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Brief: In this article, we list some of the best email clients for Linux desktop.

While you can easily access your email on your web browser, some of us rely on desktop email clients for checking our emails. So, here is a list of best email clients available for the Linux platform. Each of them is presented with the features they offer to give you an overall idea of them.

Best email clients for Linux

Best email clients for Linux

For clarification: The feature information is collected from their respective official websites . And the list is not all-inclusive. There will be many features which are not listed here, such as the basic features like – trash, archive etc. Also, the list is not in any specific order of ranking.

1. Thunderbird

Thunderbird Screenshot

Thunderbird is one of the most popular and oldest open-source email client from Mozilla Foundation. You can also find it pre-installed on several Linux distributions.

The user interface hasn’t changed much over the years but it is a no-nonsense email client with all the essential features that an average user needs.

Features:​

  • Contacts Management: Includes an address book that can store detailed information about your contacts.
  • Activity Manager: Recorded interactions between the email provider and Thunderbird.
  • Smart Folder: Combined email folders for multiple accounts.
  • Privacy & Security: Robust privacy options and phishing protection.
  • Search & Filter: Efficient search and quick filter tools for your emails as well as the web.
  • Junk Mail Filter: Thunderbird has its own spam filter.
  • Large File Management: Upload large attachments to outside storage providers without leaving Thunderbird.
  • Customization: Thunderbird supports skins for changing the look & feel. Also, there are add-ons for extending Thunderbird features.

How to install Thunderbird in Linux?​

Thunderbird should be available through your package manager or software center no matter what Linux distribution you are using.

In case you’re using Ubuntu, or any Debian-based distribution, you can simply install it by typing in:

Bash:
sudo apt install thunderbird

For any Linux distribution, you can utilize the Flatpak package available.

Thunderbird


2. Evolution

Evolution Screenshot

Evolution is an open-source email client from by GNOME. It wasn’t as popular as Thunderbird but now a lot of Linux distributions have considered replacing Thunderbird with Evolution as the pre-installed email client for a better user experience overall.

Features​

  • Contacts Management: Built-in address book for contacts management.
  • Calendar Integration: Calendar integration with your email account.
  • Task Manager: Built-in task management tool.
  • Notes: Evolution includes a note-taking tool.
  • Filters & Folder: Custom virtual folder support for search queries and filters.
  • Junk Mail Filter: Includes spam filter powered by SpamAssassin.
  • Privacy & Security: Evolution supports both PGP & S/MIME encryption.
  • Plugins: Plugins support for various functionalities.

How to install Evolution in Linux?

You can get it right from the software center or through the terminal (for Debian-based distros) by typing in:

Bash:
sudo apt install evolution

However, to get the latest stable version on any Linux distribution, you might want to utilize the Flatpak package available.

Evolution


3. KMail

Kmail Screenshot

Note: KMail is best suited in KDE desktop environment.

KMail is a part of Kontact, a personal information manager, that was developed for and fits nicely with the KDE environment. It can also be used as a standalone email client on other desktop environments as well.

It does install a few tools like KDE Connect along with some other important packages when you install it on a non-KDE desktop system, so if you do not want those, you can manually remove it.

Features:​

  • Integration: KMail integrates nicely with other Kontact components.
  • Search & Filter: Powerful search and filter functionalities for emails.
  • Privacy & Security: KMail supports PGP & S/MIME encryption.
  • Junk Mail Filter: Integrates with spam filters like SpamAssassin, Bogofilter etc.

How to install Kmail in Linux?​

On a KDE-powered system, you should find it pre-installed. For Debian-based distros, you can install it using the terminal:

Bash:
sudo apt install kmail

For any Linux distribution, you can utilize the Kontact suite available as a Flatpak package and get it installed. This way, you will be able to install Kmail along with some essential tools to make the most out of it.

KMail


4. Geary

Geary 3 36

Geary is yet another open-source email client from GNOME project. It aims to be a simple and fast email client primarily tailored for GNOME desktop but you can use it on other desktop environments as well.

