Mail Tools Preferences?

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We don’t have enough arguments here….

I see that thunderbird’s deprecated for RHEL 7, and they recommend evolution. I’ve certainly had some annoyances in the last couple-three years with t-bird. So, what are people’s preferred mail tools, other than t-bird (or maybe mutt or pine…. )?


35 thoughts on - Mail Tools Preferences?

  • sylpheed will do most things–or claws-mail, which, IIRC, is a fork of sylpheed.

    I suspect that even if they discontinue it completely there will always be
    3rd party rpms for it.

    As for me, at home I use mutt, at work, on a FreeBSD box, I use mutt and thunderbird, because it’s so easy to make filters with it.

  • My personal favourite mail client is Sylpheed. I’ve been using it for years and like it rather a lot.

    CentOS rpms are available on my website for anyone who wants them.

  • Gmail’s web interface is very low-maintenance… And if you tweak the options to advance when you delete or archive, surprisingly easy to use.

  • My problem with Evolution is that it’s not a mail tool, it’s “a personal information management application” (their words). I don’t want a calendar and I only barely want an address book; I do want something that operates without a server daemon (other than SMTP), against a local-disk-only mail store; and I want to be able to access that mail store from a command-line MUA.

    Admittedly I haven’t tried a recent version of Evolution, because I
    hated it so much the last time.

  • I find gmail very useful for some things, but it always feel a little tainted by it. I really wish there was an open source webmail app that could come closer to matching it.

  • On my main working machine I have Exim and Evolution.

    Local Exim receives incoming mail from the network servers (MTAs, mail transfer agents). The mail is deposited on the local hard disk. Evolution uses those files.

    Outgoing mail sent by Evolution can go via the local Exim server or direct to any of the network servers.

    In addition, Evolution can also collect POP3.

    Never used Evolution’s calendar and personal management things. I write my own applications to store and manipulate data (Apache, MySQL, PHP

    I can send emails from a web page with a few clicks. It is a lot faster than using an email client.

    Occasionally my C5 version of Evolution can mess-up a mail queue’s index description of the emails in that queue. It only seems to happen with more than 3,000 emails in the queue. Its easy to drag the contents to another queue, ‘expunge’ the Trash, drag the emails back to the original queue, then carry-on normally.

    Other than that, Evolution works well. Its a professional application for office type work.

  • There are a lot of options – I’m not particularly fond of the defaults, so I set them the way I want and turn off their guessing about what I want to see.

    If you don’t actually read your email I can see how things might get lost. But that’s the significance of that setting to advance on archive/delete. I set it to sort newest first so I can look at each message instead of letting google guess what I wanted done with it. Showing the next message instead of going back to the index each time saves a lot of time. And the android version works approximately the same. The plus side is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time organizing the archived messages. It’s google – they know how to search….

  • The danger to the Internet is Google’s unstoppable dominance and lack of alternative competition. British Airways uses Google for emails.

    Why not rent a cheap VPS, install CentOS (of course) and run a mail system for your daughter to use? Its bound to be better than Google. Your daughter’s university emails can be automatically forwarded from Google to your CentOS VPS.

  • Not to mention the privacy concerns–I remember when I first got a smart phone, used my main gmail account for it, and suddenly saw that I had contacts for anyone that I’d ever sent mail to in my contacts list.

    Then, the way they will suddenly tie it into something else they’re pushing, such as google +, and suddenly, you have to choose to opt out of something else.

    I also dislike it for mailing lists (hence I use my ISP account here), because they decided that it was a feature to avoid cluttering your mailbox to not show you a message you’d sent to the list. You can find it in your sent directory, but it wont’ appear in your inbox. (Unless that’s changed–I remember checking again about a year ago, and it was still that way.)

    Gmail is useful for many things–their spam filtering is excellent, for example, but I wouldn’t want it to be my only email. Even for the things I
    use it for, I use it as a pop server, download my mail, filter with mailfilter and view with mutt.

  • Same here.

    I don’t think it will be a huge issue – Thunderbird is still in Fedora so it should be relatively easy to rebuild for RHEL7. Hopefully EPEL
    will pick it up.

  • I used to do that when FF/TB in the distro were quite outdated, but found the updating never worked for me, hence the convenience of maintained RPM packages. This was quite a few years ago, possibly around the time v3 was in the distro.

    If updating works I’m OK running the Mozilla binaries for my own personal usage, but I’d still prefer to be able to manage all updates with yum.

  • I used the internet before Google existed. It wasn’t better then. And yahoo works equally well as a free mail service. They even have their own android app.

    This is the realm for ClearOS, SME, or Nethserver which will have a reasonable mail system working out of the box instead of the months it will take someone to get the details right from scratch. But, no, it isn’t likely to match Google in terms of either reliability or ease of use – and especially in searchability.

  • If I’ve sent something anywhere on the internet, I consider it public. Google or not.

    If you can’t remember what you’ve sent, you can type From: me in the search box at the top and it will show what you’ve sent and also the threads where you have participated. That’s a feature I use regularly because you can easily note unread topics because they are in a bold font.

