Top 5 Email Client For Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows Users

Posted on in Categories Business, Download of the day, GNU/Open source, Linux desktop, Linux laptop, OS X, Reviews, Security, Windows, windows vista last updated August 8, 2009

Linux comes with various GUI based email client to stay in touch with your friends and family, and share information in newsgroups with other users. The following software is similar to Outlook Express or Windows Live Mail and is used by both home and office user.

Webmail interfaces allow users to access their mail with any standard web browser, from any computer, rather than relying on an e-mail client.

However, e-mail client remains extremely popular in a large corporate environment, small business, home and power users. An e-mail client (also mail user agent (MUA)) is a frontend computer program used to manage e-mail. Mail can be stored on the client, on the server side, or in both places. Standard formats for mailboxes include Maildir and mbox.

The following are top five amazing piece of cross-platform software from various projects to make your life easy with wide variety of plug-ins / add-ons.

#1: Mozilla Thunderbird

It is an e-mail and news cross-platform client software package by Mozilla Foundation. Thunderbird can manage multiple e-mail, newsgroup and RSS accounts and supports multiple identities within accounts. Features like quick search, saved search folders , advanced message filtering, message grouping, and labels help manage and find messages. Just like Firefox, the tons of extensions and themes for this client makes it very secure and flexible to to enhance your productivity.

Fig.01: Mozilla Thunderbird
Fig.01: Mozilla Thunderbird

=> Download Mozilla Thunderbird

#2: Claws Mail

Claws Mail is a free, GTK+-based, open source email and news client. It is very light lightweight. Like Firefox , the wide variety of plug-ins for this email client makes it very flexible and secure. Claws Mail runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Unix-like systems such as Linux, BSD, and Solaris.

Fig.02: Claws Mail in Action
Fig.02: Claws Mail in Action

=> Download Claws Mail

#3: Spicebird

Update: Ed – 23/June/2010 ~ Spicebird client is no longer supported on Mac OS X. We will replace this email client with another supported product shortly.

Spicebird is a collaboration client that provides integrated access to email, contacts, calendaring and instant messaging in a single application. It provides easy access to various web services while retaining all the advantages of a desktop application. It is developed by an Indian company called Synovel. It is a free, open source and cross-platform software.

Fig.03: Spicebird in Action (image credit Spicebird project)
Fig.03: Spicebird in Action (image credit Spicebird project)

=> Download Spicebird

#4: Zimbra Collaboration Suite (Open Source Version)

Zimbra is a client and server platform for messaging and collaboration. The web client integrates email, contacts, shared calendar, VoIP, and online document authoring in a rich browser-based interface. This is more like MS-Exchange and Outlook combo. In other words it is compatible with proprietary clients such as Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail, both through proprietary connectors, as well as the open-source Novell Evolution, so that mail, contacts, and calendar items can be synchronised from these to the ZCS server. Zimbra also provides native two-way sync to many mobile devices such as Nokia Eseries, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, iPhone with 2.0 software.

Fig.04: Zimbra (credit offical Zimbra website)
Fig.04: Zimbra (credit offical Zimbra website)

=> Download Zimbra Collaboration Suite (Open Source Version)

#5: Sylpheed

Sylpheed is a free, GTK+-based, open source email and news client. It is very light lightweight. Sylpheed runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Unix-like systems such as Linux, and BSD.

Fig.05: Sylpheed in Action
Fig.05: Sylpheed in Action

=> Download sylpheed

Comparison of E-mail Clients – Essential Features

The following tables compare general and technical information between e-mail client programs.

FeatureThunderbirdClaws MailSpicebirdZimbraSylpheed
Image blockingYYYYY
Junk filteringYYYYY
Phishing filteringYYYY?
Thread viewYYYYY
PGP supportYYY?Y
Label MessagesYY?YY
Spell CheckingYY?YN
Scheduled messageY????
Message templatesYY?YY
DatabasemboxMH, mbox?File systemMH
Paid Support????Y

Y = supported; N = not supported; ? = unknown; Privacy feature; Security features; Productivity features; Cross-platform – runs on Mac OS X, Windows and UNIX like operating systems.

Other Email Clients For UNIX Like Operating Systems

  1. SeaMonkey – Mozilla SeaMonkey is an all-in-one Internet application suite that includes an Internet browser, email and newsgroup client, HTML editor, IRC chat, and web development tools. It includes a pop-up blocker, junk mail controls, and a tabbed interface.
  2. Pine (Alpine) – Alpine is a rewrite of the Pine Message System that adds support for Unicode and other features. Alpine is meant to be suitable for both inexperienced email users and the most demanding of power users.
  3. Evolution or Novell Evolution – Evolution provides integrated mail, addressbook and calendaring functionality to users of the GNOME desktop.

Our Recommendations:

  1. Claws Mail – Highly recommended for netbook user due to lightweight usage.
  2. Mozilla Thunderbird – The wide variety of add-on for this email client makes it very flexible, secure and easy to use. Highly recommended for desktop and power users.
  3. Zimbra Collaboration Suite ~ Open Source Edition or Businesses Editon – Highly recommended for business and corporate users due to its support for a broad range of email clients and mobile devices via “over the air” sync.

