You are not logged in.

#1 2013-10-27 19:35:28

mcloaked
Member
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2012-02-02
Posts: 694

[RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

I thought it might be a good time to start a discussion about which email client(s) might be a replacement for Thunderbird, after seeing the following http://www.ghacks.net/2013/10/26/thunde … zilla-amo/

The advantages of Thunderbird for me are that it has a good UI, supports extensions including calendar support for google calendars via the lightning extension, supports html mail, is easy to configure and also supports s/mime without too much configuration. It does have its wrinkles such as poor maildir support. 

However if in the future support for development of Thunderbird reduces to a minimum or not at all then it will be important to find another mail client that has the same range of features.  I have been setting up and using kmail recently, though gnome users might find it less convenient than KDE users. I am not sure if there is support for google calendars within kdepim?  I did manage to set up s/mime signing after a lot of research and effort.  A year or two back I tried using evolution, but found it had a lot of problems compared to Thunderbird.

I believe that for linux users there is a growing problem of a lack of an all encompassing mail client that is actively under development, open source and available to the biggest distributions.  If Thunderbird support closes down then it is important to plan for a replacement before that critical time.

Does anyone know of any mail client that could replace Thunderbird and has support for the key features I mentioned above?

Last edited by mcloaked (2013-11-15 10:23:46)


Mike C

Offline

#2 2013-10-27 20:11:13

clfarron4
Member
From: London, UK
Registered: 2013-06-28
Posts: 2,162
Website

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

For users of KDE, the client for KDE will do Google Calendars (I have done this in the past), along with others, but as you said, it is tricky to coax it to work (though, once it does, it works like a charm).

For GNOME3 users, Evolution pretty does everything in one package, although off-line calendar support can be tricky.

Outside of those, I'm going to have to look into it.


Claire is fine.
Problems? I have dysgraphia, so clear and concise please.
My public GPG key for package signing
My x86_64 package repository

Offline

#3 2013-10-28 03:44:12

ConnorBehan
Trusted User (TU)
From: Long Island NY
Registered: 2007-07-05
Posts: 1,356
Website

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

Claws mail seems to be a popular one with various plugins. But I hope Mozilla devs come to their senses and just leave the addons on their own site. Not everyone wants to use Firefox OS.


6EA3 F3F3 B908 2632 A9CB E931 D53A 0445 B47A 0DAB
Great things come in tar.xz packages.

Offline

#4 2013-10-28 05:06:51

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

mcloaked wrote:

I believe that for linux users there is a growing problem of a lack of an all encompassing mail client that is actively under development, open source and available to the biggest distributions.

Mail clients are a matter of taste; they all utilize the same time-tested technology and protocols, and there are tons of them. What you want is something that reads mail and does many other things on top of it. There may be a lack of such multi-task applications, but there are plenty of individual programs for those individual tasks available to all distributions.

Offline

#5 2013-10-28 08:07:23

donniezazen
Member
From: Salt Lake City
Registered: 2011-06-24
Posts: 671
Website

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

I don't use dedicated email clients or any other productivity tools because they aren't really keeping up with the pace of web technologies. That being said I think KDE PIM is probably the best suit of clients that are very well integrated into KDE system. I highly recommend it.

Offline

#6 2013-10-28 08:40:20

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,331

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

If thunderbird dies, I will learn how to use mutt, write my own mail attachement GUI (a field to drag and drop files). The only reason I still use thunderbird is because I'm lazy and Mozilla has this database with all those server addresses, so I don't have to search 10min every time I want to change something. So yeah, maybe I will look into a frontend for the mutt config. Email is all about being lazy, email takes away so much of the day in the IT world.

And what's to it? Thunderbird is opensource. Let's fork the thing already.

Offline

#7 2013-10-28 08:47:43

ConnorBehan
Trusted User (TU)
From: Long Island NY
Registered: 2007-07-05
Posts: 1,356
Website

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

It would be so aesthetically pleasing to have a fork where --with-libxul-sdk actually works.


6EA3 F3F3 B908 2632 A9CB E931 D53A 0445 B47A 0DAB
Great things come in tar.xz packages.

