Science and technology

Top 6 desktop electronic mail shoppers for Linux

This article was initially revealed on October eight, 2015, and has been up to date to replicate new info and venture modifications.

Mobile and net applied sciences nonetheless have not made the desktop out of date, and regardless of some common claims on the contrary, desktop shoppers aren’t going away anytime quickly.

And with good cause. For many, the desire for a local utility (and corresponding native efficiency), straightforward offline use, an unlimited array of plugins, and assembly safety wants will lengthy outweigh pressures to modify to a webmail electronic mail shopper. Whether you are sticking with a desktop electronic mail shopper due to a company mandate or simply private desire, there are nonetheless many nice choices to select from. And simply because it’s possible you’ll be caught on Windows does not imply Outlook is your solely choice; many open supply shoppers are cross-platform.

In this roundup, we take a fast take a look at six open supply choices for desktop electronic mail, share somewhat bit about every, and offer you some choices it’s possible you’ll need to strive your self.


For a few years, Mozilla Thunderbird was the king of the open supply electronic mail shoppers. It was obtainable on all main platforms, and it had nice success alongside Mozilla’s now-flagship venture, Firefox. Thunderbird has been round for over a decade and was instantly standard from the beginning, receiving over 1,000,000 downloads in its first 10 days of public launch.

In latest years, the thunder behind Thunderbird received somewhat quieter, and in mid-2017 the venture introduced it will transfer off Mozilla’s infrastructure, however preserve the Mozilla Foundation as its authorized and financial residence. Several new hires have been made to advance the venture, with plans to herald new builders to repair lingering points and remodel the codebase to be based mostly on net applied sciences.

Thunderbird is full-featured, with quite a lot of well-supported plugins including every part from calendar help to superior tackle ebook integration, and plenty of specialised options together with theming and enormous file administration. Out of the field, it helps POP and IMAP electronic mail syncing, spam filtering, and plenty of different options you’ll anticipate, and it really works flawlessly throughout Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Thunderbird is made obtainable underneath the Mozilla Public License.

Claws Mail

Claws Mail, a fork of Sylpheed, is a quick and versatile various that could be interesting to anybody involved about efficiency and minimal useful resource utilization. It’s a superb choice, for instance, in case you’re working inside the restricted processing and reminiscence capability of a Raspberry Pi, for instance.

But even for these with just about limitless computing assets to throw at a mail shopper, Claws Mail could be a superb choice. It’s versatile, in all probability extra so than Thunderbird or a few of the different choices on this listing, and it has quite a lot of plugins obtainable for individuals who need to prolong it. And it prides itself on being quick and dependable, too, along with sporting a easy interface that is maybe preferrred for brand spanking new customers.

Claws Mail relies on the GTK+ framework and made obtainable underneath the GPL.


If you are a person of the favored Fedora or Debian distributions, you are in all probability already acquainted with the subsequent choice on our listing, Evolution. Evolution is an official a part of the GNOME venture, nevertheless it did not begin out that manner. Originally developed at Ximian, and later Novell, Evolution was designed from the bottom as much as be an enterprise-ready electronic mail utility.

To this finish, Evolution helps Exchange Server and quite a lot of different electronic mail setups you would possibly discover in a company surroundings. It’s additionally a full private info supervisor (PIM), sporting a calendar, job listing, contact supervisor, and be aware taking utility, along with dealing with your electronic mail. Even if it is not the default mail utility in your distribution, you may want to have a look in case you’re fascinated by these options or the included spam filtering, GNU Privacy Guard (GPG) help, integration with LibreOffice, or a slew of different options.

Evolution is made obtainable as open supply underneath the LGPL.


Geary is a venture initially developed by Yorba Foundation, which made quite a lot of totally different GNOME software program instruments. Geary helps quite a lot of standard webmail providers because the mail backend by IMAP.

Geary does not have loads of options in comparison with another shoppers on this listing, however its easy interface could be interesting to customers pissed off with pointless complexity in different electronic mail packages. Geary is obtainable underneath the LGPL.


KMail is the mail element of Kontact, the private info supervisor included with KDE. OkayMail helps quite a lot of electronic mail protocols, together with IMAP, SMTP, and POP3, and thru its integration with the opposite Kontact elements, it could possibly be thought-about a whole groupware suite. Despite its Linux routes, a Windows construct can be obtainable.

With its lengthy historical past, OkayMail has developed many of the options you’ll anticipate finding in a contemporary mail program. While it matches properly into the KDE group of functions, some might discover its interface clunky in comparison with others. But give it a attempt to see what you assume.

OkayMail is made obtainable underneath the GPL.


Mailspring, the brand new child on the block, is a relaunch of the now-defunct Nylas Mail by one of many unique authors. It replaces Nylas’ JavaScript sync engine with a C++ core, which is claimed to reduce the applying’s RAM and energy calls for, and removes heavy dependencies so as to add pace. Its options embody a unified inbox, help for IMAP (however not ActiveSync), Gmail-style search, themes, and message translation.

Mailspring is obtainable for macOS, Windows, and Linux, and it is licensed underneath GPLv3.


Of course, there are lots of extra choices above and past these, together with the full-featured PIM Zimbra Desktop or one of many lightweight alternatives like GNUMail that could be your best option on your state of affairs. What’s your favourite open supply desktop electronic mail shopper? And with webmail as the primary alternative of many customers, what do you see because the function of the desktop electronic mail shopper within the years to return? Let us know within the feedback beneath.

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