If you have more than one operating system on your machine, there is possibility to use one instance of Thunderbird (and / or Firefox) profile on both OS. Solution of this case is quite easy.
We'll use two things. First – the fact, that Linux is able to read content of FAT / NTFS partitions. Second one is symbolic link. At the end both systems will use Windows profile of Thunderbid. Our test environment are Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10. Localisation of Windows 7 profile is:
Profile contains lots of e-mails, 3 configured e-mail accounts and many personal folders. All counts in thousands of files and many gigabytes of data. Now run Ubuntu – it should be cleaned. Now install Thunderbird. Open terminal and switch to it's profile:
Change the name of the profile's directory to make backup of it:
mv an8ii60u.default an8ii60u.default_orig
Now create a symbolic link between existing profile (located on Windows) and this in Ubuntu:
ln -s /media/WINDOWS7/Users/slick/AppData/Roaming/Thunderbird/Profiles/udrquvb7.default an8ii60u.default
That's all! Reboot your computer and enjoy one instance of Thunderbird on both OS.
Here are some hints:
Remember to have Windows (NTFS) partitions automatically mounted under Linux – thanks to that, you will prevent against problem with having your profile locked with file called "parent.lock". When partition is mounted, system will be able to manage locks correctly when shutting down.