All of the e-mail client listed above used by me at one point or another. If you know of, or use, another e-mail client that offers better features than those mentioned here, tell us in the comments.

Updated for accuracy!

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

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139 comment

    1. Hello Umberto,

      I was reading your article and it supplied me with a lot of useful infomation but maybe you can help me with the fiollowing issue.

      I am intending to buy a QNAP ts-219 NAS-server wich has an embedded Linux OS. My idea is to use this NAS also for collecting my Email with an POP3 Mua like Claws.
      I have 2 main questions; can I use Claws with this embedded Linux version and secondly does Claws itself has an option to deleted the collected mail after a certain time periode of, for example 1 hour, instead of straight away after errorfree collecting the mail.

      I hope you can and wll help me because my Linux knowledge isn’t that up to date anymore πŸ˜‰

      Have a nice weekend,

      Greets Hans van Leeuwen

  1. It’s hard to take this article seriously without any mention of Kontact/KMail.

    Measuring usage of open-source applications is difficult, but going off of Ubuntu’s popularity contest for installed packages, KMail is almost 3x more popular than claws-mail, almost 5x more popular than sylpheed, almost 15x more popular than spicebird and zimbra.

    Granted, this is misleading because KMail is installed by default with KDE which means it may not actually be used, while other applications need to be actively installed.

  2. I found it hard to present top 5 emails clients for Linux/Mac/Windows without talking about Evolution or Kontact.
    However it’s true that if you take into account mostly Mac and Windows, your listing is true. If you take more Linux into account, then you can’t avoid Evolution ( which have Exchange support ) and Kontact.
    Evolution have a windows port, but this one lag behind the linux version.
    Kontact have been ported recently to windows with KDE 4.0, but some features are still missing, and installing Kontact means using the KDE installer.

    Kontact exists for Mac too. IMHO, once it will be easier to install it, it could be a very interesting application.

  3. I know I’ll get ridiculed for this, but I’m going about this in a GUI perspective.

    They all look the same. Sure, they may have different features and whatnot, but really, where’s the attention being paid to the interface? Innovation also means providing a rich user experience. The only one I can see that doesn’t look it came from 1998 is Spicebird.

  4. when you discuss mail clients, then i think you are trying to discuss Y! Zimbra Desktop NOT ZCS. Look and Feel of both the versions are same but with Zimbra Desktop, you can configure Y! Mail too for offline access(apart from gmail, AOL,POP/IMAP etc).

    1. Yes! If you mention Seamonkey you *MUST* mention Opera. For me, tabs, feeds & inbuilt web-browsing are a must in an email client. I like Kmail but it has no tabs or web-browsing. Thunderbird is great with thunderbrowse add-on. I currently use Thunderbird or Opera. Seamonkey has no good themes (its kind of ugly). Also I love the tab previews in Opera. Firefox’s FoxTab, Showcase & TabsScope add-ons are really good too. If only Opera widgets were as good as Firefox add-ons or a combined Firefox/Thunderbird was made available. I also would love tagging in Opera – and when will they get around to good automatic bookmark organisation in browsers and automatic message organisation in email client? If you have large bookmark or email collection this can be a pain – I hate folder hierarchies – why not have a combined tagging/folder system where your tags can have optional hierarchical markers between them or not. You could also have auto generated tag suggestion based on content and previous tagging choices

    2. I quite agree. I have tried out many dozens of email clients, and Opera is the one that does it for me. The virtual folders are brilliant, the search is good, but what really makes it great is the automatic filters. I’m subscribed to dozens of mail lists, and Opera spots them and automatically filters them. I’ve never found a need to create a filter by hand.

  5. I’ve been using Postbox for the last few months and really like it. I’m using it on Mac OS X, but it is also available for Windows. It has some very interesting and useful features. It’s free right now, but I don’t know if it will continue to be offered at no cost.

  6. The list describes several of the email clients as “lightweight,” yet the comparison table does not include any information about their size, memory usage — or about the shared libraries on which they depend.

    Inattention to details like that is the cause of the ever-increasing bloat that’s infecting computers and impairing their performance.

  7. Thanks for the compilation!

    We use the Zimbra Collaboration Suite at work, and at the first glance it has a rich-featured interface packed with interesting things. but viewed on the day-to-day basis this software is pretty buggy, especially when you use a language other than english because many identifiers are hardcoded so some features doesn’t work anymore. The development is slow so it is very unprobable to see a change for one’s specific problem in the next year.

    Personally I turned then to Mozilla Thunderbird for the ease of use also it is somewhat faster; only for Calendar entries I do Zimbra…

    so long

  8. Teresa, I’ve been trough a lot lately, tried all email clients lately until I read your post and gave postbox a try, it’s soooo good, no problems with settings, no crashings, nice nice interface.. love it!! thanx a lot!!