Offline

#8 2013-10-28 13:08:49

jdarnold
Member
From: Medford MA USA
Registered: 2009-12-15
Posts: 459
Website

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

I migrated from Thunderbird to Claws Mail a few years ago and haven't looked back. I don't use any calendar functionality, but I like how powerful its filters are. I get hundreds (or more) of emails a day, but they a virtually all filtered away nicely. Claws also has lots of plugins and is very stable.


My tech blog: Daemon Dancing in the Dark
My Arch Linux blog: ArChatter

Offline

#9 2013-10-28 17:14:38

mcloaked
Member
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2012-02-02
Posts: 694

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

When I last looked at Claws it didn't deal with html mail - but I need to look and see if recent developments include that - though they do have a plugin to handle s/mime - and it is supposed to be fast and efficient.


Mike C

Offline

#10 2013-10-28 19:23:51

WonderWoofy
Member
From: Los Gatos, CA
Registered: 2012-05-19
Posts: 8,412

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

Claws mail handles html just fine...


Edit: html mail is typically spam anyway.

Last edited by WonderWoofy (2013-10-28 19:24:28)

Offline

#11 2013-10-28 20:23:13

mcloaked
Member
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2012-02-02
Posts: 694

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

WonderWoofy wrote:

Claws mail handles html just fine...


Edit: html mail is typically spam anyway.

That is really good to know, and thank you for that information - by the way there are a few scenarios where html mail is used and important, even though spam can be an issue as you say  - in the corporate environment tables of data are often sent around and require the table editing and passing back via email around a group ahead of meetings -  in the event that html mail is not handled by the MUA it makes that process difficult and slow where speed is of vital essence.  Secondly there are situations where a sender may wish to send text with increased size to a recipient who has issues with vision on small print - and even though the recipient may be using accessibility settings there are situations where being able to send increased font size in html email makes life much quicker and easier.

I will have to have a look at Claws mail - since I know it can handle s/mime signing and encryption ( even if somewhat awkward to get ssl certs imported ) this could be a good solution.


Mike C

Offline

#12 2013-10-28 22:29:49

pogeymanz
Member
Registered: 2008-03-11
Posts: 1,020

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

The thing I didn't like about Claws is that mail fetching seems to be on the main thread, so while it's checking for mail, I couldn't do anything else.

Offline

#13 2013-10-29 15:18:05

mcloaked
Member
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2012-02-02
Posts: 694

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

I was checking out Claws mail - I found I couldn't send html so I checked its FAQ and found:

 "Does Claws Mail allow me to write HTML styled messages?
No. A discussion has gone around over this topic, and the outcome was that HTML mail is not wanted. If you really need to send HTML, you can of course attach a webpage to an e-mail."

I will continue exploring other mail clients.


Mike C

Offline

#14 2013-10-29 17:33:31

mcloaked
Member
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2012-02-02
Posts: 694

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

I have been trying to configure evolution for a gmail account.  When I set up the account and tried to see the folders and list of mail it seems to be taking forever to do anything.  Looking at the arch wiki for evolution there is a comment that:

Unfortunately, Evolution currently (version 2.26) suffers from a serious IMAP issue, as reported in [2]. It appears this issue has existed for at least the past 3 years prior to this version, and it shows no signs of being dealt with soon. This bug especially affects to the point of unuseability those with slow connections. The next section shows an alternative IMAP connectivity method which works better.

Edited at 1911 on 29th October: Evolution will not start correctly outside of Gnome unless the gnome-keyring-daemon is started up before evolution starts. Once that is done the problem listed above and in the wiki is no longer present.

One bug report https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=710809 refers to some fixes coming in the next version (3.12) of Evolution but that is not here yet.

