Lightning (software)

Developer(s)Mozilla Foundation / Mozilla Corporation
Initial release0.1 (March 2006)
Stable release6.2.6.1 (March 25, 2019; 4 years ago (2019-03-25)) [±]
Preview release6.8b3 (Beta) (March 8, 2019; 4 years ago (2019-03-08)) [±]
Written inC++, XUL, XBL, JavaScript
Operating systemLinux, Windows, macOS, others
Available in50 languages
TypePersonal information manager
LicenseMPL 2.0

Lightning is a piece of software from the Mozilla Foundation designed as an extension ("add-on") that adds calendar and scheduling functionality to the Mozilla Thunderbird mail client and SeaMonkey internet suite. It superseded the previous Mozilla Sunbird and the older Mozilla Calendar extension. With version 38 of Thunderbird, the Lightning add-on was integrated and preloaded by default; since version 78 of Thunderbird (released 2020), Lightning is part of Thunderbird and no longer an add-on extension.


The Lightning project was announced on December 22, 2004 in an effort to integrate Mozilla Sunbird into Mozilla Thunderbird. Sun Microsystems contributed significantly to the Lightning Project to provide users with an alternative free and open-source choice to Microsoft Office by combining and Thunderbird with the Lightning Extension. In addition to general bug-fixing, Sun focused on calendar views, team/collaboration features and support for the Sun Java System Calendar Server.

Version 0.9 was the last planned release for Thunderbird 2. A calendar was originally to be fully integrated into Thunderbird 3, but those plans were changed due to concerns with the product's maturity and level of support. Lightning 1.0b2 is compatible with Thunderbird 3.1, Lightning 1.0b5 is compatible with Thunderbird 5 and 6, and Lightning 1.0b7 is compatible with Thunderbird 7.

Lightning 1.0 was released to the public on November 7, 2011. It was released alongside Thunderbird 8.0. Following that, every Thunderbird release has been accompanied by a compatible Lightning point release. Lightning finally started shipping with Thunderbird with version 4.0, on Thunderbird 38.0.1 released in 2015. With the 2020 release of Thunderbird 78, Lightning is now a permanent part of the program.


Lightning is an iCalendar compatible calendar.

See also

This page was last updated at 2023-11-13 20:59 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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