    Using pop won’t track read/unread accurately. If you are going to do it that way, why not use imap? Or do you point your phone at your own server?

  • Me too; in the good old days of Compuserve etc.; when AOL was in competition with the Internet and ‘AOL’ meant something rude ‘A… on line’.

    In parts of the world Yahoo mail is technically defective. Just does not work.


    With no previous experience of Linux and with no hand-holding from anyone, I switched from Windoze to CentOS 5, installed Exim and it worked straight from ‘the box’. No delays, no struggle, no bewilderment, no problems; Exim just worked like a dream come true. I use Evolution as the mail client.

    No wonder I genuinely adore CentOS. There is nothing as good as it.

  • Can you elaborate on that? Is it blocked or badly translated or what? I use an account there (from the US) just to isolate a few things from the clutter of gmail (and historically because I once had an oddball phone where the notifications worked better from there).

    I’m confused as to why with no experience you would choose to use a non-default mail system.

    The base CentOS is like a toolbox that lets you assemble whatever you want. And it is very mature, well tested code. But, ClearOS/SME/Nethserver have that same code base plus lots of man-hours put into making all the standard services you are likely to need come up working out of the box with a simple web interface to add users and manage it. So, they are automatically ‘as good’ as CentOS, and better if you happen to want what they do. If you have room to spin up a VM, have a look at ClearOS before judging it.

  • Oh, you mean if I use the web interface? Not relevant for me. I mean, that if I send an email to this list, in a little while, it will show up in my local mailbox for this mailing list. I almost never use the web interface.

    I don’t use a phone for email. I think I’m too old–seriously, my eyes need a larger screen. Also, the thought of typing an email on a phone is too much for me. I’m an old guy, who, though I have a smart phone, finds that typing on it is too much of a pain to answer an email properly.

  • Get a stylus. I have one and my wife made me a tiny belt-holder case to carry it around. It’s the real thing for entering emails/texts/whatever on your phone.

    I find that my phone is much more useful now than it ever was before I got the stylus.

  • I use a bunch of different machines but I’m never far from a web browser. The search feature means you can find an old email by anything you can remember about it so you don’t need to waste time categorizing things.

    I’m old too, but I find modern large-screened phones to be fairly easy to read. But, I rarely type a reply there. I just hit ‘mark unread’
    and pick it up on a computer later to reply unless the reply is needed immediately or would be very short. That’s the nice thing about having the same view from anywhere, and without needing special clients. On mail lists you probably read/skip a hundred messages to every one you answer, so using a phone lets you do some of it anytime or place.

  • Yahoo is blocked here. Totally fed up with the constant outflow of spam from Yahoo servers. Abuse reports are largely ignored or met with disbelief that the spam could have possibly originated from their servers. So yes, “technically defective” works for me.

  • Yahoo is the worse ‘free email account’ source of spam.

    Friends in Sweden say they can’t send outgoing mail despite having had the same Yahoo accounts for more than 15 years. The problem is no response from the Yahoo servers at different times of the day.

    We block all incoming emails from mail servers with host names resembling home Internet connections and also when the HELO/EHLO doesn’t resolve to the host name. Consequently we don’t get spam.

  • Thanks – I rarely/never send outbound mail from my ymail account so that shouldn’t be a problem for my use. I just keep it to have a place where I’ll notice things like bank notifications, etc. – with a separate phone app to make it obvious.

  • That’s not the case in the mail/contact/calendar realm. You can configure an iphone/ipad/mac to sync with google. I set that up for my wife – don’t remember the details but they weren’t hard to find.

    Log into the gmail web page, flip the top-left ‘Gmail’ drop-down to
    ‘Contacts’. Then from the ‘More’ dropdown at the top, you can export in an assortment of formats. You can also set up groups to control the visible list. Your phone will probably also export the whole list to a nearby bluetooth receiver.

    My phone connects separately to my work exchange server and to gmail but it has access to both sets of contacts and merges the calendars.

    There is some sort of sync protocol – and a thunderbird plugin to do it – don’t know if it works on Linux or not. Using the gmail web interface avoids the need to set up all that stuff and it is always in sync with your phone.

    There is a sync protocol for that too – but again your phone and the google web interface will always be in sync with no extra work and you can configure apple devices to use it too.

  • I effectively blocked most of spam also on my Postfix server. Reverse-FQDN, RBL, etc… Some slip by, from regular mail servers, but not much.

  • Il 18/01/2014 18:45, Les Mikesell ha scritto:


    Hi Les, thanks for this explanation, you have described very well what NethServer is :-) in this case you can install a pre-configured and tested mailserver (postifix + dovecot +amavis) with a simple:
    # yum install nethserver-mail-server
    I use this with my Thunderbird, no problem in terms of reliability and searchability.

  • Il 18/01/2014 23:58, Rob Kampen ha scritto:

    I use SOGO ( which offers multiple ways to access the calendaring and messaging data. You can either use a web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird, or a mobile device like android or iPhone to access the same information Evolution works too but it needs more manually configuration.