Features:​

  • Interface: Geary is modern looking and lightweight with a simple user-interface.
  • Integration & Notification: Geary integrates well with GNOME desktop environment and provides notification for new mail.

Note:​

  • Geary is best suited in GNOME desktop environment or its variants.

Geary


5. Sylpheed

Sylpheed Interface

Note: Needs manual configuration for email accounts except Gmail.

Sylpheed is a lightweight email client that uses GTK+ interface. It offers more or less the same key features but does not seem to be actively maintained anymore. You can give it a try though!

Features:​

  • Interface: Sylpheed has a simple user-interface.
  • Speed: Sylpheed is written in pure C language. So, it can handle a large amount of data without lagging.
  • Search & Filter: It has powerful and advanced search and filter functionalities.
  • Junk Mail Filter: It supports Bogofilter, bsfilter etc. for spam filtering.
  • Privacy & Security: It includes support for GPG encryption.

Sylpheed


6. Claws Mail

Claws Mail Interface


Note: Needs manual configuration for email accounts.

Claws Mail is lightweight email client using GTK+ interface that focuses on giving a familiar user experience to popular email clients while providing some extra functionalities like RSS aggregator.

Features:​

  • Contacts Management: It has basic address book functionality.
  • Plugins: Claws Mail supports plugins for extending its features.

Claws Mail


7. Mutt

Mutt Interface


Mutt Interface

If you are an avid terminal fan, Mutt is a text-based email client.

Features:​

  • Interface: Mutt runs entirely in your terminal windows with a text-based user-interface.
  • Security: It supports PGP and MIME.
  • Customization: Highly customizable with keybindings and macros support.
  • Searching: Regular Expression support for searching emails.

Note:​

  • If you are a beginner user, you might find it difficult to configure Mutt.

Mutt


8. Mailspring (Previously known as Nylas Mail)

NylasN1 Interface

Mailspring Interface

Mailspring, previously know as Nylas Mail or Nylas N1 is next-generation email app built with open web technologies. It has a really modern and slick user interface.

Even thought it offers many features, most of them are limited to a premium subscription.

Do note that many readers warn of terrible support by the Mailspring team, so feel free to give it a try if you do not mind that.

Features:​

  • Unified Inbox: Mailspring supports all the major email providers. So, you can manage all your accounts from a single interface.
  • Contacts Management: Contacts with enriched profiles containing bio, social links, location info and more.
  • Calendar Integration: Mailspring will check your calendar and let you book meetings at a suitable time when you are free or send your availability schedule to others.
  • Snooze: Snooze emails with lower-priorities for dealing with them later.
  • Scheduler: You can schedule your email to be sent at a suitable time when most people open their emails.
  • Privacy & Security: Mailspring leverages the PGP encryption for ensuring privacy and security.
  • Mail Merge: You can send customized emails to a large number of people with a personal touch, e.g. you will type you mail once and Mailspring will enter each people’s name where you want it.
  • Quick Reply Templates: You can create custom templates for various situations so that you can edit them and send replies quickly.
  • Analytics & Tracking: It provides analytics features and tracking information, such as – email read notification, click counts of your sent links.
  • Translator: Built-in translation support for various languages.
  • Customization: All the things above are just things that come out-of-the-box. Mailspring is customizable and extensible to its core. You can customize its look however you see fit by tweaking its CSS stylesheet or extend its features with various extensions available. Or better yet, if you know JavaScript, you can even build one yourself!

Mailspring

Which one do you think is the best email client for Linux?

Whichever one you feel most comfortable with. If you have a company or team, Nylas N1 or Hiri, both are good choice. Though it can be a little troublesome at first to set-up Nylas N1 server but it’s worth it.

Thunderbird is the traditional email client and a safe bet for personal use. Bottom line is, go with what you like most.

Do you use desktop email clients or prefer the web-browser? If you do, which is the best email client for Linux in your opinion?
 
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