The State of ThunderBayes

First, let me say that I am very sorry for neglecting this space for so long. I’ve been busy with real life and some other projects that will may show up here sometime in the future.

Yes, I’m mostly ignoring the comments on the ThunderBayes posts these days due to a lack of time to even do everything I want to do, let alone what other people want me to do. To be truthful, I don’t even use ThunderBayes anymore because all of my email accounts have been switched to gmail and the spam filtering there is Good Enough for now. That is not to say that ThunderBayes did not work for me when I did use it (it did everything I wanted it to do, and even did a good job at that). However, ThunderBayes is a bit of a kludge and certain parts of it need to be rewritten to be more usable by the average, non-hacker user. Unfortunately I do not have the time nor the will to fix it at this point. If someone else wants to pick up the project I’d be willing to talk (email me).

I do hope some people can still get some use out of the add-on, but at this point I am declaring it unsupported by me. Maybe I will find time sometime in the future to do more work on it, but don’t hold your breath. Others are free to share their solutions to problems of course. Ideally a forum should be setup somewhere because blog comments are not a good place have support discussions, so please refrain from doing that here. Does the Mozilla add-ons site have any type of forum or Q/A section for the community to provide support?

To those of you who are still brave enough to try it out, I would encourage you to first try the default setup with the internal SpamBayes filter. If that does not work, try installing and configuring SpamBayes separately and use the ThunderBayes Add-On options to make ThunderBayes talk to that manually installed copy of SpamBayes. I know that sounds ugly, but it might help some people to continue to use the extension even if it has a few flaws. (Most of the recent problems have been related to the internal SpamBayes config.)

With sincere regrets for not being able to answer every question and fix every problem related to ThunderBayes, I wish everyone who tries it out all the best.


17 Responses to “The State of ThunderBayes”

- Malcolm

Thanks for the update, shame you are too busy to support it. I’d support it, but I am too busy also :). I might have some time this summer to try at least to set up a support forum elsewhere, as you note, blog comments are not the right place.

Thunderbayes still works great for me, but I expect it will break sometime in the future.

I do very much appreciate the work you put into this and will keep an eye on your blog here for any future projects.


- A Spam solution that really works -- Rob Ferrer’s Thoughts and Writings

[…] a bit of reading, I decided to try SpamBayes (with the ThunderBayes plugin which is no longer supported) – a great client side solution. With a bit of training this cut out a large proportion of junk – […]

- Ken

It’s a shame you’re not supporting thunderBayes anymore–I really liked it! Actually, it was by far the best client-side spam filtering solution I’ve ever used. Honestly. I can certainly understand the time issue though. Have you considered making thunderBayes an open-source project? I recently started my first open-source project on and was pretty impressed with how easy it was. Don’t know if anyone would actually pickup where you left off, but who knows. Anyways, thanks a lot for what you’ve done. I’ll continue using thunderBayes as long as I can 🙂

- Chandler

Has anyone developed a support forum yet? I have a problem lately, with the sbpython task not closing itself down, and I want to see who might have run across this before (and a solution, of course). Thanks for what you’ve done here, it’s been the best spam solution I’ve found to this point.

- Eugene

looking forward for more information about this. thanks for sharing. Eugene

- Skip Montanaro

I’d like to distribute ThunderBayes with SpamBayes (we exchanged a couple emails awhile ago you may recall). Can I get a tar archive of the source and
a recipe for building a TB xpi file?


Skip Montanaro

- Arnaud D

Even no more updated this little plugin is still good because it still uses the latest SB under windows, it turns SpamBayes portable and with the help of tools like PortableApps, LiberKey, providing a portable Thunderbird, war against the spam made easy from everywhere, 5/5

- Geek Drivel » Blog Archive » ThunderBayes: So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish

[…] SpamBayes anti-spam engine) here before, several times. It’s great. Unfortunately it’s no longer supported, and I don’t have the time to properly learn Javascript so I can fix it myself. So when an […]

- Arnaud D

Don’t listen at this Geek just up, the mod works perfectly, dont manage Thunderbays options through the TB plugin but instead, when the plugin is launched, administrate EVERYTHING from

If you dont touch at the plugin option but only SpamBayes through its web interface, works perfectly.

- Arnaud D

in Addition to my previous comments, the only thing you should touch in ThunderBayes is the shortcut icon to train as Ham/Spam, anything else like setting up Proxys you set them up through and then you configure your POP accounts to connect them, but beware touching Thunderbayes settings inside your POP accounts will screw up your SpamBayes config files thats why I repeat to administrate almost EVERYTHING from, your own loopback address.

- Arnaud D

By Plugin option I mean you should just use the train as Ham/Spam icon and the plugin options, but don’t touch at the ThunderBayes options inside the POP ACCOUNTS, this will screw up your SpamBayes configuration file, instead go in SPamBayes directly through when Thunderbird and the plugin are loaded, setup proxys though web interface and then in your POP accounts you just have to connect these proxys nothing much.

Works like a charm that way but I agree if you don’t do that, you break your SB configuration file.

- Arnaud D

To workaround another bug too, dont store messageinfo_storage_file database files in the root of your spambayes profile dir instead, move it to a directory up the root

DONT DO THAT: messageinfo_storage_file:messageinfo.db
DO THAT: messageinfo_storage_file:dbm/messageinfo.db

By default messageinfo.db is in the root and then, by a bug, is not saved correctly and so on, the spam classification isnt accurate

- class101

Interested to see a working Thunderbayes under your Thunderbird 3 ? feel free to vote here

- Achim


how about releasing the source code, so someone can update the plugin to thunderbird 3.0 (or future versions). Would be the best for the project, I think.


- class101

I did it Achim

ThunderBayes++ is born:

I have rewrote sbpython because I did not have the source but thats just the matter of 1 line you now, you just have to tell python script to compile the target and execute it, there is python apis to do this in one like 😉

- Achim

That’s great. I will immideately try it. 🙂

- Arnaud D

ThunderBayes++ is now completely open source and has moved to a better place at googlecode

Don’t get it from the Mozilla site, it is an unstable site