For most of us, email is something we check in a browser or from a phone. While web-based email has become the norm and can be accessed from any web browser, many users prefer a native email client and according to me the best way to manage email is in a mail client.
This mail client software loads our inbox faster than a browser and offers more functionality than we have on our phones. Linux supports many different email clients, but the Value and Worth of each is all over the board.
One of the great things about Linux is that most applications are available for free, forever, so you can try them all out to find the best email client for Linux for your needs. But which one? Choose from the 12 best Linux email clients.
1. Elementary Mail
Elementary Mail (originally Pantheon Mail) is a fork of Geary that began when development on the latter came to an end.
Work on Geary would pick back up a few years later under a new developer, but Elementary Mail remains a separate project. That said, aside from appearances, Elementary Mail and Geary remain very similar email clients.
Elementary Mail is an app for elementary OS, a stylized version of Linux with its own look and feel. Yet while the difference seem minor, you might find that Elementary Mail’s design makes email feel even more approachable.
The icons are easy to find and understand, the interface has zero clutter, and any excess is gone.
If you’re just looking for a simple and less-cluttered way to keep up with your inbox without having to leave a tab open all the time, Elementary Mail delivers.
Thunderbird is probably the best-known email client that runs on Linux because it is also available for Windows.
Thunderbird is brought to you by the same people who make Firefox, and as with Firefox it has a nice interface and loads of functionality. Unlike Evolution, it is just a mail client and doesn’t have the calendar feature.
Connecting to Gmail is as easy with Thunderbird as it is with Evolution and it is simply a case of typing in your username and password and letting Thunderbird do the rest. The performance is very good it can take a while for the mail to load the very first time you set it up. All in all, Thunderbird is a decent email client.
- Like Firefox? You’ll feel at home with Thunderbird.
- Integrated chat for common services.
- Rich ecosystem of add-ons to extend the app’s core features.
- Tab-based email management isn’t for everyone.
- Calendar access requires the Lightning app, and accessing an Exchange calendar requires another quasi-supported app on top of Lightning.
Mutt is a text-based email client for Unix-like systems.
It supports all the common features that one would expect from an email client such as Color coding, mail threading, POP3, and IMAP are all supported by Mutt. It supports most mail storing formats i.e. both mbox & Maildir and protocols such as POP3, IMAP, etc.
It also includes MIME support, S/MIME integration and notably full PGP/GPG. One of its best features is it’s highly configurable. Indeed, the user can easily change the keybindings, and create macros to adapt the tool to a particular workflow.
- Easy to install and configure.
- Support so many mailbox formats like maildir, mbox, MH and MMDF.
- Cross-Platform application
- Allows message threading
- Has the features to add CC and BCC while sending emails.
- Regular Expression support for searching emails.
- Send emails with attachments from the command line.
- Highly customizable with keybindings and macros support.
Sylpheed is a simple, lightweight, easy-to-use, featureful cross-platform email client application that uses GTK+ interface. It can run on Linux, Mac OS X Microsoft Windows and other Unix-like operating systems.
It is offers an intuitive user-interface with a keyboard-oriented use. Slypheed supports plugins and advanced features such as PGP encryption. However, some features are intentionally left out.
Sylpheed application cannot send HTML email, for example, though it can receive such messages. It also supports importing and exporting your mailbox in the MBOX, EML, and MH formats.
- Simple, beautiful, and well-polished user interface
- Various protocols support
- Lightweight operation
- High reliability with one-mail-corresponding-to-one-file format
- Extensibility by plug-in faculty
- Security features (GnuPG, SSL/TLSv1)
- Powerful filtering and search
- Internationalization and Multilingualization support
- Well-organized, easy-to-understand configuration
- Junk mail control
BlueMail is an email client available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. In 2020, native clients were added for Linux desktops. BlueMail offers a more modern look and feel than most email clients on our list.
Its stylish menus, colors, and themes feel light years ahead of some of the clunky interfaces we’ve gotten used to on Linux. It has a built-in dark mode. BlueMail uses a unified email inbox approach, whereby you import all your email accounts and they all appear together as one inbox.
It has support for IMAP, POP3, Exchange, and other protocols. A bunch of BlueMail’s features are focused on smartly organizing your inbox. Clusters organize people and conversations into collections, and you can define groups of people with the groups tool, giving each group a name and a photo for easy recall.
People mode only shows emails coming from people, hiding distracting newsletters or email alerts. BlueMail isn’t open-source, which for some people means it’s off the table.
Earlier versions of BlueMail were suspected of leaking password data to BlueMail servers, too, though it appears to have patched those problems. If you can get past these misgivings, BlueMail is a solid, modern email client that has clients for all your operating systems.
Back before Firefox, Mozilla began as the steward for Netscape’s opened sourced Netscape Communicator suite, which became the Mozilla Application Suite.
After Mozilla decided to break the functionality into separate apps, namely Firefox and Thunderbird, SeaMonkey was born. SeaMonkey is a community-run continuation of the Mozilla Application Suite. SeaMonkey looks like Netscape and maintains the XUL architecture.
