain 8-bit characters, use 'quoted printable' MIME encoding.is unchecked
17. IMAP Messages greater than approx. 35kB are being displayed as broken
When working on an IMAP server, it happens that bigger PGP/MIME mails fail to decrypt when viewing them.
This is due to Mozilla loading IMAP attachments on demand and not knowing that the encrypted message isn't a true attachment.
You can either click on the broken lock (reloads the mail in full) or disable the option Only download attachments when opened in the advanced preferences.