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Semi-related, but can anyone suggest good open source email client? I'm working on several computers with macos/linux and Gmail isn't slow only on my deep learning rig, so I'm looking for something to replace it.

I've been happily using Thunderbird for 10+ years. Supports Windows, Mac, and Linux natively.


In my experience it crashes a few times a week and have abandoned feel. Is there any modern fork?

Mozilla is starting to throw resources at Thunderbird again, so it will hopefully get better this year. https://blog.mozilla.org/thunderbird/

Strange. I can't remember that last time it crashed on me, and I have it running almost all the time on my work and personal machines (both Win10, talking to gmail and fastmail respectively via imap).

A while back Mozilla announced that they were migrating development to an independent team. I don't know much about that, but my impression as a user is that quality hasn't been affected and it might even be getting more love. I was happy to donate some money to the project last time they did a fundraiser.

I recently encountered a bug, where the global search has stopped working (Ctrl+K). I have tried most of the remedies suggested and have it semi-working i.e. partial results. This has somewhat stolen a bit of thunder from an otherwise flawless client for my use-case.



The traditional whine: "But everybody uses HTML!"

The solution:

in .mailcap:

text/html; lynx -dump %s; copiousoutput; nametemplate=%s.html

In .muttrc:

auto_view text/html application/x-gunzip text/calendar

alternative_order text/plain text text/html application/postscript

mutt can be used as a pure IMAP client or to read local mail delivered to mboxes or maildirs.

If you are the sort of person who builds up 250,000 messages on your IMAP server, guess what: mutt handles it better than any other client.

mutt is not point and click. mutt is usable by people who can read, and is powerful for people who can spend twenty minutes reading the docs.

I also switched to mutt a few years ago, as part of a switch away from gmail (which I no longer use). HTML email is actually a much smaller problem than I initially expected (and in the rare cases it's a problem you can always pipe it to lynx).

I just switched over to neomutt a while back, after years of Thunderbird and evolution before that. I don't know why I didn't switch earlier. It's beautiful.


I'm the happiest I've ever been with email using that combination.

I've explained the basics of my setup before:


(Granted, I'm a heavy Emacs user, so I'm predisposed to like writing emails in Emacs.)

I use something similar but offlineimap/notmuch/emacs, and it's the happiest I've been with email too.

I previously used elm, mutt, sup, and probably a few other clients, but none of them felt as configurable and complete as my current set-up.

Thunderbird works well for me. Interfaces with GMail IMAP. Has a nice quick filter and all the usuals (filtering, folders, labels).

The calendar interfaces with your Google calendar too (with the Lightning and Provider for Google Calendar add-ons).

Available for Mac, Windows and Linux.

I've been using thunderbird for several years...and frankly its not bad. I want to love and support it more, but it does have a few - i think minor - issues. Nevertheless, my opinion is that it is good enough, and the client best suited for general users. I'll be honest though, lately i've been teetering on the brink of trying out cool kids type of clients like mutt/neomutt, etc. But haven't yet, due to too many other projects. And, then....i read a recent blog post about some decent-sounding 2019 plans for thunderbird; see https://blog.mozilla.org/thunderbird/2019/01/thunderbird-in-... So, i'm actually inspired to stick around with thunderbird, and see how/whether it improves. Naturally, the best approach is for you to try things out on your own, and judge for yourself.

Could you list the specifications (roughly) such as amount of RAM, processor (cores/speed/architecture or era) on your "deep learning" rig and on your "several computers"? I'm curious what it takes for the new gmail web interface to run smoothly without being frustrating.

I can definitely recommend Mailspring[0].

It has occasional quirks, but very stable.

[0] https://github.com/Foundry376/Mailspring

I have correspondence with various Chinese and Cyrillic alphabet symbols and their closed source string\decoder processor mysteriously fails on "complex" symbols and I cannot debug it! Otherwise is an excellent client.

But this requires a Mailspring account right? At least it did when I tried it a while back.

Account is not a problem and they don't store your mail in the cloud (or any information without your consent).

I went through this process a few weeks ago when I was switching to Linux as my primary machine. There simply are no great open source options right now for email clients. Below are general summaries of my notes.

Also, worth noting, most of these clients cannot handle Gmail's style of label handling.

If you feel like dealing with terminal based and text only email, I'm sure Mutt is fine. I'm not sure this is realistic for most people.

Evolution is a decent client with very minimal, basic features. It does allow handling of multiple email accounts but it didn't do a very good job of it. There are no plugins. It was often slow to perform actions like archiving or deleting (as if it did them in real time rather than in the background), which meant I couldn't quickly go through and process a list of emails. I had to pause between each action.

Geary was somewhat like Evolution but even more minimal. It has almost zero configuration options and no plugins. It's a very good looking email client, so if you have simple requirements and like the aesthetic it might be a good option.

Thunderbird was the most promising. A rich plugin ecosystem, better handling of multiple accounts. But it was buggy, a memory hog (6 GB RAM and 25% of my CPU when idling), and it would crash on me. There seems to be some history behind it that I didn't get into, but many plugins were not compatible with my version of Thunderbird. For example, I couldn't use the calendar because my version was too new. If critical plugins are going to be disabled any time I update the app, well, that's not worth dealing with to me.

Claws Mail was okay, even if dated looking. It had no contacts or calendar support. There were a few plugins but nothing like what Thunderbird offered. It had a few bugs, like when I switched folders it would scroll to random messages, and overall was too limited for my usage.

Mailspring is the best open source option I discovered. It's somewhat slow at times and can be buggy, but overall performed better for me than Thunderbird. It has some advanced features built in, handles Gmail labels perfectly, and is very clean looking. The biggest downside is that 1) it requires a Mailspring account (though it doesn't send your emails through Mailspring) and 2) is based off a monthly subscription (with a free option). In other words, you're generally dependent on the continuation of the Mailspring service for ongoing operation of your email client.

If open source is not a strict requirement and you are on Windows, Mailbird is the best email client I've ever used. It nails almost everything out of the box, is lightning fast, and has always been stable. If Mailspring doesn't work out for me I'm likely going to switch to using Mailbird in Wine.

>Mailspring is the best open source option I discovered

Mailspring is not opensource, only the UI is. https://github.com/Foundry376/Mailspring/blob/master/ROADMAP...

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