Top 8 Best Email Clients for Linux

A list of the best desktop email clients available on the Linux platform along with their features.

While you can easily access your email on your web browser, some of us rely on desktop email clients for checking our emails.

So, here is a list of the best email clients available for the Linux platform. Each of them has been presented with the features they offer to give you an overall idea of them.

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Non-FOSS Warning! Some of the applications mentioned here are not open source. They have been included in the context of Linux usage.

1. Thunderbird

a screenshot of thunderbird 115

Thunderbird is one of the most popular and oldest open-source email clients from Mozilla Foundation. You can also find it pre-installed on several Linux distributions.

The user interface has changed a lot over the years, especially with the introduction of Thunderbird 115 and later. Nonetheless, it is a no-nonsense email client with all the essential features.

Key Features:

  • Contacts Management: Includes an address book that can store detailed information about your contacts, and includes CardDAV address book support.
  • Activity Manager: Recorded interactions between the email provider and Thunderbird.
  • Privacy & Security: Robust privacy options and phishing protection.
  • Search & Filter: Efficient search and quick filter tools for your emails as well as the web.
  • Large File Management: Upload large attachments to outside storage providers without leaving Thunderbird.
  • Customization: Thunderbird supports skins for changing the look & feel. Furthermore, there are add-ons for extending Thunderbird features.

How to install Thunderbird in Linux?

Thunderbird should be available through your package manager or software center, regardless of what Linux distribution you are using.

In case you’re using Ubuntu, or any Debian-based distribution, you can install it by typing in:

sudo apt install thunderbird

For other Linux distributions, you can also utilize the Flatpak package available. You can refer to our Flatpak guide for help.

2. Evolution

a screenshot of evolution

Evolution is an open-source email client by GNOME. It wasn’t as popular as Thunderbird, but, over the years, many Linux distributions have considered replacing Thunderbird with Evolution as the pre-installed email client for a nicer overall user experience.

Key Features:

  • Contacts Management: Built-in address book for contacts management.
  • Calendar Integration: You can integrate a calendar with your email account.
  • Notes: It includes a note-taking tool.
  • Filters & Folder:  Custom virtual folder support for search queries and filters.
  • Junk Mail Filter: Includes spam filter powered by SpamAssassin.
  • Privacy & Security: Evolution supports both PGP & S/MIME encryption.

How to install Evolution in Linux?

You can get it right from the software center or through the terminal (for Debian-based distros) by typing in:

sudo apt install evolution

However, to get the latest stable version on any Linux distribution, you might want to utilize the available Flatpak package.

3. KMail

a screenshot of kmail
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KMail is best suited for the KDE desktop environment

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.

Key Features:

  • Integration: KMail integrates nicely with other Kontact components.
  • Search & Filter: Powerful search and filter functionalities for emails.
  • Privacy & Security: KMail supports PGP & S/MIME encryption.
  • Junk Mail Filter: Integrates with spam filters like SpamAssassin, Bogofilter etc.

How to install KMail in Linux?

On a KDE-powered system, you should find it pre-installed. For Ubuntu-based distros, you can install it using the terminal:

sudo apt install kmail

For other Linux distributions, you can also utilize the Kontact suite available as a Flatpak package and get it installed. This way, you will be able to install KMail along with some essential tools to make the most out of it.

4. Geary

a screenshot of geary
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Geary is best suited for use in the GNOME desktop environment or its derivatives.

Geary is yet another open-source email client from the GNOME project. It aims to be a simple and fast email client primarily tailored for the GNOME desktop, but you can use it on other desktop environments as well.

Key Features:

  • Interface: Geary is modern looking and lightweight with a simple user-interface.
  • Integration & Notification: Geary integrates well with the GNOME desktop environment and provides notification for new mail.
  • Well-Equipped Composer: You can easily send rich text styled texts with links, images and more.
  • Easy Setup: It is quite straightforward to set mailboxes with Geary.

How to install Geary in Linux?

You can either build Geary from its source code available on GitLab or install it from the Flathub store.