  9. Yup, this is a foolish blog…

    Kontact/Kmail, as other posters have already said, is a tremendously powerful (if not perfect, but no software is) email client. Absolutely stupendous.

    And although I am not a Gnome user, it seems that the 2 main PIM clients (Personal Information Managers) in the Linux world are Kontact and Evolution. So, the absence of both of these is conspicuous enough to show that the blogger does not know what he/she states.

    Go do some real research before writing these types of blogs, please.

    D, TDS

  10. I am surprised you dont have Kmail in this list. It is a very easy to use email client that integrates well with other applications in Kontact as well as other apps in the KDE suite. I have been using it for years. KDE is now availalble for Windows as well as Mac.

  11. I tried Zimbra and discovered that it insists on downloading ALL email from Gmail, even though my POP setting in Gmail is “download mail only from such-and-such date…” Imagine downloading all the mail, including frivolous stuff from your Gmail account for the past 3 years πŸ™
    I agree with many responses here… have been using Kmail for more than 3 years now, and can’t do without it… works almost flawlessly for me, with 6 email accounts, two calendars and ongoing tasks lists…

  12. I can tel the fanboys are having a field day here! What about Opera? The article was about the “top 5” on a number of platforms. That does not include Opera or any of you other fanboys’ even more obscure favorites.

    1. Opera has official Linux, Mac & Windows versions (it should run on BSD too). It is far more popular overall across these three OSs than any of the top 5 other than T-bird. How many Windozers have heard of the bottom 4 of the top 5? Back when I used Windows I hadn’t. Now as a Linux user I have looked at all of them.

  13. Any of the ‘5’ above are OK I expect – “if” you’r just starting out building your email [contact] [e-ddress] &[message] “history”… But, if you’ve already got long (and valuable) files of emailzzz, contacts ect., then you are certainly going to be looking for a (new) email client that can easily importexport data to-from your ‘original’ emailer – (in my case; Outlook Express).

    No where (yet) have I read about this (((major))) compatability subject talked about?.?

    In summary; your “Top 5 Email Client For Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows Users” is nothing but a fly-over “busy-work” bunch of useless filler, (besides all the errors and omissions).

  14. What about Eudora? I have used it for years and find it powerful and flexible. I see they are developing an open source version and not supporting the Windows version anymore. It is a shame. I’ll try Thunderbird on my new machine. Thanks for this review.

    1. Yes, I see how old this thread is, but this is still an issue especially now with Win 7. I use Eudora 8, Previously I used Eudora 5.2 (and earlier versions) forever ago. I stayed with it due to the way it saved emails / contacts. I still have all my info from over 15 years ago. That said; the ‘new’ Eudora is certainly NOT the same as it was, the filters are VERY buggy, and it is basically a ‘spin-off’ of Thunderbird, so I have heard. I use it in Win7 64. I am looking for a magic program, One I can import all my stuff into, one that works on Win7 64, and Ubuntu, one with a collaborative calendar, and… Hey what about Lotus Notes… LOL, ok, Just kidding

  15. Lovable this website, and very interesting the majority of the articles, but this is a bit unuseful since the “approximate” selection of the clients…

    Probably better to review by OS (!)

    Anyway, thanks for the work!

    1. Now this is the way to disagree like a gentleman with intellegence instead of anger and stupidity because you disagree.
      Good going Stefano.
      There is one intellegent person here.

  16. no mutt? Even after people have recommended it already.

    Evolution and KMail happen to be email clients of two most widely used Desktop Environment Gnome and KDE respectively. While console junkies/power users still use mutt/pine. Seriously what was this five random email clients I can recall. Apart from Thunderbird and Claws I’ve never heard of any of clients listed here.

    Your mention of easy of use is even more tasteless, because easy of installation is distribution dependent and all popular distributions install any package in one like command.
    pacman -S
    aptitude install
    yum install

    Its a shame that in all the select glamorous clients make all the lists and powerful console clients (not just for mail) are left to rot in obscurity among it’s fans. No wonder that even professional linux bloggers call ubuntu as operating system.

  17. Talking serious about MUA’s you have to put mutt in this list. Mutt does what it have to do, a good and fast MUA. Together with other applications it is working like a horse. I have used all the above applications for years, but came back to this console based app. All those graphical MUA’s are overloaded with features, which do not belong to a MUA!

  18. Nice article!
    I suppose the post started with cross OS e-mail clients. NOt with Linux clients.
    So is there a Windows/Mac OS client or port for:
    – mutt
    – Evolution
    – Kontact/Kmail
    without installing a complete CygWin?

