Most of us access our emails from the web browser. While web browsers may be a common way of accessing emails but not quick and efficient. Email clients for Linux easily sync email accounts with the system and notify users of any new email.
Email clients can add multiple email accounts and keep users informed about every new email. Email clients can also read feeds from your favorite blogs. If needed, supports plugin-ins for adding any missing feature.
In this article, I will review some of the best email clients for Linux. Even though this list contains 6 email clients, many of them still are out of the list. Let me know if you use any email client that you think should be on this list.
Best Email Clients for Linux
Features at a glance
There are hundreds of email clients available in the open-source world. What should you choose depends on your needs, but for a good email client, it should have at least the following features –
For most users, the basic purpose of using an email client is to keep in sync with the inbox. An email client creates a push notification as it receives a new email.
Calendar & Contacts
A calendar is an important tool for making schedules and helps keep track of important events of life. An email client with a calendar can easily create schedules, mark important days, and even auto-detect dates from incoming emails and add them to your schedule. Just like our phones, email clients can also manage contact lists.
Email clients’ functionality can also be extended using plugins. If you are a developer, you can create or use the plugins already developed by the email client or community.
Best Linux Email Clients
Before we dive into the list of best Linux email clients, here are a few things you should know first.
Most of the email clients I will mention are either available in most Linux distributions repositories or available as a snap and flatpak. If an email client is available as a snap or flatpak, you’ll need to install the required package manager on your distribution. Head over to the links in this paragraph for instructions. Don’t worry; it takes a few seconds.
And what can be on top besides Thunderbird, the best open-source email client for Linux? Thunderbird comes pre-installed on most Linux distributions. It is actively developed and recently got a big user interface update.
The email client is developed by Mozilla Foundation, the same company that develops Mozilla Firefox. Thunderbird is a free and open-source email client. It has almost all the features that one needs to stay up-to-date with his email accounts, favorite blogs, manage schedules with calendars and manage contacts list.
Users can add multiple accounts in Thunderbird. No matter what email provider you use, you can easily add it.
For security, thunderbird has PGP support out of the box. Earlier, one had to depend on the additional plugin called Enigmail.
Thunderbird has built-in support for Do Not Track and remote content blocking. No report is sent to the sender when you open up an email.
Besides having several built-in features such as encryption, privacy tools, address book, and calendar, there are hundreds of add-ons available to extends its functionality.
Thunderbird has been around for a long time. It has great community support, and thousands of plugins allow its users to add almost any feature. Whether you want to improve security & privacy, add language support, or enhance its interface, there are always multiple add-ons for that.
Built-in Feed reader
With Thunderbird, you can always stay up-to-date with your favorite blogs. Just enter the blog feed, and it’ll sync all the latest articles for you.
Similar to add-ons, Thunderbird has thousands of themes to change its look and feel.
Thunderbird is available in most Linux distributions’ repositories. Just use the package manager to pull it into your system.
Evolution is another popular email client from Gnome. It is useful if you need basic functionalities such as email integration, calendar, and address book. With a simple interface, Evolution is easy to use, lightweight and provides built-in PGP encryption.
To encrypt an email in Evolution, there is no need to install any additional plugin; create a new email from the options menu, toggle on PGP Encrypt.
If you are using Gnome, Evolution will automatically add the account configured on the system setup.
There is an offline mode just in case you want to stop sending/receiving emails. Or download messages for offline usage.
Evolution is a pretty basic email client. It has plugins support, but only a few plugins are available. If you are a developer, you can build your own plugin using the newly designed framework in Evolution 2.32.
We can easily install evolution from the repositories. Just use the package manager to install it in your Linux distribution.
For Debian or Ubuntu or derivatives Linux distributions –
sudo apt install thunderbird
Thunderbird snap app is also available. If your distributions’ repository has the older version of Thunderbird, then use the snap version.
sudo snap install thunderbird
ChaseApp is one of the most feature-rich applications on this list. It is not merely an email client. It is an app that integrates very well with over 30 applications such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Dropbox, Github, Jira, Azure, Slack, AWS, Bitbucket, Box, and many more.
Add your accounts and press Ctrl + E. You can search all your email accounts, Github, Bitbucket, AWS, and over 30 applications simultaneously.
