If you are dealing with email for the most part of the day, it’s better to set up an email client instead of using the browser. This not only boost your productivity but you also don’t have to rely on an active Internet connection to access your older emails. But are there any good email clients for Ubuntu?
I have been using the Microsoft Mail on Windows due to its tight integration with other Microsoft products like Sticky Notes, To-Do apps, etc. And for a long time, I was looking for an alternative on Ubuntu. After a lot of research and trying out a dozen of an email client, here is my handpicked list of best email client apps for Ubuntu. Let’s check it out.
Best Linux Email Client
I use GSuite so most of the Email configuration is simple and straightforward. If you happen to do the same, follow these configuration instructions for an IMAP account and these configuration instructions for POP3.
Wavebox is not exactly an email client but an all-in-one messenger app which lets you use GSuite, Office 365 and many other web apps under a hood. It’s basically a web wrapper which presents the website in an app format. Along with Gmail, Wavebox also enables other GSuite apps like Hangouts, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Drive, etc.
Wavebox has both free and paid variants. The bargain with the free one is that you get to use only 2 Gmail accounts simultaneously. The pro version starts at $4/month which remove this limit and offer additional features like extensions support, cloud backup, and custom web apps.
- All-in-one messenger app with GSuite, Office 365 apps, etc
- Not a resource-hogger
- Extension-support and cloud backup
Who is it for?
Wavebox is targetted towards users who use services from different vendors like Gmail, Slack, Trello, etc. It is a good option for people coming from Windows and other Operating systems.
Geary is the most minimal email-client app on this list. It is open-source and hardly requires more than a few clicks to set it up. My favorite thing about Geary is the flurry of keyboard shortcuts it provides. I have used Outlook for a significant amount of time and I got really familiar with these shortcuts.
Geary works with most of the popular email service providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc. However, in order to make Geary work with Gmail, you will need to enable “less secure app access” because it still uses the old sign-in method. This makes it hard to use with a GSuite account as it would risk the security of the entire corporate accounts. I also missed some features like downloading email, spam filtering, and email rules.
You can also try Pantheon Email which is a fork of Geary and part of Elementary OS.
- Minimal design and set-up process
- Huge list of keyboard shortcuts
Who is it for?
Geary is targetted towards users who seldom use emails and don’t require additional power features.
Download Pantheon Mail
Sylpheed builds over the shortcomings of Geary and Pantheon email. It has the same minimal UI design with a whole barrage of features. First of all, it is entirely build in C which gives it a huge performance boost over other email clients. It can easily handle volumes of data. Sylpheed is more directed towards users who like working with their keyboard. So, you will find lots of hotkeys like Ctrl+M to send a new message. However, to configure them you would have to
You can also use Sylpheed via the terminal if you are a coding ninja. Apart from this, it also provides extra features like spam filtering, email rules, email search, GPG encryption, etc. The only downside I can see is that it would require a lot of manual configuration if your email provider is not Gmail.
- Build entirely in C and can handle volumes of data
- Cross-platform availability
- Spam Filtering and email rules
- Search and archive emails
- GPG mail encryption
- Address book
Who is it for?
Sylpheed is for people who want a few additional features apart from a mail client.
MailSpring is a fairly intuitive email client app for Ubuntu. I could easily configure my G-Suite account without any issues. MailSpring supports more email service providers like Apple, Office 365, Yandex, Fastmail, etc. My favorite feature is the dark theme which is missing in the above applications.
Apart from all the basic stuff, Mailspring provides a couple of nifty features like read receipts, link tracking, etc. It has an inbuilt calendar which is as of now read-only and supports Google Calendar. It also has an activity page which shows you a brief overview of the actions taken on your email. However, in the free variant, these features can only be used for a few days in a week.
- Up to 4 accounts in the free variant
- Send Later and Snooze Email
- Set Email Reminders and Rules
- Activity page to track read receipts, replies, and link tracking
- Inbuilt Spell Checker and quick keyboard shortcuts
Who is it for?
Mailspring is for people who deal a lot with customer client support and would value from the email insights it provides.
KMail is another handy offering from KDE foundation. The setup is pretty straightforward and it can auto-download settings from the webserver. It supports multiple encryption algorithms like GPG and Classic blowfish cipher. My most favorite feature is automatic archiving. This feature is a boon for users with less mail server space (those 100 MB MS Exchange mailboxes).
KMail is a fantastic email client app but it has its own set of woes. I frequently have a problem with the IMAP sync and huge download wait time. The app crashes are fixed in the latest variant and I hope KDE addresses other issues as well. Foremost, I would really like inbuilt calendar support.
Sign in with Google temporarily disabled for Kmail. We will update the article as soon as it is fixed.
- Modern UI
- Customizable keyboard shortcuts
- Support for vast email protocols and encryption algorithm like Blowfish cipher, GPG, etc
- Automatic mail download and archiving
- Email search and filtering
- Auto-check for phishing URLs
Who is it for?
KMail is for people who use most of the KDE products like KDE waller, KDE Connect, etc.
6. Mozilla Thunderbird
It would be unfair to rule out Mozilla products. Mozilla Thunderbird is an open-source email client from Mozilla Foundation and it comes pre-installed in Ubuntu. Thunderbird is built around the experience of web browser and you would feel home if you use Mozilla Firefox. The Emails and popups now open in a tabbed pane. Similar to the web browser, you get add-ons with Mozilla Thunderbird. There are several add-ons for customizing the theme, setting up spell checker or small utilities like Send Later.
Thunderbird doesn’t provide a built-in calendar or reminder app, but you could enable it with the help of add-ons. I used Lightning for the same but you can also try Provider for Google Calendar which provides a web wrapper for your Gmail Calendar. Thunderbird also integrates with Google Chat, IRC, Twitter, etc so that you can use these chat applications within if you haven’t yet moved to Google Hangouts or Slack.
Thunderbird is a good standalone email client but I found these add-ons to slightly overkill. They don’t provide any huge value addition to the email client and I didn’t use any of them. Additionally, I would have loved if the Calendar could integrate with my Google Account.
- Multiple email accounts from different service providers
- IMAP, POP3 support
- Local email downloading and auto-archival
- Tabbed-pane instead of popups
- Set up an SMTP relay server
- Several add-ons for themes, spell checking, etc
Who is it for?
Thunderbird is for people with huge mailboxes and multiple email accounts.
Download Mozilla Thunderbird
This list wouldn’t be complete without Mutt. It is a text-based mail client for Linux systems. I have used it a lot during my Unix sessions to configure local mailbox. Mutt works well with Gmail and it would require slight configuration of the “muttrc” file. Obviously, it cannot display HTML element on the terminal. However, you can still send an email with attachments. If you are having difficulties in configuring Mutt, make sure you have the packages gnutls-bin, openssl, and libsasl2 installed.
You would need to switch off 2FA and allow access to less secure apps for Mutt to work with Gmail.
- Text-based Email client and runs on terminal
- Supports multiple email providers like Gmail, Exchange, etc
- Supports GPG Encryption and SSL
Who is it for?
Mutt is for people who seldom use email or have their own private mail server.
For a minimal use case, I would recommend you to try Sylpheed or Geary. To power users, there is no alternative for Mozilla Thunderbird. For more issues or queries regarding email clients and configuration, let me know in the comments below.