  19. Guys I really need help, I have been a user of OUTLOOK EXPRESS on Windows XP, then moved to WINDOWS MAIL on VISTA, I have very important mails and over 2000 contacts now I am using WINDOWS 7 which does not have any e-mail program, I tried OUTLOOK & LIVE MAIL I REALLY HATE BOTH SO MUCH I WANT TO CRASH MY COMPUTER WITH ALL THE BULLSHIT THEN HAVE PUT IN THE INTERFACE AND FUNCTION —– CAN SOMEONE PLEASE RECOMEND ME A GOOD E-MAIL PROGRAM AND HOW TO TRANSFER ALL MY MESSAGE & CONTACT,

    1. Hell o Chris.
      I agree with the reccomendation of Thunderbird.
      It will import data from almost any exported system.
      I can’t tell you much about Outlook or Outlook Express as I ditched Microsoft years ago.
      I went Linux soon as I found a good accunting program.
      Actually been using Linux since 1996 but kept a MicroSnot system for Quiken.
      NO MORE!
      I have several usable accounting software packages.
      Some I’m working on are server based but in the mean time I have moved to GNU-Cash and never looked back and removed all MicroSnot software via fdisk and install or just trashed the hard drives and upgraded to larger RAID Arrays with CentOS. Since GNU-Cash has a very robust import function, Not only Quiken versions, but MicroSnot Money and professional banking abilities it finally got the monkey off my back.
      With all that said I’ve used Evolution for several years but it seems the more it evolves into newer flasher prettier etc the more crash and crap it brings so I recently, “about a year ago” installed Thunderbird and imported all my stuff.
      The only missing item is a calander and task list.
      No problem I run my own CentOS server with and SMTP and POP3/IMAP.
      No problem because I added a calander to the server so don’t need Evolution crashes for a calander any more.
      If you use evolution I suggest you export all your info at least once a week because Evolution will go belley up. Probably sooner than later.
      Then all you have to do is remove it and re install it and import your stuff.
      Better yet install Thunderbird and import it.
      Thunderbird has a great Baysian SPAM filter and with a couple hundred good emails and likewise for SPAM email it will be pretty smart.
      Since I have my own email server and runn spamassassin I get very little SPAM but Thunderbird takes care of 90% of what gets through.
      It also filters pretty well for scams and such.
      Nothing is perfect and layering you’re system can save you a lot of time in the long run.
      Your own email server is now only an hour or so work and the benefits are great.
      Besides that you can impress your MicroSnot friends by giving them email accounts on your very own server.
      You can be a hero at the church giving free accounts to those who can’t afford it.
      I have, “being an old Amateur Radio, Civil Defense guy” a 100 ft radio tower I built for Civil Defense and now have two 803.11 systems up.
      One I use for wireless service for the neighborhood kids that can’t afford Internet and the two churches in the neighborhood.
      I have the other 802.11 system on the Amateur Radio channels and running the Amateur allowed power, “my ERP is about 350 watts” for the local Amateur Radio Club Civil Defense members.
      Gives an old retired ISP owner something to do.
      One observation.
      Seems the prettier, more bells and whistles etc the more it crashes.
      Thunderbird has yet to gig me but Evolution was gitting to be a real kludge.

      See ya

      1. I would like to hear more about your 802.11 systems and/or providing wireless a/p for neighbors. Also, some configurations for good in house network servers…
        If you have the time.

        Thanks in advance
        old guy…. KA2ETE not active anymore. My eldest son is AI4FU
        Best Regards,

  20. Evolution is probably the best choice in a 100% linux host configuration for a user in a corporate windows (exchange) environment… But if users wish to share some parts of the profile between multiple hosts running various OS (windoze laptop, linux development workstation…), Thunderbird is probably best with some custom setup using a shared drive (NFS unix home…): You can have the exact same local directories on both hosts for instance.

    Don’t really understand your classification… maybe because the usage is not made clear!

    1. Evolution is the default Email for the GNOME desktop environment.

      Kontact/KMail/KOrganizer are for KDE

      While you can run either on either desktop, most people using KDE stick to Kontact because of the integration, look-and-feel, etc. KDE is a very modular desktop environment, and well-built KDE applications reuse the same components. This allows all KDE applications to have the same, very powerful, file dialog, the same spell checking settings, the same print dialogue, etc.

      While Syphleed/Claws and Thunderbird are not GNOME applications, they still use GTK+, (as does OpenOffice) and share components w/ GNOME. GNOME does not have the same “power” options for doing things, and in general GTK+ applications share this. This is why there are so many posts about how to use KDE file dialogue in FireFox and OpenOffice.

      The only other decent Qt (the tool kit used to build KDE) email is Opera. While it does not have the KDE look-and-feel, it still is pretty sharp looking, and works well (plus the browser, while not open source, works very well as a browser–nicer and faster than IE or FireFox).

      So Evolution is NOT the best choice. It is A choice, one that fits in well w/ GNOME desktop users. I have not tried the Windows port in years, so I cannot comment on it.

      KDE applications for Windows only make sense if you install the whole KDE 4 desktop. If you are still stuck with Windows XP, this is a very exciting option, since it fills in a lot of the gaps left in the operating system with a much nicer user interface and a lot of free tools for stuff you otherwise have to go out an buy.

