A decent alternative to thunderbird?

I just want a mail client and not all of the other features.

Possibly FOSS and from terminal.


Aerc is a pretty good email client ;)


I recommend aerc as well. Very easy to setup and navigate


I’ve tried a lot of email clients. I’ve tried all of the graphical ones listed here so far and I have to say that in my opinion Thunderbird is the least bad.


  • Option to view entire thread/conversation.
  • Tree view of messages.
  • Really good HTML rendering. (As it uses firefox’s engine)
  • Acceptable search.
  • View source option.
  • Addons for any missing features.
  • Multi-account support. (It is amazing to be able to move between two IMAP accounts by dragging and dropping your messages)
  • Excellent offline support. I download all of my mail locally.


  • Slow. Overall it is responsive for me but locks up somewhat frequently for a second or two.
  • The HTML editor is ok at best.

The best runner up I found was KMail but I ended up not using it because I heavily rely on the option to view an entire conversation that isn’t supported.

I use aerc at the moment, used thunderbird, but never something like mutter

Geary looks nice, but is missing features, crashes alot for me and stops syncing. IMHO the only thing that has similar level of functionality is Evolution. Its not pretty and looks like its from 2000, but it works really well. I tend to use Evolution over Thunderbird myself. I tried Kmail, and it took alot to get used to, but I can’t say if its the same level as the others. Evolution does have issues with Google calendars syncing for some reason.


deleted by creator


Sylpheed and Claws Mail are light and pretty good but complicate to configure


2nd question, do any of these handle encryption well? thunderbird is the only one I’ve tried that integrates encryption easily.


kmail does quite nicely

Cannot say is better but Geary is simple and clean, i’ve been using it for a while.

If you use Gnome then Geary is my favorite email client. Very simple and straightforward email client.

There is a “modern” version of mutt https://neomutt.org/


For FOSS and from the terminal, ‘mutt’ is the go-to, as far as I’m aware.


My only concern with mutt is that AFAIK it stores passwords in clear. any way to get around that?

Not really. The client needs to send your password to the server to login. The alternatives are using a keyring to store the passwords or asking for the password each time. Really just use full disk encryption and it isn’t a serious issue.


you can use pass password manager

source "echo 'set my_pass = `pass -- mail/you@mail.com`' |"

also, there is an example of using gpg which I used for a while in here: https://smalldata.tech/blog/2016/09/10/gmail-with-mutt

Thanks for sharing , I was only using pass for neomutt. Removed that dependency now !

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Linux is a family of open source Unix-like operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is typically packaged in a Linux distribution (or distro for short).

Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word “Linux” in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy.

Community icon by Alpár-Etele Méder, licensed under CC BY 3.0

  • 0 users online
  • 21 users / day
  • 31 users / week
  • 138 users / month
  • 332 users / 6 months
  • 2 subscribers
  • 327 Posts
  • Modlog