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#1 2019-10-24 14:45:45

Geoff 42
Member
Registered: 2016-12-15
Posts: 366  

Choosing an email client

I like my email client to have a fairly simple gui and when I was first choosing an email client on Linux, the first one to try was Thunderbird. This seemed to work ok and I got the ssl settings working, but I thought that I should check that this was ok. I therefore tracked the network traffic with Wireshark (or whatever it was called then!). The initial conversation to encrypt the traffic could be seen, but it then went and passed the username and password over in clear! It may be that I had not got the settings quite right and/or the situation may have improved since then, but I looked for something else and found Claws-mail.

Claws seemed to do everything I wanted. It showed messages as plain text, but could display the html if I requested. It also seemed to encrypt the traffic correctly. The display of html is handled by the "fancy" plug-in, which seems to work very nicely. However, as we move towards Beowulf, this plug-in is deprecated as there is a security problem with the web-kit engine that it uses. The replacement for "fancy" is Dillo. Dillo will also work as a stand alone browser and for some web sites with simple html requirements works quite well. It is, however, fairly restricted in what it will display. In the more recent versions of Claws there is also another plug-in available called LiteHTML.

LiteHTML is not avalable in Beowulf but is avalable in Ceres. I thought that I should test this out and enabled the ceres repository. I then installed the most recent claws and litehtml and let it pull in its dependencies. I then removed ceres from the repository. This is probably not a recommended practice, but it looked as though it was not going to pull in very much and in fact, it does actually work in this case, also my Beowulf laptop is not mission critical for me! The LiteHTML plug-in does indeed seem to work nicely. One thing which works with LiteHTML and used to work with "fancy" was "cid:" references to other mime segments. This does not work with Dillo. I think that the LiteHTML plug-in is a bit more permissive with what it will display when compared with "fancy", which, say, would not load remote html content until specifically requested.

I wonder what other mail clients people like. kmail seems to get nice comments, although I do not use KDE. I use lxde or lxqt and use IMAP to access my mailbox.

Geoff

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#2 2019-10-24 20:51:14

James1138
Member
Registered: 2018-09-27
Posts: 32  

Re: Choosing an email client

I use Evolution over all the many years - I found it integrates well with both Devuan/Debian (also Ubuntu) and Google Calender/Contacts. As for Claws Mail and Thunderbird... I had to install so many addons and tweak settings to make it come close to what Evolution does. Evolution even has built-in contact management. FYI - Claws does NOT play well with Google Calendar (will not sync and will not import). I can add things from my Droid phone from on the road or workplace and know Evolution with sync up next time I fire it up. Granted - Evolution maybe too much for some people and it does use a little more resources that Claws or Thunderbird - but for me it is more than worth ut. I just install 3 or 4 files for Evolution vs 20 plus files for Claws Mail or Thunderbird with at-least 13 addons/extension from Mozilla addons website... among the extensions is "Lightning" to give Thunderbird ability to work with calendars. But then... do not take my word for it - fire up Synaptic package manager or install from terminal and see for yourself how many files you have to sudo apt-get install.

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#3 2019-10-24 22:54:33

sgage
Member
Registered: 2016-12-01
Posts: 244  

Re: Choosing an email client

I use Thunderbird, have been for years. It runs on everything. I typically have several OSes on my system, and all of them share a Thunderbird email database on my data partition, and they all share the Google calendar. I have years and years of old emails that once in a while it's good to be able to search through.

I've tried them all, and nothing beats TB for me. For me it's all about interoperability. No matter what OS I boot up, my mail/calendar presents as identical, and functions identically.

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#4 2019-10-25 01:30:02

Ron
Member
Registered: 2018-04-22
Posts: 242  

Re: Choosing an email client

Another option is Interlink Mail & News: https://binaryoutcast.com/projects/interlink/

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#5 2019-10-26 16:45:33

Geoff 42
Member
Registered: 2016-12-15
Posts: 366  

Re: Choosing an email client

Thank you for your comment, they are very helpful.

I have started by having another look at Thunderbird and a look at Evolution, as they are simple installs.

Given my email address they were both able to set up my account. Thunderbird came up with the same settings as I use on Claws, using ports 465 and 993 while evolution wanted to use 587 and 143. I chose to change the settings on Evolution to 465 and 993 and this seems to work nicely. I then checked all 3 by running Wireshark to look at the network traffic and all 3 seemed to encrypt the logon and data conversations with the imap server.

Geoff

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#6 2019-10-27 15:15:18

Geoff 42
Member
Registered: 2016-12-15
Posts: 366  

Re: Choosing an email client

I Used top to get some idea of the size of the program in memory, looking at the resident set size as the measure.