      Windows 7 borrowed a lot of the look-and-feel of the KDE desktlop, but in my testing did not have nearly the same set of features and options. E.g. working w/ PDF files, doing graphic editing, creating a data base, etc. all have several tools built into the desktop or as part of the included KOffice.

      Zimbra desktop is a nice option which I have just started testing. It doesn’t have the same degree of integration w/ the desktop that Kontact/KMail has, but looks quite nice and uses a reasonable set of STANDARDS BASED protocols (which is the #2 flaw w/ Exchange/Outlook, #1 is security) which are shared w/ the other products.

      Once you get rid of Exchange server, and replace it with any of the much better open source alternatives, you can use ANY of these (as well as web mail provided by Yahoo! and GMail) pretty easily, and let people pick what they want.

      The keys to good enterprise (and personal) email/etc.:
      (1) Use SSL/TLS for all client-to-server connections with authentication for both downloads and sending
      (2) Use IMAP (with POP as a back up)
      (3) Share contacts via LDAP with options for export as vCard
      (4) Use iCal for appointments, schedules, calendars, etc.
      (5) Pick and use either openPGP (aka GNU PG or GPG) with a public key server or X.509. There are options for both to verify, sign, and encrypt mail.
      (6) Provide a good webmail option (Horde, Zimbra) to the services
      (7) Support tasks, journal, notes, etc. No standards (other than iCal for tasks) to help, but these are typically end-user only tools which may just store the note/journal entry via IMAP
      (8) Use server side software for spam and viruses. KMail at least (and I think Evolution, and T-bird too) can use programs like Spam Assassin, ClamAV when downloaded as well.

      Windows users MUST use on-demand virus scanner and should routinely use spyware detectors as well. There are good (and often less resource intensive) open source programs for this as well. Most Linux/Mac users don’t bother, since the operating systems are just better designed and present few or no options for virus attacks.

      Windows users should THINK and try out distributions of Linux (esp. openSuSE 11.3, and many people like Ubuntu. openSuSE is a lot easier to install and maintain, IMHO, than Ubuntu, with a lot more software in the repositories.

      BOTH are easier to use than Windows XP!

      Don’t assume that commercial software is any better than the open source options in this area! This is one area where the open source alternatives (including the non-free Zimbra parts)

      I do agree w/ the others who pointed out that the original author did not do their homework.

  21. Try Opera 10. There are features such as automatically adding recipients to your address book, turn off/on html email, low memory usage, stable, and fast email searching. You can easily import/export/backup.

    Plus it has filters, can automatically classify email by simply selecting a user in your address book (no need to create folders/rules for each email address), and has newsfeed. And all that is without considering that it’s also a fast web browser, downloader, IRC client and supports Widgets.

  22. To reduce surface area from the M$ exposure to the world is there any suggestions to the migration from Outlook to we’ll say Thunderbird, or some of the other clients. This will help greatly in the adoption of other clients, as this interests me a lot.


  23. … how can none of you people mention Scalix…?

    The Scalix web-client is perfect. Works on IE/Firefox/etc…

    the server supports group calendaring and wireless devices, etc…

    really, this article was just about 5 products the author has used.

    In fact, I have soooo lost! I cannot believe I even wasted my time commenting on such a “not-really-for-real” article…


  24. Great article! I needed an alternative to Outlook and Outlook Express to segregate my gaming emails more completely from my personal and work emails, rather than just using mail filtering rules or IMAP. Claws was EXACTLY what I was looking for. It’s great, intuitive, and lightweight. And yes, I’ve used Pine, Mutt, Evolution, Thunderbird, Opera, Eudora, Mail, Entourage, etc….most of those listed in the comments here, but they were not quite what I was looking for.

    Thanks, Vivek!

  25. Hey thanks for your great efforts guys, however i have a dilema:
    I use windows xp for my work, and i use outlook 2007 for mails (with exchange)

    I am a huge linux fan and i keep trying to turn over to ubuntu. However for some reason, i am unable of configuring evolution with exchange…
    I tried literally EVERYTHING ! but still it wont work. All i can do is use pop3 with exchange but its not the same as the way outlook does it and handles the calendar info and all.

    Is there any other client that works seamlessly with exchange server ?
    its the only thing that would make me move over for good πŸ˜€

    1. It depends on your particular Exchange configuration and whether or not your system administrators see themselves as the all-knowing, all-powerful keepers of the kingdom, or if they are there to help.

      You can download mail from Exchange via IMAP (I have used it for years w/ KMail). There _should_ be more desktop applications which use the OWA (Outlook Web Access) and ActiveSync protocols (but there is not, sadly. Touchdown by Nitrodesk is a nice option for Android 1.6 users).

      You can get contacts (i.e. the Exchange GAL) via LDAP, if they will tell you the URL and connection details.

      Calendar is hard. I had to use either my cell phone or the very crappy Outlook web version.

      There are other options out there, but I didn’t have much luck with them.