That made SeaMonkey compatible with modified Firefox and Thunderbird extensions up until both of those projects switched over to the WebExtension format. While SeaMonkey may be a web browser and an RSS reader, it is also an email client.
SeaMonkey joins Evolution and Kontact as an all-in-one personal information manager for Linux. SeaMonkey is kept alive largely because it’s open source and people still like it. This is not an email client that is actively developed or regularly gaining new features.
But if you like your email and browser bundled together, SeaMonkey is worth a look.
Evolution is head-and-shoulders above every other Linux-based email client. If you want a Microsoft Outlook-style appearance for your email then this is the application you should choose. Setting up Evolution to work with services such as Gmail is as easy as following a simple wizard.
Basically, if you can log in through the web interface then you can log in using Evolution. Functionality wise, you obviously send and receive emails but also create signatures, choose whether to use HTML or plain text emails, insert hyperlinks, tables, and other features into your emails.
The way you view emails can be customized so that your preview panel turns on and off and positions where you want it to be. Add extra columns to sort your emails and the labels within Gmail appear as folders.
Evolution isn’t just a mail client, however it includes other options such as a contacts list, memos, task list, and calendar. Performance wise, Evolution runs well but it is generally part of the GNOME desktop environment so it is probably better on more modern machines.
- Robust, enterprise-grade email functionality.
- Actively maintained.
- Integrated email, calendars, tasks, and notes—ideal to fully leverage Microsoft Exchange, Outlook.com, or Gmail accounts.
- Stylistically, the app looks trapped in the Windows XP era—no modern design motifs.
- Can be a bit of a resource hog.
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.
- Powerful search and filter functionalities for emails.
- KMail integrates nicely with other Kontact components.
- Integrates with spam filters like SpamAssassin, Bogofilter etc.
- KMail supports PGP & S/MIME encryption.
If you are using an older machine? That is where Geary comes in. If you are looking for a simple and efficient email client that offers the basic functionalities, then Geary can be a good choice for you.
Geary is a simple and lightweight email client built with a modern interface for the GNOME 3 desktop. Geary does email and email only. POP3 and IMAP support come included. Connecting Geary to Gmail was as simple as it was for the other mail clients and simply requires an email address and password but you won’t find Exchange.
Yet for all that Geary lacks, it makes up for with one of the most straightforward and streamlined interfaces among Linux email clients. If you need a simple email client and you don’t want to use the webmail interface and you aren’t worried about big features, then Geary is the email client for you.
- Simple, modern and straight forward interface
- Full-featured HTML email composer
- Mail organized by conversations
- Desktop notifications support
- Quick account setup
- Supports major email service providers such as Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, plus many popular IMAP servers.
- Fast keyword searching
While most of our choices have support for a range of email protocols, Trojitá is different.
It’s an IMAP-only email client. By default, emails are kept on the email server instead of being downloaded to your local computer.
This has the benefit of taking up less local hard drive space and other hardware resources. Trojitá is designed for older hardware or underpowered tech like touchpads.
It has a pretty basic user interface design, but there are three layouts you can choose from to suit you. It’s easy to set up with Gmail. Trojitá is a fast, lean application that can load large inboxes in seconds without putting a strain on your bandwidth or computer.
Mailspring is a fork of Nylas Mail. The app’s interface is open source, but the sync engine is currently closed source. The company plans to open source the latter in the future. Mailspring offers a pro subscription with features tailored toward people who send a lot of email.
You get perks such as read receipts, link tracking, and quick reply templates. Contact or company profiles can also appear next to messages, complete with links to websites and social media pages. While many Linux email clients can feel a tad old-fashioned, Mailspring is more like what people have come to expect from a modern commercial app.
That’s because Mailspring is actually the only commercial app on this list.
12. Claws Mail
Claws Mail is an open source email client with more bite than most. It’s not quite as slick as rivals like Mailbird Free, but whatever it lacks in polish it makes up for in speed and flexibility.
It’s made primarily for Linux, but there’s also a port for Windows users, with an experimental 64-bit version. Claws Mail is packed with tools to help you tame even the most unwieldy of inboxes, including quick importing of contacts, a fast message cache system, the ability to download all attachments in an email at once, and a powerful quick search tool.
That’s not all, Claws Mail is an open source project, so anyone can use its code to make plugins to expand its capabilities.
Many users have done just that, and spent their free time building include tools that you never realised you needed, like one that strips attachments out of emails automatically, and another that alerts you to new emails by illuminating lights on your laptop.
Importantly, Claws Mail doesn’t place a limit on the number of email accounts you can add, making it a great choice for anyone with lots of personal and work inboxes to manage. Claws Mail looks simple at first, and the basic features are all self-explanatory, but spend a little time delving into its menus and you’ll find dozens of powerful timesaving tools like advanced message filtering.
- Fast and lightweight
- It has basic address book functionality.
- Advanced custom filters
- Claws Mail supports plugins for extending its features.
That’s pretty much it! So, there are the Best Linux Email Clients.
If you have any other favorite Best Linux Email Clients then don’t forget to share them with us in the comment below. Also, if you liked this article, Share it on your favorite Social media platform.