thunderbird does not start if user is not member of "wheel" group

Polytropon freebsd at
Tue Jan 26 07:21:38 UTC 2016

On Sun, 24 Jan 2016 12:11:43 +0100, Trust_No_1 via freebsd-questions wrote:
> I have a nice FreeBSD workstation (running FreeBSD 10.2-RELEASE-p10)
> that works very well for me.
> On this ws I have two users (say user1 and user2), but only one of them
> (user1) is in the wheel group.
> The second user is just in it's own group because I do not use it to
> administer the ws.
> So I have:
> root at dukefleed:~ # groups user1
> user1 wheel
> root at dukefleed:~ # groups user2
> users
> If I launch thunderbird with user1 all is OK but, if I try to start
> thunderbird as user2, I receive the following error:
> user2 at dukefleed:~ % thunderbird
> Could not find the Mozilla runtime.

Very helpful message. ;-)

> No matter if I try to launch it via the full path, cd into
> /usr/local/bin,... it does not start.

As far as I remember, there are several wrappers involved.

> The problem disappear if I add user2 to the wheel group.
> Providing that I could add user2 to the wheel group and solve the
> problem, I would like to know why I have this behavior.

That looks like a permission problem, like if a file or directory
needs to be accessed, but cannot - followed by a strange error

> By the way: on the same ws, firefox DOES start without problems for both
> the two users, and in particular (for user2) it starts even if I do NOT
> add it to the wheel group.

Being member of the "wheel" group should _never_ be required in order
to start a web browser or a MUA. :-)

> Sorry but I googled a lot without finding any link to a solution...

You could have tried "truss" to gain more information (like which
files the program tries to open).

> Do you have any ideas?
> I use thunderbird 38.5.0

Update to the most recent version, maybe it's just a problem of
a "damaged" installation. Sorry for not being able to provide more
help; I stopped using Thunderbird many years ago...

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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