  26. I feel you are aware of Pegasus Mail v4.52 and is FREE, but; they do ask for donations to support further improvements. I have been using it for about 17 years and find it to be the most powerful and feature rich of them all, bar none. It can be used as a stand alone or networked, may also run individual copies for each e-mail address or just one to handle all of your e-mail address. I use the stand alone for each addy. Plus there are addons to improve security and how e-mail is handled. TEXT and/or HTML for those that wish to do it all. There is also a very HELPFUL community forum for some of the more difficult questions.

  27. How about Opera’s integrated mail client???? You icluded seamonkey suite and not Opera?
    It’s hands down the fastest I’ve tried and it also has an rss reader, spellcheck and html (which it didn’t have a while back) The mail searching is FAST.

  28. THUNDERBIRD IS GHASTLY! They are forcing us all to upgrade now, and when you do YOU LOSE ALL YOUR OLD EMAIL AND CAN NOT GET IT BACK INTO THUNDERBIRD. So how is that the best email client for Mac? IT IS NOT!!!!

    Opera is not so great on migrating either. Why can’t somebody come up with a client that lets you restore your old mailboxes? They all have the same suffix. It is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.

  29. @mau
    If you are referencing this:

    this is a BUG, none of your mail is gone its just not displayed, no one forces you to upgrade, there are manual ways to correct the problem and bugfix will soon be out. So yes, Thunderbird is good app, every app has bugs from time to time.

    Also, Opera is garbage, because its closed source.

    Personally dont like Claws or Sypheed,.. its not good if you email not only in plain text and has one strange bug too(sent mail from all accounts is saved to my first email account sent folder; I have tripplechecked everything, it still persists).

  30. @rfrf:
    Thanks for the link, but I wasn’t referencing the link you gave. I know my mailboxes are sitting on my hard drive. But that doesn’t help much when I can’t load them. I just need a way to get my old mailboxes up so I can search through and read them through a browser.

    I am on a Mac, not a PC. So if they make a fix for PC users, Mac users typically have to wait about another 2 yrs. On a Mac, T-Bird only lets you import your old mailboxes and stuff from Eudora and Apple’s Mail app. I even tried to “fake” the mailboxes in through the Mail import filter. It still didn’t work. Moved copies into the same folder. Still nothing. I am apparently not the only one who is having this issue. I DID have to upgrade when I upgraded my OS because it kept giving me all this grief that it was not going to display things for me anymore. I had no idea they were going to blow all my stuff out of the water when I did a simple upgrade!

    There is so much about this on the web now and the T-Bird forums, it has to be classified as a known issue. But T-Bird version 3 and up has been out for quite a while now and they still haven’t come up with the fix. That is hostile/irresponsible/really annoying/unbelievable, so my view that T-Bird is junk still stands. I don’t understand how the same gang that gives us a good browser like Firefox can be limping along with their email client.

    I am currently using Mail to back up my Gmail accounts. I am using T-Bird for my ISP “regular” email, until I find something better. Opera just doesn’t seem to be robust enough to handle it yet.

  31. Hi, i’ve been using outlook almost all my life but i’m getting tired of the few follow up functions. I mean, i would like a client where to mix contacts, mails, notes upon mails (as when you phone call a customer regarding a mail, i would like to attach a note or something on it) also easy follow ups on sent emails, notice of a not reply who should have replied (maybe email was lost in its way or confused, not read, etc)
    You understand… serious email usage… Which client would you recomend?

  32. What about support for HTML email? Kind of an important feature to note. I’m tired of *nix geeks whining about HTML email or mangling my formatted (and much more readable) emails – get a real email client, nerds.

  33. hello
    great work here.
    but im worried about Mozilla THUNDERBIRD that it accept JAVA scripts ( at least TB v 2.x ).
    dont know about thier latest version ( 3.x ).
    what dya think ?!

  34. Thunderbird? Um, no. I migrated onto it for one month, it deleted all of my Sent e-mail. This has apparently happened to many people and you can’t get the emails back no matter what you do. I use my e-mail for business so can’t afford for emails to be floating around in the ether. Crap, crap, crap e-mail client. Avoid like the plague.

  35. guys, i upgraded from vista to windows 7 but the consequent use of windows live mail is a disaster, the earlier versions like outlook express etc. were much better but one can no longer use them with windows 7.
    what is the best option now?

    1. Like millions of others work forced windows on me. Now I am retired I live a stress free life without soft ware conflicts, blue screens, and zero fire walls and bug killers and fixers. Emails are a breeze and so is on line banking and everything else.

      What should you do …. get rid of windows use Ubuntu 10.04 (free) and I use “claws” as my main client. I also use Opera. But just like life we all have different tastes … I like good quality of life for living and that means not being abused by microsoft people breakers. Break out explore and find the illusion of the Gates of Turmoil. Peace be with you and may your god smile upon you.

  36. what about windows live mail? i was very happy with windows outlook express and windows mail, but after upgrading my OS to windows 7 i am forced to use windows live mail which has complicated a simple program.
    any suggestions?

  37. I’m looking forword to migirate Exchange Mail to Somthing equal to in linux but I’m stuck in the what application to use equal to Exchange mail .