Looking at the bug lists for evolution there are a large number of residual bugs that are unresolved:

https://bugzilla.gnome.org/buglist.cgi?bug_status=REOPENED&bug_status=NEW&bug_status=ASSIGNED&bug_status=UNCONFIRMED&bug_status=NEEDINFO&field0-0-0=product&field0-0-1=component&field0-0-2=short_desc&field0-0-3=status_whiteboard&field1-0-0=product&field1-0-1=component&field1-0-2=short_desc&field1-0-3=status_whiteboard&query_format=advanced&type0-0-0=substring&type0-0-1=substring&type0-0-2=substring&type0-0-3=substring&type1-0-0=substring&type1-0-1=substring&type1-0-2=substring&type1-0-3=substring&value0-0-0=imap&value0-0-1=imap&value0-0-2=imap&value0-0-3=imap&value1-0-0=evolution&value1-0-1=evolution&value1-0-2=evolution&value1-0-3=evolution&order=bug_id%20DESC&query_based_on=

So this looks like a lot of work is needed for Evolution to be usable for imap connections even though its feature look quite nice at a cursory glance.

Last edited by mcloaked (2013-10-29 19:16:59)


Mike C

Offline

#15 2013-10-29 18:55:16

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 12,975

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?


Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
Like you, I have no idea what you are doing, but I am pretty sure it is wrong...Jasonwryan
----
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way

Offline

#16 2013-10-29 19:03:00

mcloaked
Member
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2012-02-02
Posts: 694

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

Yes I have been trying kontact/kmail also.  Kmail has a bad bug with multiple accounts where if you set an initial account it will use the correct identity when sending, but when setting up a second account with a new identity, then it uses the identity from the primary account when sending! I was testing that out a couple of weeks ago and despite a lot of research did not find any workaround. I found a number of bug reports on this issue from quite a long time ago but none had a resolution so maybe there is little development going on with the underlying engine in kmail.  Setting up s/mime in kmail is certainly possible, and I did get it working for a single account and once working it works well, but it is a bit tortuous importing ssl certificates (I did write up a KDE userbase article detailing the entire process when a KDE developer I was in email contact with asked me to do that). The method is also available as an arch forum post which others can benefit from too.

All of the mail clients I have tried have at least one major issue compared to Thunderbird which remains my primary MUA for the time being.

Edited 29th Oct  at 1911:

I have been looking through the evolution set-up again.  My previous comments about taking forever were premature. The reason was that I use KDE as my DE, and it required the gnome-keyring-daemon to be up and running before evolution will operate at all and request imap server passwords.  Once the gnome-keyring-daemon is running then Evolution will open the gmail imap account within a short time.  However if as in my case I have scripts to start the ssh-agent and gpg-agent in a customised way, then it seems that the gnome-keyring-daemon starts those daemons by default so it needs some research to stop it doing that and allow ssh and gpg to be controlled outside of the gnome-keyring. This requires more work.

Further edit at 2039:

Apart from still needing to set up gnome-keyring-daemon to autostart in KDE I have tested various functionality in Evolution and it performs well on the key features that I was looking for: gmail account with s/mime signature send and receive verification is OK. Contacts can be imported, and contact address lists work. Google calendars can be added and appointments edited and viewed. Support for encrypted mail with s/mime. Works for html send and receive.  Not yet tested with multiple accounts and identities. Thus far it has a usable performance comparable with Thunderbird, which was the primary aim of the initial quest of this thread.

Further edit on 7th November:

I have also now tested adding in filter rules to colour email according to whether the mail passes the dkim authentication check on the google server, since my main mail is stored on the imap google server. This works well, and indeed it is also possible to run a comparable filter rule set in Thunderbird. The idea for this was not my own but passed to me by another expert in linux email admin. In Thunderbird one can add a coloured tag depending on whether the mail passes or fails the dkim check, or left unchanged if there was no kdim test applied.  In Evolution it is possible to colour or tag the mail separately or with both outcomes, which is a useful additional functionality.

Overall Evolution has comparable functionality to Thunderbird but seem to have less bugs concerning imap syncronisation than Thunderbird. For Gnome users starting up Evolution is straightforward but for KDE and other desktop users a few additional steps are needed to get the gnome keyring running before Evolution will start up and run.  However once these hurdles are overcome Evolution is the now my preferred email client since Thunderbird development has effectively now stopped apart from security fixes, and so a number of very long standing bugs that were never fixed will likely remain so.  Hopefully Evolution development will continue so that reported bugs have a fighting chance of being fixed and new releases improved.

