Let's say you download the firefox and thunderbird linux packages from Mozilla.org. You drop both of them into a directory of your choosing. Then you unzip/tar them to that dir. You switch to the thunderbird dir and fire it up. After setting it up you eventually get an email with an hyperlink (http,https,ftp) in it. So you click on it but nothing happens. Well this is becasue there is nothing that tells thunderbird what to open these links with. The problem with thunderbird is that it does not provide any way that I have found to set this through the GUI interface. IMHO that sucks. So now we are left with setting it manualy in a file.
The settings that you need to link to your browser are in the prefs.js file. This file is in your home dir in the hidden dir ".thunderbird/[randomcharacters].default/prefs.js. The "[randomcharachers]" should be replaced by whatever thunderbird used when it installed the config files. It picks the first half of this file using random characters. It will be different for each user. So open that file with your favorite editor and put in the lines below.
user_pref("network.protocol-handler.app.ftp", "/home/yourusername/firefox/firefox"); user_pref("network.protocol-handler.app.http", "/home/yourusername/firefox/firefox"); user_pref("network.protocol-handler.app.https", "/home/yourusername/firefox/firefox");
The lines above can be put at the bottom of the prefs.js file. You must change the end of each line to point to your firefox browser binary or a binary of your favorite web browser. If you have thunderbird open while you do this you will need to restart it for the settings to take effect.