    I’m using exchange Mail only as backup for mail the hosting is ouside our company.
    What application to use in linux substitute in windows?


  38. I am truly surprised at the support of Kmail: it cannot even properly handle HTML mail! The reason i stumbled onto this page is because i am looking for a working alternative. . . .

  39. Found Postbox 2.1.4

    Have used in last 6 years MS Entourage on both our Apple Macs.
    Updated to MS Office from Office 2004 to 2008 when I sported myself and bought a MacBook Pro. Entourage worked as normal. Had a very occasional attacks of ‘msititis’ but otherwise usable.
    However MS offered a free update to MS Office 2010 for Mac. I should have known then that anything offered for free by MS is possibly suspect.
    Discovered that although Word, Excel & Powerpoint were updated there was no update for MS Entourage. All that was on offer for an email Apps was MS Outlook. This was on a short term basis for free and then MS wanted over £100.
    As it happened the free trial of Outlook never worked.
    I reverted back to Entourage 2004 but soon found that it had been blighted.
    Kept getting white outs of any email which failed to display.
    Reinstalling Entourage 2008 was blocked cos’ it said I had a later version of Office [2010] installed.
    After much wasted time went back to Apple Mail which does work – not too upmarket but gets the job done.
    Found Postbox 2.1.4 which was sort of recommended by Apple Website.
    It is an improved version of Thunderbird not an Apple Product.
    Installed it and it has many clever facilities but really have not got time to learn.
    Bit too clever – failed to get SpamSeive to work on Postbox.
    So I am going back to Apple Mail.
    Simple but safe.
    Any spare time to play might revert back to Entourage 2004 – to see if it will play still

    Anthony. 19th March 2011

  40. I have used Thunderbird now for about a week and find 2 things annoying:
    1. It will not jump to an email embedded URL.
    2. It has no provisions for adding Groups to individual addresses.

  41. Personally I like using Sparrow. It is a very clean and simple email client. I suppose if you are trying to do more complicated things it wont suffice, but for day to day emailing I love it. I fall back to Thunderbird when I have to send out HTML newsletters.

  42. For text email client requirements. The fastest i found was Cone… simple install compared with Mutt and more features than Alpine.

    Not a well known one but worth a look.

  43. Just passing through. You say here that Thunderbird supports POP3 accounts… My main email is a POP3 and no matter how I try to set it up with Thunderbird it is not recognized. Other clients work well though! πŸ˜‰

  44. I seem to be in a minority here, but I like for my email client to simply do email. If I want to look at a web site, I should use a web browser. If I want to look at an RSS feed, I should use a RSS Reader. If I want to IM somebody, I should use an IM client.

    I never wanted my email to look like a website. The fact so much email is written in XHTML/XML is astounding and frankly irritating. Email should be simple text so it can be downloaded quickly.

    My personal email client of choice is Mutt with one caveat: For the occasional meeting invitation sent by an Exchange server, I will fire up Thunderbird with Lightening to answer it, and then close it immediately since it is wasting so much RAM with it’s bloated “trying to do everything” architecture.

    1. Mike, I fully agree with you! I’ve use to use Navigator and switch to TB because it was so much faster. Over the years TB has become so bloated it now takes 30-60 seconds to start. And with TB15 I’ve noticed just clicking on a folder it can take 10-20 seconds to open it. I’m sick of it!

      I’ve been search for the last few hours for a new client, Claw looks promising.

  45. Not sure what to think about this article. It sounds like this “copy & paste / generic / make money through referrals” stuff you find all over the Google search results.

    Reason I’m writing this:
    I tried to seriously work with Zimbra, first open free version then payed-pro version. Didn’t make to the pro-Zimbra when my desktop and Yahoo accounts got hacked (1.5 week of use). Like with most of the open/free software there are robots/bugs floating the net to hack/spam the user on the spot. Software’s generic settings turn ones system into a hacking target. Zimbra / Yahoo customer support didn’t even bother to respond to my emails. So of course: reinstalling OS and all of the programs, resetting the email accounts ….

    If the author of the article doesn’t mention this level of problems with the reviewed software then it is not a serious reliable review but rather very general info note …

  46. I don’t like thunderbird no more.
    I am disappointed with Mozilla them releasing a new version everyday and I have to update.
    I am not a Microsoft fan. but I agree with Steve Newbauer that Outlook is better. it has a better interface than all other email clients and more options and customizations.

    Thanks for the article anyways

  47. I have been using Zimbra 1.0 for almost 4 years now in a Window XP and I like everything about it. Now i bought a laptop with pre-installed windows 7 OS, Is Zimbra also compatible withe win 7 OS?

  48. How about backup size? I was using Windows Mail on Vista and I could back up my whole computer (documents, pictures and email) to a 6 or 7 GB file, using Genie Home Backup manager. When I got a new computer with Windows 7 I switched to Windows Live Mail. The size of my backup file rocketed to 102 GB, using the same Genie Soft programme. Of this over 80 GB was for backing up WLM. Is this a problem with the backup manager or with WLM?

