New: Instantbird Portable 1.0 (instant messaging) Released

Submitted by dougakins on July 7, 2011 - 9:19am

logoInstantbird Portable 1.0 has been released in all 11 languages it supports. Instantbird is a customizable instant messaging client with support for AOL, Yahoo, MSN, Google Talk, Twitter, Facebook, XMPP, IRC and ICQ. It's powered by Mozilla so it has support for customization using themes and extensions built-in. It's packaged in Format so it can easily integrate with the Suite. And it's open source and completely free.

Update automatically in the Platform 2.0 Beta 5 by clicking 'Check for Updates'.


ScreenshotInstantbird is designed to make instant messaging better:

  • Talk to all your friends - With Instantbird, you can now talk to all your friends with a single application. AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Google Talk, Facebook and even Twitter are supported.
  • Trouble free - Instantbird has been designed with stability and simplicity in mind. You will enjoy its clean clutter-free user interface: nothing will distract you from your conversations. No ads, you won't be annoyed by unwanted content.
  • Conversations in Tabs - Conversations are grouped in Tabs, ensuring you never feel swamped by conversations windows poping up everywhere. The tabs are easy to use: you can drag them to reorder them, or move a conversation into a new window.
  • Customizable conversations - With a few carefully designed message themes available by default and hundreds more available as add-ons, there's all you need to make your conversations feel personal. Let's turn them into a colorful, delightful experience!
  • Smart contacts - Having several ways to contact the same person? No problem, just drop a contact onto another and Instantbird will know it's the same person.
  • Always here for you - In addition to the portable Windows version, standard Instantbird can work on all your computers, whether they are running Windows, Mac OS X or Linux. Being free and Open-Source, you will never have to pay to use it. You will never have to learn to use another IM client again.
  • Limitless extensibility - Powerful tools like inline search or zoom are built-in to help you get the most out of your conversations. More are available as add-ons, thanks to Instantbird's limitless extensibility.

Learn more about Instantbird... Installer / Format

Instantbird Portable is packaged in a Installer so it will automatically detect an existing installation when your drive is plugged in. It supports upgrades by installing right over an existing copy, preserving all settings. And it's in Format, so it automatically works with the Suite including the Menu and Backup Utility.


Instantbird Portable is available for immediate download from the Instantbird Portable homepage. Get it today!

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John T. Haller's picture

Thanks Doug for your work on this. Congratulations on getting your first app out. You're now an official app dev and have a shiny new badge after your name. You're also on the team page now.

I added quite a bit to your last development test. I added in string replacements for the prefs.js, mimetypes.rdf and extensions.ini files as well as custom code to do SQL updates to the extensions.sqlite file. This makes extensions, themes and settings fully portable. These are all based on my code from Firefox, etc. I'll probably be building up future releases as I'm using the automated build system I use for Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird and SeaMonkey to automatically download and build all the language packs.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

The MAZZTer's picture

Wait does that mean..?

Woah I'm on the team page too. o_o

I should probably release the two portable apps I'm working on have sitting on the back burner; earn my keep. Smile

As far as Instantbird goes I'll have to give this a try; using Trillian on my home PC but Instantbird might be better than Pidgin to have on my thumbdrive.

Signature automatically removed for being too awesome.

I really wanted to make Instantbird my IM client but it stores passwords in clear text in InstantbirdPortable\Data\profile\prefs.js ... bummer. Maybe there will be an add-on that addresses this later on. For now, back to Miranda (which is pretty good and encrypts passwords).

Well considering you can see/open/handle/identify/whatever the file that possibly stores your password, why don't you just encrypt it then? Hmm maybe because after that IB will have a problem with your stored pw? Just wondering, this is bothering me now, thanks a lot!

John T. Haller's picture

Most programs that don't store passwords in the clear are just giving you a false sense of security. There's a free purpose-built Miranda password recoverer that anybody can use to get at your passwords.

The best thing to do is to encrypt the drive. Best option is to do this at the hardware level (faster, works on all PCs). Second best is to use software encryption like FreeOTFE or TrueCrypt, though it will require admin rights to work.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

I rewrote the Firefox launcher for Instantbird and uploaded the App when it was in v0.2 and you were saying it wasn't a relevant app back then. I guess the only different thing in this launcher will be the Splash screen, but anyway it would be nice to know if anybody picked up my code or has just rewritten it from the Firefox launcher...

[comment moved to Instantbird by mod JTH]

John T. Haller's picture

At version 0.2, it was too early to distribute it more widely. I'm sorry we missed your build, but as you only replied to a request topic about it and never posted it in the beta testing forum for users to review and test, your build was missed and wasn't among those searched. The build the 1.0 was based on was a quick build the developer listed did that was using the PA.c Launcher, which is one that was posted for testing in the Beta forums. To that I added all the new portablization code that we use including SQLite handling, which is now necessary. If it's any consolation, your buildn't have worked with the 1.0 release without some retooling. In the future, be sure to make a post in the Beta testing forum of any apps you package so others can test them and they can be considered for RC and final status.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

Seems to work so far. I'm going to try to use it for Facebook and Google Talk, but I know both were aggressively blocking Trillian a couple months ago, so I'm not sure how long this will work. But, Mozilla-based IM? Yes please!

As for plaintext passwords, yes that is a little distressing, but it can take extensions, maybe one will encrypt the passwords? Seems like a likely fix. In any case, my system is more secure than most, so I don't expect to be targeted. Common sense puts you above most of the population in terms of securing your device. A password puts you above most of the rest. A free security app e.g. MS Security Essentials probably puts you in the top 10% or so of secure devices connected to the Net.