Claws was about 125 MB
Evolution    c. 133 MB
Thunderbird  c. 370 MB

Although further observation spotted that Evolution has quite a number (8?) of other processes between 20 and 80 MB.

I have the impression that Claws is the most responsive, although Evolution and Thunderbird are not very far behind.

On the subjective question of the look and feel, I am used to Claws and I like that it seem tight and compact in its use of screen space. When I had tidied up the layout of the other two and lined them up side by side, however, it turns out that the other two were no worse.
I thought that Evolution looks a bit more elegant, although it is currently displaying links in white. On the grey background of the headers this is not very good, but on the white background of the message body, they are invisible! After fiddling with the preferences>Mail Preferences and turning off and then on the "use the same fonts as other applications", the links are now showing in black!
Thunderbird shows the links in blue, while Claws shows links in green.
When I first ran Thunderbird I was unhappy with the way the menu and toolbars were arranged around the top of the window which I found untidy and unhelpful. With a little bit of tidying up I am more relaxed about it, although this not my favourite arrangement.

On the security front, Claws have the Webkit based "fancy" html plugin deprecated, because of its use of Webkit. As far as I can tell Evolution also uses Webkit and one of its dependencies is libwebkit2gtk-4.0-37. It also appears to have a couple of other processes running, which have Webkit in their names.
I do not know what Thunderbird uses for HTML rendering.

Geoff

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#7 2019-10-27 16:03:27

yeti
Member
From: AWAY. Need a break. Really!
Registered: 2017-02-23
Posts: 192  

Re: Choosing an email client

Ron wrote:

Another option is Interlink Mail & News: https://binaryoutcast.com/projects/interlink/

Nope:

Reasonably modern 64bit Linux Distribution (32bit is NOT and will never be supported)

I will not use use software that discriminates 32bit architectures.
But since Debian6 days or even earlier I'm happy enough (the keyboard shortcuts should be better) with Evolution and so I just can forget it.

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#8 2019-10-27 21:06:17

Ron
Member
Registered: 2018-04-22
Posts: 242  

Re: Choosing an email client

32-bit Linux is going the way of the Dodo bird. How long will it be before Devuan drops it?

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#9 2019-10-28 16:37:59

Geoff 42
Member
Registered: 2016-12-15
Posts: 366  

Re: Choosing an email client

I have just installed Interlink Mail (the GTK2) version, and it looks quite nice.

I get the impression that Interlink is to Thunderbird as Pale Moon is to Firefox. As a Pale Moon user this is pleasing.

I had to set up my mail account manually, but simply copying the settings from Claws is quite easy!

I'm not sure where would be a sensible place to install it, maybe /usr/local/.

The memory size is under 200 MB and seems very responsive.

I also came across the web site "Alternatives to"

https://alternativeto.net/software/inte โ€ฆ -and-news/

Which offers alternative software offering.

Geoff

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#10 2019-10-29 16:07:49

Geoff 42
Member
Registered: 2016-12-15
Posts: 366  

Re: Choosing an email client

I had a look at using /usr/local as the location for interlink. The steps were :-

create the directory /usr/local/interlink owned by me
as me unpack the tar file into /usr/local/interlink
create a link /usr/local/bin/interlink to /usr/local/interlink/interlink

This then still works and interlink wanted to update, so I let it do this and then let it restart and this also worked. I do not know if there are security problems with having the program owned by me rather than root.

I checked the network traffic with wireshark and it does seem to be encrypted as I would expect.

Geoff

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#11 2020-08-20 13:25:37

seeker
Member
Registered: 2019-02-17
Posts: 13  

Re: Choosing an email client

Ron wrote:

Another option is Interlink Mail & News: https://binaryoutcast.com/projects/interlink/

Is this available in Devuan? I don't see a package for it in Synaptic Package Manager.

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#12 2020-08-20 14:53:07

Geoff 42
Member
Registered: 2016-12-15
Posts: 366  

Re: Choosing an email client

I believe that I downloaded the compressed tar file from their site, unpacked it and moved the files into /usr/local/interlink and linked the binary into /usr/local/bin as described above.

Geoff

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#13 2020-08-20 17:42:51

Vernon
Member
Registered: 2020-07-19
Posts: 89  

Re: Choosing an email client

I use Thunderbird apt-get install thunderbird for a graphical e-mail client. Very easy to configure. Great support fro SOCKS proxies. When you send mail it gets sent immediately instead of hanging around in some sent-mail folder.

I use Alpine apt-get install alpine. as a text based e-mail client. Alpine has a very intuitive interface and is easy to use.

As an aside, the University of Washington, the original developers of Pine and IMAP has switched to Gmail as it continues toi transition from an institution focused on higher learning to an institution focused on the bottom line.