    1. I think, if you install Win 7 on your previuos machine without reformatting your hard drive, win 7 automatically save your previous files on the new OS installed, not knowing it, you will restore your back-up files and there goes too many duplicates of your files doubling the size of your data and it will take you time to delete these duplicated files. That happened to me.

  49. Pegasus Mail is extraordinarily stable, full-featured, user-configurable, and secure. It is a native Windows app, but also runs flawlessly in Linux with wine. (You need a small “helper” app to use pmail in wine with encrypted smtp, but stunnel works perfectly for that). Some people don’t find it as intuitive at first — I can’t really judge that, since I’ve been using it for so many years. It’s proprietary and closed source but actively maintained, free, and well supported by a large community of volunteers.

  50. Thunderbird sucks – I lost my emails just because Thunderbird hangs and after restart all my e-mails are gone. And it was not just once. I guess that it had connected with some their folder compression features and archival functions, that was not set up by default and not so easy to understand.
    I think Thunderbird is no more in the first place.

  51. you missed IBM Lotus Notes/Domino … it is cross platform (Linux, Win, OS X), used by lots of users, supports mobile devices (iOS+Android+BlackBerry) … and has a long history. Product has been fine tuned and it is now a very reliable choice.

  52. To the person who mentioned the opera email client – THANK YOU! Absolutely perfect. My goal was lightweight, and for when I have poor bandwidth. Opera is the best browser by far when bandwidth is low, using turbo and a few other awesome features, add in the mail client, and it’s all right there! Nice!

  53. I think, if you install Win 7 on your previuos machine without reformatting your hard drive, win 7 automatically save your previous files on the new OS installed, not knowing it, you will restore your back-up files and there goes too many duplicates of your files doubling the size of your data and it will take you time to delete these duplicated files. That happened to me.

  54. I’m going with Webmail, since I need the mobility. Otherwise I’m surprised at the lack of honor given to Opera, my default Internet browser for 90% of all sites I view.
    The tabbing system, and speed with with it accesses them alone, puts it far and away the best I’ve ever used on my old XPSp2 box.

  55. Foxmail is a cost-free e-mail client owned by Tencent who acquired it in 2005 from the original author, Zhang Xiaolong (Γ₯ΒΌΒ Γ₯°é¾ℒ), an alumnus of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan.[1] As of 2011, it supports POP3, MAPI and IMAP4.

    According to a 2001 survey, foxmail had a 32.92% market share in China, significantly ahead of Netscape Mail, Becky!, The Bat!, and Eudora.[2] In 2003, in a joint press-release with Verisign promoting Internationalized domain names, the authors’ reported over 3 million daily Foxmail users in China.[3] (For perspective, the CNNIC reported a total number of 35 million Internet users in China in January 2002.[4]) Foxmail tutorials are found in several Internet literacy books for the Chinese market.

    1. On Ubuntu – just go to the software manager (or Synaptic) and type in email. See what programs pop up. Alternatively you could go to Wikipedia and look up Thunderbird e-mail and see if there is a table of alternatives linked to the article. Actually there is an article called “Linux email clients” that lists a dozen or two alternatives. And there is likely another dozen out there but you’ll have to look a little deeper on tech websites to find them. The comments on this article introduced some new names for me. Lastly – you can do an internet search for “Linux Windows software equivalency table”. There are several websites that host tables that help users familiar with Windows find Linux alternatives and vice-versa.

  56. Sorry, I cannot consider ANY client WITHOUT CALENDAR! So, yes, for me at least, any Linux-based email cient MUST include a calendar that, preferably, integrates and synchs with Exchange – sad fact of life thought it is. Would I [rather] have sendmail, postfix, etc.? Definitely, but corporate is corporate.

    So, what does “iCalendar” mean? Does that mean it integrates with and synchs with Exchange?

  57. I have used Thunderbird for years in XP. I just bought a Win 7 64 Lenovo laptop, and I can’t transfer my profiles (emails and settings) to Thunderbird on it. I have spent over 2 hours effort based on instructions from blogs, FAQs, and Mozilla help, etc. I installed the Thunderbird import/export add-on. It doesn’t work. I copied my existing profiles folder to replace the new one. It doesn’t work. I modified the profiles.ini file to point to a different profile location as taught by Mozilla. It doesn’t work. It is intent on defeating me. I’ll need to find another email client — either Outlook or one of the above you recommend.

  58. I cant find a Download for EM client email …I like this because it SYNCS so if you deleted an email in one computer when you later went on ya tablet it would be gone, also If you open email up on one device then another the inbox would have all inbox emails…instead on none on one device because you had already downloaded on another …do any of the ones you have listed do this syncing

  59. Seamonkey all in one – light (like less than firefox), 2.26.1 have gecko from firefox 29, included: email client (very similar to thunderbird), wyswig, irc client, adress book. My recomendation for people who hate that ugly GUI: GNOMErunner complite theme.

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