Torbirdy with Enigmail


Greetings! I'm hoping for some help with Torbirdy and with i2P on a Mac using OS 10.11.6 with the confirmed current versions of Thunderbird, Enigmail and Firefox. I have the latest Tor Browser Bundle installed and working, but I've had no luck with Torbirdy: every time I run it, I get a proxy server error message. I've confirmed all standard settings, JohnDo Premium:
SOCKS host:
SOCKS port: 9150
Keyserver: hkp://qdigse2yzvuglcix.onion

and with Whonix:
SOCKS host:
SOCKS port: 9102
but the proxy server error prevents the connection. Any ideas? Help much appreciated!


Via Twitter


M Shelton,

Thanks for the note. I know that Torbirdy isn't for i2P. I meant to ask a second question about i2P and Java but I didn't want to confuse two separate issues in a single post. I forgot to take that part of the sentence out. I'll ask that question when I get this problem sorted out.

I'm pretty sure that Tor was running when I tried all three: JohnDo, Tor Onion Router setting and Whonix, but I'll confirm and try again.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll report here what happens.



M Shelton:

Tor browser is open and works. I restarted Thunderbird, re-enabled Torbirdy, set the preferences to Tor Onion Router and I still can't connect. Thunderbird works without Torbirdy. Any other advice?


Any chance you're using an app specific password for logging in over Thunderbird?


Not to my knowledge. The only remaining potential problem I see is this: I have Thunderbird with Enigmail up and running successfully and I made no modifications to either program when I downloaded and enabled torbirdy. With torbirdy enabled, I can't send or receive email that Thunderbird accesses through my gmail account. When I disable torbirdy, everything works fine. The only reason I have to suspect a problem here is this set-up help site:

Any further thoughts, suggestions, ideas?



Torbirdy enforces TLS, so if your mail provider doesn't offer TLS, then Torbirdy will refuse to connect. This is one possibility of what's going wrong for you. What's the exact error message that you're seeing?


The two error messages I get are:

1) For incoming messages from gmail, only that the connection was refused.

2) For outgoing, "Sending of the message failed. The message could not be sent because connecting to the outcgoing server (SMTP) failed. The server may be unavailable or is refusing SMTP connections. Please verify if your outgoing server (SMTP) settings are correct and try again".

These are the same regardless of whether or not Tor is open/running, JonDo or Whonix has been selected. I've checked the settings for JonDo and Whonix and they are correct per the TorBirdy web site. I'm stuck!


Ah, OK. I think I may know what's going on. Gmail refuses connections from third-party mail clients such as Thunderbird unless you explicitly change your Gmail settings.

In your Gmail, try going to Account > Sign In & Security > then scroll down to "Allow less secure apps" and turn that on.


OK, thanks! I'll try that in a few minutes and post my results! Many thanks!!



I checked and was already set to "On". Here's the exact notice:

Allow less secure apps: ON
Some non-Google apps and devices use less secure sign-in technology, which could leave your account vulnerable. You can turn off access for these apps (which we recommend) or choose to use them despite the risks.

I'll try it now with the setting to "OFF" and see what happens.


I set it to "OFF" and that blocks Thunderbird. With it set to "ON", Thunderbird works with Enigmail but not with Torbirdy.


Ok. I misread your earlier message to mean that the connection was refused whether or not you were using Torbirdy, but I think you meant that the connection is refused whether or not Tor Browser is running in the background. You will still want "allow unsafe apps" set to "on."

Another possibility is that your Gmail is set to refuse IMAP connections. If you go to your Gmail inbox, click on the gear icon, and click on "Forwarding & POP/IMAP," then make sure that IMAP is set to "enable." Then click save changes.

Finally, make sure that you're using IMAP in your Thunderbird settings.


I checked the gmail settings and IMAP was already enabled. I opened Thunderbird preferences and tired the "No proxy" option (connection refused), and had the same error messages using, "Auto-detect proxy settings for this network" and "Use system proxy settings". Here's what "Auto-detect" shows:

HTTP proxy and port (blank)
SSL proxy and port (blank)
SOCKS Host port 9150

Thanks again,


Are you getting any security emails from Google when you look at your Gmail account from a browser? Google often blocks Tor or locks up your account if you try to connect from an IP address that doesn't fit your "normal" pattern of Gmail connections.


Nothing from gmail. Only notification from Thunderbird that the connection was refused.

Unfortunately, now I can't get Thunderbird to connect at all even with Torbirdy disabled. That's the first time I've experienced this issue. I checked the settings:
HTTP proxy and port (blank)
SSL proxy and port (blank)
SOCKS Host port 9150

Torbirdy is "disabled"
Server name is port 993
Connection security SSL/TLS
Outgoing server: port 465

I'm out of ideas now.


In Thunderbird, in Server Settings > Security Settings, is Authentication Method set to "Normal Password" or "OAuth2"? It should be OAuth2 for Gmail.


Also, what version of TorBirdy are you running? The latest is 0.2.0, updated 6/29/2016.


I can't access "Server Settings": Thunderbird>Preferences>Advanced>Network and Disc Space..? What am I doing wrong?


Edit > Account Settings > Server Settings, etc

rather than

Edit > Preferences, etc