First you need to sort out the dependencies:
sudo apt-get install libdbus-glib-1-dev gir1.2-notify-0.7 libnotify-dev yasm checkinstall libzip-dev zip libgtk2.0-dev
As usual, I prefer to do the building in ~/tmp
If you have a ~/tmp/comm-release directory, make sure to delete it first:
rm ~/tmp/comm-release -rf
Now download the new source (106 Mb):
cd ~/tmp wget ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/thunderbird/releases/16.0.1/source/thunderbird-16.0.1.source.tar.bz2
Untar it, and create a new directory for out-of-tree building:
tar xvf thunderbird-16.0.1.source.tar.bz2 mkdir thunderbird16
Time to configure:
And build (40 minutes on a triple core AMD II)
where -j4 indicates that it's built in parallel on a 3 core (3+1=4) processor. Note that this has nothing to do with running the finished binaries in parallel -- it's just a way of speeding up the compilation.
Make sure that you don't have an older version of thunderbird install via dpkg i.e.
aptitude search thunderbird|grep ^i
should come up blank. If not, uninstall that package.
Finally, install your new binaries:
sudo make install
And you're done.