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#14 2020-09-06 13:00:41

Altoid
Member
Registered: 2017-05-07
Posts: 474  

Re: Choosing an email client

Hello:

Vernon wrote:

... Thunderbird apt-get install thunderbird for a graphical e-mail client.
... Alpine apt-get install alpine. as a text based e-mail client.

If I recall correctly, after trying out Eudora and some other whose name I cannot recall, I finally settled on Pegasus Mail as my email client.
This was way back then, as I went from W3.11 to W95.
Never looked back.

When I (finally) switched to Linux, it was because I was confident that I would be able to (via Wine) have PMail as my email client and this had the benefit of my being able to have my favourite photo tool (IrfanView) at hand without having to switch OSs.

I was sure that I could eventually manage to do without IrfanView but not without PMail.   

A couple of years ago, I thought that maybe there was an email client out there in Linux-land that could replace Pmail.
After searching through what was available I came across one which looked as it could do: Sylpheed-Claws.

All the boxes seemed to check: it was a similar front end and the Sylpheed-Claws FAQ indicated that it had what to me was a deal-breaker PMail feature: selective mail download.

So I installed Sylpheed-Claws to try it out but found none of that was there and there was no mention of it anywhere save that FAQ.

I asked at one list list but got no reply so I asked at another and got this:

Selective download was never in sylpheed, iirc, but it was in
Sylpheed-Claws many years ago, but was dropped by the time we
switched from gtk1 to gtk2, and has never reappeared (and is not
likely to).

The nearest thing to it would be to set a 'Receive size limit' on the
Receive page of the account preferences. Messages which have been
partially retrieved will show a button when opened, allowing you to
download the message in full.

How 'selective mail download' is in any way comparable (nearest thing) to 'receive size limit' is beyond me.

So ...
Pegasus Mail it will be, rightfully so as it has proven to be excellent and has served me very well for almost 25 years.
I have not been able to find anything to use as a suitable replacement in Linux.

I just hope to someday be able to settle my debt with David Harris.

Cheers,

A.

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#15 2020-09-08 13:37:34

Danielsan
Member
Registered: 2020-07-14
Posts: 35  

Re: Choosing an email client

I have been using Thunderbird on every platforms since ever, and in my experience it is the only one able to handle responsively a huge database; the other fails (including Outlook every version) no matter what. Evolution, Geary, Claws get stuck at a certain point. Evolution also requires a lot Gnome's components running in background I would recommend it only for Gnome users.

The extensions are a plus, I need just six for my setup. I think Thunderbird is a reliable and professional tools, he can be used also in a enterprise environment and surely I suggest it for small and medium business.

Last edited by Danielsan (2020-09-08 15:40:28)

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#16 2020-09-08 14:50:17

brocashelm
Member
Registered: 2020-06-29
Posts: 48  

Re: Choosing an email client

Thunderbird is both a blessing (stable, easy-to-use GUI) and a curse (Mozilla). Are there any noteworthy forks of it, just as Firefox itself has been forked left and right over the decades?


Cthulhu 2020 | No Lives Matter

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#17 2020-09-08 18:51:29

xinomilo
Member
Registered: 2017-07-02
Posts: 129  

Re: Choosing an email client

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#18 2020-09-09 15:54:06

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 983  
Website

Re: Choosing an email client

Mutt.


Black Lives Matter

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#19 2020-09-09 20:10:47

Vernon
Member
Registered: 2020-07-19
Posts: 89  

Re: Choosing an email client

Altoid wrote:

Hello:

Vernon wrote:

... Thunderbird apt-get install thunderbird for a graphical e-mail client.
... Alpine apt-get install alpine. as a text based e-mail client.

...

All the boxes seemed to check: it was a similar front end and the Sylpheed-Claws FAQ indicated that it had what to me was a deal-breaker PMail feature: selective mail download.

...

Sounds like you are still using POP3 to retrieve your mail. If so, way past time to switch to IMAP. With IMAP, e-mail clients like Alpine only download the mail headers and not the e-mail contents. The e-mail doesn't get downloaded until you try to view it. This behaver can also be achieved in Thunderbird by unticking the Synchronization & Storage->Keep messages in all folders for the account on this computer. This is the way I run Thunderbird and messages only get downloaded when I click on them.

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#20 2020-09-12 21:15:19

F_Sauce
Member
From: Noreg
Registered: 2017-07-07
Posts: 50  

Re: Choosing an email client

KMail is decent enough in my view, the drawback is that every now and again, with upgrades, something tends to fail; however, with everything set-up and working properly, KMail is very good and feature rich as far as I see it.

I have used the whole Kontact suite for many years.

Cheers,
Olav

Last edited by F_Sauce (2020-09-12 21:16:20)

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