Last edited by mcloaked (2013-11-07 18:20:37)


Mike C

Offline

#17 2013-11-14 21:12:43

archydan
Member
Registered: 2013-11-14
Posts: 3

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

I find this topic to be very actual and of high interest to all of us. Thanks Mcloaked to bring it up!

The thing is, we all use emails in our work and personal life. Even if there are many “email client” applications out there... there isn't one that can satisfy all of us (which is good for development) but  also, and I find this very awkward, there isn't one that can manage properly heavy email usage / multiple email accounts.

Personally I care only for speed, speed, speed... spell-checking and maybe a nice, clean interface.

I've used in the last couple of years Evolution (back in my Debian-Gnome2 era), Claws, Thunderbird and Kmail, in my current Arch-Kde4 desktop.

All have failed, sooner or later, when dealing with multiple IMAP/POP accounts and big email databases (2000+ messages).

Frustrated by Kmail's behavior lately (actually by its hard dependence on the Akonadi server, which intensively loaded my Atom CPU of my travel-mate laptop) I've started an intensive research for alternatives.

Finally settled on the following solution:

1) Work email accounts managed with the brilliant Sylpheed 3.3.0 client, the initial project from which Claws forked, but with better (multi-thread) behavior during emails check.

NB: You will be better compiling your own application with icon theme from coonsden.com ,  rather than installing it from official repo. Consider also installing  gtk-qt-engine, oxygen-molecule or qtcurve theme and the gtk-chtheme switcher, if you use KDE.

2) Personal emails with Opera's browser build in email client. it's not so bad, handles well both IMAP and POP3 accounts and since I already use Opera as my main browser gave it a shot.
Off-topic: browser is very fast with the profile loaded to ram (tmpfs)  and of course connection via privoxy, to filter those annoying commercials out.

3) Keep an eye on the future and test Trojita email client (currently still in development with no stable version released) with one of my backup email account.

Hope this will help your quest too!

Offline

#18 2013-11-15 09:11:16

jakobcreutzfeldt
Member
Registered: 2011-05-12
Posts: 1,033

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

mcloaked wrote:

I have been trying to configure evolution for a gmail account.  When I set up the account and tried to see the folders and list of mail it seems to be taking forever to do anything.  Looking at the arch wiki for evolution there is a comment that:

I don't use Evolution anymore, so I'm working from memory, but did you try specifying the account as using IMAP+ instead of IMAP? That might work.

I absolutely hate any and all email clients ever. I don't know why but everything has felt clunky to me, including webmail. Now I'm just using Gnus in Emacs but I'm not 100% satisfied with that either. I've just given up....

Offline

#19 2013-11-15 10:23:25

mcloaked
Member
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2012-02-02
Posts: 694

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:
mcloaked wrote:

I have been trying to configure evolution for a gmail account.  When I set up the account and tried to see the folders and list of mail it seems to be taking forever to do anything.  Looking at the arch wiki for evolution there is a comment that:

I don't use Evolution anymore, so I'm working from memory, but did you try specifying the account as using IMAP+ instead of IMAP? That might work.

Actually I did post a followup if you check out further down the postings in this thread.  It turned out that the "hang" problem when Evolution started up was because I was using KDE and needed to have gnome-keyring running.  It is possible with a few commands to get that running, and to export the necessary variables so that Evolution runs fine from within KDE.  In fact I now have Evolution running perfectly well in my KDE desktop, and has the same functionality as Thunderbird for all the things that I wanted to do with the mail client. I was also able to set up filters to colour and tag incoming mail from two accounts depending on the outcome of DKIM authentication checks, as well as have my google calendar entries visible and controllable from the calendar section as well as organise my contacts properly.  Evolution is not quite as nice a UI as Thunderbird, and for calendar entries it does not have the nice mouse hover facility where a floating summary of the calendar entry pops up in yellow which is what Thunderbird does when you have the lightning extension installed.  Nevertheless it is perfectly acceptable as a working mail client. In fact it is only Thunderbird and Evolution that do not have current bugs or limitations that prevents me using any other MUA at the present time, for my use case.