ChaseApp picks some popular apps for you to connect. Select the app and follow to authenticate the connection.
If you feel like adding more apps, you can do so from Apps anytime.
ChaseApp will keep track of all upcoming events on Up Next page if you have connected Google Calendar.
The app will even search the Internet to provide more information. For example, if I search dollar, besides searching the keyword in my email accounts and cloud drives, it also searches the Internet and finds out the information that may be useful.
Best of all, it is free. You will need to pay only if you’re an enterprise.
sudo snap install chaseapp
Mailspring is a free email client for all major platforms, including Linux. Its easy-to-use setup wizard lets users connect multiple accounts from different email providers.
After the account is connected, it’ll ask to either toggle on Reading Pane or off. You can select whatever you prefer.
Mailspring has a unified inbox that shows emails from multiple email accounts in one inbox. And its search feature supports Gmail-like search where users can only search specific emails against the query.
Other useful features of Mailspring are its built-in mail translator, read receipt, and link tracking.
Its translator can translate your emails from 5 languages into your system language. It supports Spanish, Russian, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, and English.
It can show when a particular sent email was read and also track links inside the email.
Mailspring supports plugins for extending the client’s functionality, but no plugins have been developed yet. Although they have an extensive guide on creating plugins, it’s not what most users would like to do. So we’ll have to wait for plugins.
Mailspring simple and sleek interface is pretty good. There are some pre-installed themes that you can choose from or visit the community page for more themes developed by the community.
How to install Mailspring
sudo snap install mailspring
ProtonMail Logs Activist’s IP Address With Authorities After Swiss Court Order
When I wrote this article, I was aware of the controversies around ProtonMail’s inception. Some claim that ProtonMail was created in MIT under CIA. But, today on September 9, 2021, I got the news that ProtonMail logged IP address of one of its users(activist) and shared it with the authorities after a Swiss Court order.
“Proton must comply with Swiss law. As soon as a crime is committed, privacy protections can be suspended and we’re required by Swiss law to answer requests from Swiss authorities,” ProtonMail CEO, Andy Yen, tweeted.
It is a known pattern used by the authoritarian Governments against activists and journalists. ProtonMail should write on their homepage about the policy that their team will share its users personal information such as IP address with the Government authorities if they get an order from the court.
After this incident, I don’t recommend the use of ProtonMail for activism or journalism. For more information on the case, please read the following article –
ProtonMail Logs Activist’s IP Address With Authorities After Swiss Court Order
Soon, I will replace remove ProtonMail from this list. I may also replace it with another one.
ElectroMail is an unofficial email client for ProtonMail. Protonmail is an end-to-end encrypted email service developed by Cern and MIT scientists in 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland. ElectronMail has many advantages over Protonmail’s official web browser email client. First of all, it’s on your system, provides quick notifications of incoming emails through a system tray icon. All the information the email client stores on your computer is encrypted with a master password. Users can add multiple ProtonMail accounts in ElectronMail and easily switch back-n-forth between their accounts. ProtonMail already has inbuilt ProtonCalendar, ProtonContacts, and even ProtonVPN service. So if you use ProtonMail as a primary email provider, then use ElectronMail. It is secure and provides the same user interface as the ProtonMail in-browser email client with some additional features. How to install ElectronMail sudo snap install electron-mail
TutaNota – A Secure Email Service
We send emails for sharing essential information that sometimes can be as important as the password of your locker. TutaNota is a security-focused email service. It is developed to send encrypted emails to anyone, TutaNota users or non-TutaNota users.
Even if users send unencrypted emails, TutaNota saves them encrypted on TutaNota’s own servers in Germany.
TutaNota is free and premium both. Most of the basic features are provided for free with some restrictions. To remove restrictions, users can pay a small fee of €12 per year.
Premium features include –
- Use extended and unlimited search on encrypted data.
- Use smart filtering for your encrypted mailbox.
- Add aliases to your Tutanota account.
- Add your custom domain & activate catch-all.
- Manage all Tutanota users for your business.
- Use several encrypted calendars in Tutanota
- Customize Tutanota for your business (whitelabel*).
- Whitelabel* feature: Login via your own website.
- Add multiple domains with the Business* feature.
- Add Secure Connect*, an encrypted contact form to your website.
- Sharing*: Share your encrypted calendars with other Premium users
- Get Tutanota Premium for free for your NPO.