5. Blue Mail (Non-FOSS)

a screenshot of bluemail

Blue Mail is a proprietary option for Linux users who want a visually appealing email client. It is quite a popular application for Android, and continues its tradition of offering essential features along with some extras for a premium.

For individuals, it is free. But, if you are a business, you will have to opt for the premium pricing plans.

Key Features:

  • Group mail: You do not need to add members individually, but send emails to a specified group quickly.
  • Unified Inbox: You can view all the conversations from every account you add in the desktop client in one place.
  • Integrated Calendar: You can check for events, and set calendar reminders from within the mail client.
  • Dark theme: If you are regularly working with emails, the dark mode can be a good addition.
  • All protocols supported: It supports IMAP, Exchange, ActiveSync, and POP3 as well.
  • Other essentials: You can add multiple accounts, use quick filters, can be used offline, and other basic functionalities.

How to Install BlueMail in Linux?

BlueMail is available for Linux as a Snap, DEB package, and RPM package. The snap package should be suitable for every Linux distribution.

You will not find it listed in your software center or the repositories unless you have snap integrated.

6. Claws Mail

a screenshot of claws mail
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Needs manual configuration for email accounts.

Claws Mail is a lightweight email client using a GTK+ interface that focuses on giving a familiar user experience to popular email clients while providing some extra functionalities like an RSS aggregator.

Key Features:

  • Contacts Management: It has basic address book functionality.
  • Plugins: Claws Mail supports plugins for extending its features.
  • Highly Extensible: It has support for multiple accounts, templates and more.

How to Install Claws Mail in Linux?

You can head over to the official website to get access to an expansive variety of packages for various Linux distributions.

7. Mutt

a screenshot of mutt email client
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Not recommended for beginners.

If you are an avid terminal fan, Mutt is just the right text-based email client for you.

Key Features:

  • Interface: Mutt runs entirely in your terminal windows with a text-based user-interface.
  • Security: It supports PGP and MIME.
  • Customization: Highly customizable with keybindings and macros support.
  • Searching: Regular Expression support for searching emails.

How to Install Mutt in Linux?

Similar to Claws Mail, you will find a large variety of packages on their official website for various Linux distributions.

8. Mailspring

a screenshot of mailspring

Mailspring, is a next-generation open-source email app built with open web technologies. It has a really modern and slick user interface.

Even though it offers many features, most of them are limited to a premium subscription.

Do note that, in the past, many readers have warned of spotty customer support by the Mailspring team, so feel free to give it a try if you do not mind experimenting.

Key Features:

  • Unified Inbox: Mailspring supports all the major email providers. So, you can manage all your accounts from a single interface.
  • Calendar Integration: Mailspring will check your calendar and let you book meetings at a suitable time when you are free, or send your availability schedule to others.
  • Privacy & Security: Mailspring leverages the PGP encryption for ensuring privacy and security.
  • Quick Reply Templates: You can create custom templates for various situations so that you can edit them and send replies quickly.
  • Analytics & Tracking: It provides analytics features and tracking information, such as β€“ email read notification, click counts of your sent links.

All the things above are just things that come out-of-the-box. Mailspring is customizable and extensible to its core. You can customize its look however you see fit by tweaking its CSS stylesheet or extend its features with various extensions available.

Or better yet, if you know JavaScript, you can even build one yourself!

How to Install Mailspring in Linux?

You can either opt for the DEB or RPM packages, or you can opt for the Snap. Head over to the official website to get the package of your choice.

Which email client do you think is best for Linux?

If you ask me, Mailspring can be a pretty-looking option.

If you want to stick to simple options, Evolution, and Thunderbird are still the best bet, no matter what.

In either case, if you want a change and have had enough with the usual email clients, you could try the ones you’ve never tested and then decide.

πŸ’¬ Do you use desktop email clients or prefer the web browser? If you do, which is the best email client for Linux in your opinion?

About the author
Munif Tanjim

Munif Tanjim

Munif is studying Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering. He loves Open Source and uses Ubuntu as his primary OS. Technology aside, Munif is a TV Series freak and sometimes tries to do some

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