So the reason I began exploring this was because Thunderbird is only supported for security fixes and a limited number of bug fixes - there remain some bugs that don't look likely will be fixed due to the limited developer numbers working on Thunderbird now.  So if the time comes in the future when bugs in updated releases of Thunderbird make it no longer functional there is an alternative that I can move to completely and not leave me in a position where there is no fully working mail client. I have been using the Aurora branch of Thunderbird for some time to keep ahead of new developments, and at present version 27a2 is still functional, as well as having matching and working lightning extension files available for calendar operations ( as well as the gdata provider extension that allows synchronisation of google calendars).

In Evolution there is native support for google calendars in the current arch package and it just works.

One difference is that the filter rules for incoming mail in Evolution are applied to all accounts the same way - whereas in Thunderbird you can have independent filter rules for each of the accounts defined. So although both MUAs support multiple accounts with separate identities properly, there are some limitations in Evolution, although in my case those limitations don't affect what I need to do.

I will close this discussion as solved now.


Mike C

Offline

#20 2013-11-15 10:27:35

mcloaked
Member
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2012-02-02
Posts: 694

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

archydan wrote:

I find this topic to be very actual and of high interest to all of us. Thanks Mcloaked to bring it up!

The thing is, we all use emails in our work and personal life. Even if there are many “email client” applications out there... there isn't one that can satisfy all of us (which is good for development) but  also, and I find this very awkward, there isn't one that can manage properly heavy email usage / multiple email accounts.

Personally I care only for speed, speed, speed... spell-checking and maybe a nice, clean interface.

I've used in the last couple of years Evolution (back in my Debian-Gnome2 era), Claws, Thunderbird and Kmail, in my current Arch-Kde4 desktop.

1) Work email accounts managed with the brilliant Sylpheed 3.3.0 client, the initial project from which Claws forked, but with better (multi-thread) behavior during emails check.

NB: You will be better compiling your own application with icon theme from coonsden.com ,  rather than installing it from official repo. Consider also installing  gtk-qt-engine, oxygen-molecule or qtcurve theme and the gtk-chtheme switcher, if you use KDE.

2) Personal emails with Opera's browser build in email client. it's not so bad, handles well both IMAP and POP3 accounts and since I already use Opera as my main browser gave it a shot.
Off-topic: browser is very fast with the profile loaded to ram (tmpfs)  and of course connection via privoxy, to filter those annoying commercials out.

3) Keep an eye on the future and test Trojita email client (currently still in development with no stable version released) with one of my backup email account.

Hope this will help your quest too!

Thanks for the additional information about Sylpheed, Opera's browser and Trojita - I will have a look at those as well, though for the moment the initial quest in this thread is resolved for me since Evolution does handle everything that I need.  If additional MUA's are also available as alternatives then it will be even better as it would give us all a better choice - and new clients coming on stream in the not too distant future would be even better news.


Mike C

Offline

#21 2013-11-15 12:05:44

pogeymanz
Member
Registered: 2008-03-11
Posts: 1,020

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

I've been watching Trojita for a while. It seems pretty nice, but yeah, multiple email accounts is necessary.

I might have to look at Sylpheed again, if what you say about the multi-threading being better than Claws' is true.

Offline

#22 2013-11-15 19:42:55

mcloaked
Member
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2012-02-02
Posts: 694

Re: [RESOLVED] Email clients and the Thunderbird EOL?

By the way there seems to be some effort now on secure mail - not so much for the mail client but the engines behind possible schemes for exchanging secure mail between two users.  For example Dark Mail Alliance (http://darkmail.info/), Mailpile (http://www.mailpile.is/),  Leap Encryption Access Project (LEAP) (https://leap.se/en), Bitmail (http://bitmail.sf.net/), Scramble (http://dcposch.github.io/scramble/) and others.  So maybe out of these new developments mail clients to work with those new systems may emerge also?

Last edited by mcloaked (2013-11-15 19:43:27)


Mike C

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB