Configuring Thunderbird with Exchange LDAP directory Addressbook with AutoComplete

By | February 1, 2012

The objectives were,

  1. Configure Thunderbird to look at LDAP directory which Exchange Server uses and is configured with Outlook by default
  2. Make autocomplete work with human readable  FirstName, Lastnames instead of the system generated user ids.   This enables users to search for First/Last names e.g. John Foo Doe  instead of remembering the machine generated ids such as jfdoe.


  1. Thunderbird defaults to  cn (commonname) field instead of displayName fielf which has the Firstname, Lastname etc.
  2. displayName attribute is mapped to cn,commonname by default


- Go to the preferences/options menu, the location of which differes on windows and linux. It should either be under Tools or Edit.

- Choose “Advanced” tab

- Choose “General” tab and click on “Config Editor”

- Config editor will show you a warning. Click on “I’ll be careful, I promise!”. This will take you to about:config editor.

- Search for quicksearch in the filter textbox. Right click and choose modify. Modify the entry to folloing text,


Modify displayName  attribute entry to displayName from cn,commonname

ldap_2.servers.default.attrmap.DisplayName   =>    displayName

You could add fields here if you know the ldap schema. This will let you search by names.

-  Add the fllowing entries by right clicking inside the about:config window and choosing new => string. Following are the preference names and values.

ldap_2.servers.default.autoComplete.filterTemplate                   =>      (|(displayName=%v*)(mail=%v*)(sn=%v*))

ldap_2.servers.default.autoComplete.nameFormat                      =>      displayName

ldap_2.servers.AdobeDirectory.autoComplete.filterTemplate    =>     (|(displayName=%v*)(cn=%v*)(mail=%v*)(sn=%v*))

ldap_2.servers.AdobeDirectory.autoComplete.nameFormat      =>     [displayName]

Close the about:config page and go back to the compose message option. Now you should be able to search using displayName and should see it autocompleting with Firstname, Lastname which is easy to remember.