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Workaround for Thunderbird 3 beta huge IMAP folders 100% CPU hangs

Posted by rawhidewatch on March 27, 2009

Upgraded from thunderbird-2.something to 3.0 beta 2. I have very large IMAP SSL folders. Thunderbird seems to get stuck using 100% CPU and becomes entirely unresponsive for minutes at a time, sometimes doesn’t ever recover.

export NSPR_LOG_MODULES=imap:5
export NSPR_LOG_FILE=/tmp/imap.log

imap.log grew to 700MB in about 20 minutes. Curiously, CPU usage of thunderbird remained low and it did not get “stuck” for extended periods of time.

export NSPR_LOG_MODULES=imap:5
export NSPR_LOG_FILE=/dev/null

This workaround seems to be make Thunderbird usable again. Thunderbird’s UI still freezes for a few seconds, but Thunderbird 2 used to do that too.

Update August 26th, 2009: Thunderbird remains crippled in this regard.  This bug seems to have several people experiencing the problem.   The above workaround definitely did work back in March, but doesn’t seem to be helping now for me.  Instead it seems to help if you uncheck all of your folders for Synchronization.  I personally synchronize only Inbox and Sent and uncheck every other folder.


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