Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

TB and FX shrinkages

Last week, the size of the Firefox installer dropped from 6MB to 5.1MB, and even further to 4.6MB for the trunk builds since the branch builds now include Talkback for reporting crashes.
Well, now Thunderbird has dropped to 6.2MB – almost half the size of the very first alpha which was a hefty 12MB, and down nearly 2MB from version 0.6.
Both are now using 7-Zip‘s LZMA compression format which, as well as being entirely open source, offers much tighter compression than BZip2 and Zip (RAR also offers good compression but I think it’s a closed format). Thunderbird now comes as a ‘static’ build, which means that instead of having loads of DLLs in the application folder, has them all compiled into the main executable – this makes both the download and installed sizes smaller. It could, in theory, improve performance too.
So, in total, Firefox and Thunderbird weigh in at 10.8MB (if you get a trunk Firefox build) – that’s now less than the Mozilla Application Suite.
By the way, you can read my review of Minotaur 0.1a from April last year (Minotaur was what Thunderbird was called before the new name was chosen). To say it’s come on a long way since then is a severe understatement.


  1. I hope Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird combined are smaller than the Mozilla Application Suite… the latter still has Mozilla Composer in it… 🙂

  2. It’s too bad that the screenshot from your Minotaur review is bad — I would have liked to have seen that :).

  3. Alex: Yeah, it is a pity. The best I can do is this BlogZilla article which shows a slightly later build which has toolbar customisation added, and the new icons. To be honest though, it looked barely different to Mozilla Mail using the Classic theme.

  4. I like the old review…particularly the fact that your review of Minotaur 0.1a was really a review of Minataur 0.1a. 😉

  5. Re: “Thunderbird now comes as a “static” build”
    Tere was a plan to have a common runtime environment, called GRE or XRE in various roadmaps. I guess that hasn’t happened, or does Thunderbird statically link in its own copy of the GRE/XRE?

  6. There was a plan, and I think this plan may still go ahead after version 1.0, but I don’t think it’s a priority right now. Mozilla already uses the GRE but Firefox and Thunderbird do not.