UPDATED: see the end
As part of a release (say, for the sake of illustration, the next alpha of Thunderbird), we try to run the software through a set of tests. The more widespread the release, the more tests. Nightlies don’t go through any non-automated tests. The final release will go through a lot. For an alpha, we like to have a few people poke at the software on each of the major platforms, to make sure that the major bits work.
We have volunteers covering Mac and Windows, but we’re short a couple of Linux volunteers. All it should take is 1) access to a linux box (the more mainstream the better), 2) experience with Thunderbird and ideally with Linux, 3) a bugzilla account, and 4) a couple of hours of free time.
If you’re interested, contact me (email is findable from my blog home page), or contact Wayne Mery directly if you know how to do that.
UPDATE: We’ve had overwhelming response to this post, in part thanks to a mention in Linux Magazin in Germany. We don’t need any more Linux smoke testers specifically, but we’re always eager to see more people help with Thunderbird testing. If that describes you, please subscribe or join or follow the mozilla.dev.quality newsgroup/mailing list/google group, and check out the Thunderbird:Test wiki page. There are lots of ways to help, and some of them take only a little bit of effort. Thanks again for the enthusiastic response!