TutoNota has an official email client for Linux users.
How to install TutaNota
flatpak install flathub com.tutanota.Tutanota
So here I wrap up the list for now. When I was writing this article, I found many good email clients for Linux that I never knew existed. I will use those email clients before I add them to the list. Also, if you have any specific email client to suggest, please let me know in the comment section below. Or join our Discord server and be a member of our open source community.
I’ll continue to use neomutt and newsboat+podboat
So pleased that I found Interlinke
I will try it out. Although its user interface is very similar to Thunderbird.
As you mentioned Thunderbird.
Looking to get off Mozilla Thunderbird it examines the content of your email detects urls/censored words and then refuses to send because it defines it as spam. This is through a paid up private email server and checked with my private email proivider they do not check before sending so it has to be Mozilla Thunderbird preventing the entry of the email into the system.
Figuring Mozilla does a lookup of some time but I am hunting now for a new email client that does not do this.
So you actually miss the only really good one – Kmail… Impressive! 😉
But seriously, I must admit I only tried Thunderbird a few years ago – it was awfully slow and inflexible. KMail eats a lot of memory but at least then it’s fast and doesn’t block just because you check for mail… And the most important part is that the navigation is top-notch.. You can read all your mails by just hitting space, which will scroll through the message itself, go to the next unread, scroll, next unread… It is very configurable and sure, there’s a variety of add-ins.
In your Evolution instructions you show commands for Thunderbird. Twice.
Evolution is currently uninstallable on a Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system, so I don’t know if this is a Thunderbird problem or an LTS library problem, but there are “held packages” causing unmet dependencies and after a couple hours searching for fixes I gave up.
Thunderbird also has some problems. It has been my go to email client for years, but a month or so ago starting throwing up notifications every time it queries either imap or smtp servers I use, saying an old server I haven’t used in over a year isn’t answering. There’s a time out involved which makes email experience delays every time. Not good. There is NOWHERE in the settings that I can find which might be holding on to this old server address, yet thunderbird persists with it. I’m guessing they store that information in a local database file which is opaque to me. I posted a question to the Mozilla forums about it but no one is answering such things very often. That was why I tried installing a couple other clients to see if I could have a work around.
Sulpheed isn’t supported anymore and hasn’t been for years.
Geary just flat out won’t connect to my imap or smtp servers. No reason given.
claws-mail is the only other client I got set up which works. And it works great, but for a long term solution it isn’t going to work for me because people I interact with embed a lot of images in their emails (graphs and data images) and claws-mail doesn’t seem to have any ability for me to view them.
For what it’s worth.
The note about Proton mentions September 9. 2022. Its still only June 2022. Probably worth correcting. Otherwise, I appreciate the update about Proton and I’ll reconsider that service before recommending it again. I generally prefer Tutanota anyway although there’s several similar services.
Thanks for reporting the typo. I’ve fixed it. I used to recommend the service before several incidents occurred that prevented me to recommend it anymore. That’s why I kinda removed it from this list too.
I don’t know how long you have been doing this but your advice about Proton Mail turning over log files applies to all mail server everywhere, each country has laws governing information withheld by individuals and/or corporations pertaining to crimes they are called “accessory before and/or after the fact” in this country. Not only that you have to consider the other mail servers that the email passes threw on it’s way to you. If privacy is a concern then the person should stay off electronic communications, privacy on the Internet does not exist it hasn’t in a very long time.
I retired from the IT field.
There seems to be issue with Claws and Gmail with Gmail not accepting the password given by Claws, this can go on for days before Gmail accepts the password.
Google has again tightened the noose around everybodies neck – in the guise of security!? Excuse me – One of the worst most invasive companies in the world, google has turned into even worse than facebook (debatable!! Haha). Google is deciding who and what will get emnail access and has basically started to make it very likely that you will give in and buy their now subscription service (Workspace) which will include what was previously FREEE for being a willing guinnie pig at starting about 1.39 per month, otherwise you now get no support for anything but can keep your 15GB mail box. They basically now make everyone use a browser to access IMAP mail or an GOOGLE APPROVED APP to access their servers. If you still take the free basic email they pester you endlessly with security emails that say it is a new device logging in (whichafter the first time IT ISN”T). And on and on and on