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KMail vs. Evolution vs. Thunderbird?

Cliff posted more than 7 years ago | from the MUA-shoot-out dept.

Communications 115

Deemo asks: "I use Mozilla Thunderbird on the Windows machine. Recently I installed kUbuntu, on a separate computer. Since I'm using KDE, the obvious choice is to use KMail as my default mail application. However, I tend to like Evolution's interface better, and I like Thunderbird in general from extensive use of the Windows version. I was wondering what the advantages/disadvantages are of each, and which one Slashdot users recommend for everyday use."

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outlook (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14329665)

face it, outlook express whips the shit out of all of them.

Re:outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14329737)

Agreed!! Mod parent up!

Re:outlook (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14329826)

You what drives people crazy?

Compare Thunderbird to Outlook Express and Evolution to Outlook.

It drives these /. retards to stuttering.

Re:outlook (0, Flamebait)

computersareevil (244846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330061)

W-w-wha-what the f-f-f-fu-fu HELL are y-y-you talk-ta-talk-talking about y-y-you P-P-PUS-PUSSY!!!!

Out-ow-outlook B-B-B-B-a-BLO-BL-B-aba-d- SUCKS!

Re:outlook (1)

computersareevil (244846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330231)

You people have no sense of humor. Shame on me for forgetting to put a smiley on it. :-))))

Re:outlook (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14335227)

Maybe you're just not funny, tard.

In all honesty (4, Insightful)

Universal Nerd (579391) | more than 7 years ago | (#14329703)

It doesn't matter, as long as you like it.

I'm a thunderbird user. Not because it's better or cooler, it's the one I'm used to using and I like it.

If you like Evolution, good for you. If you like Kmail, good for you. If you like Outlook, gasp, good for you!

I use KMail (1)

belroth (103586) | more than 7 years ago | (#14329721)

I've tried evolution, thunderbird and kmail.
Thunderbird kept crashing on me and losing mail, I couldn't get evolution to work the way I want. KMail Just Works (most of the time).
I haven't found a perfect mua but KMail comes closer than most for my purposes.
I like the idea of thunderbird but I'll wait for it to be developed further, but if kmail continues advancing I may not bother again.

Why not try all three - set up two of them not to delete mail from the server (esp. if not running your own) and try them all until you decide which you like best. I also looked at sylpheed but it also lost out to kmail - for me.

reasons I like kmail (4, Insightful)

jdclucidly (520630) | more than 7 years ago | (#14329739)

  • when clicking on a link in an email, the MIME type is checked BEFORE deciding which application to launch
  • identities (Work, Home, etc.) are kept separate from incoming and outgoing server profiles; this means that one can send mail as any identity regardless of the physical location of your laptop
  • very complete GPG/MIME support and integration with KGPG
  • when writing an email, if the word attach appears in the email, it will warn you if you didn't attach anything before you send it
  • the email viewer has an *AWESOME* email structure viewer... you can see all the different pieces of how the email was assembled right next to your attachments
  • a robust filtering system that, as of KDE 3.5, supports filtering in to IMAP folders
  • complete integration with KAddressbook, KCalendar, todo lists, etc. (All can be embedded in Kontact)
  • and last but not least it's STABLE... I've had so much trouble with the other two clients mentioned crashing and destroying data... in KMail all the data is stored in Maildir's plain text format and is accelerated by index files which allow for fast lookups and operations; even KAddressbook uses VCards to store the data... this makes me feel much safer about my data

Re:reasons I like kmail (1)

Zugot (17501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14329812)

I like kmail for the same reason. I don't like how kmail borked my imap mailbox though. Good thing I believe in backing up regularly.

Re:reasons I like kmail (1)

sICE (92132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331263)

I mostly use KMail at home for the same reasons. Though i use fetchmail [] to retrieve the mails and procmail [] to pipe them thru ClamAV [] and SpamAssassin [] and finally sort them with some scripts of my own.

The fact Kmail use mail dir format, as mutt, let me also check my mail from a remote ssh session.

Some people might want to have a look to AMaVIS [] or check SWiK about
- emails []
- fetchmail []
- procmail []
- ClamAV []
- SpamAssassin []
- KMail [] (nothing really here)
- mutt []

Re:reasons I like kmail (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331515)

  • when clicking on a link in an email, the MIME type is checked BEFORE deciding which application to launch

Is there some other way? Like launching a bunch of random apps, and killing the ones that were wrong?

Re:reasons I like kmail (1)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332644)

The other way is to just launch your web browser and let it sort out MIME types.

Re:reasons I don't like kmail (2, Interesting)

schon (31600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332170)

I love Kmail, but it has one showstopping bug that makes it unusable for me.

Email "disappears" from my inbox when using IMAP. If I delete an email, or move it to a different folder, about 50% of the time Kmail will appear to delete the email that immediately follows it. It also happens (about 25% of the time) if I simply select a message. If I quit Kmail and restart it, the "disappeared" email returns, but the fact that it happens at all is annoying as hell.

It's been like this since the days of KDE 3.0, and each time a new version of KDE comes out, I check to see if they've fixed it. As of the most recent version, no dice. I'm currently stuck with Thunderbird until they fix it.

Re:reasons I don't like kmail (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333319)

I love Kmail, but it has one showstopping bug that makes it unusable for me. Email "disappears" from my inbox when using IMAP.

I wonder what's different between your usage and mine, because I've never seen this problem. I mostly use the "disconnected IMAP" mode, but I occasionally use the regular IMAP mode as well. I don't see this problem with either.

I searched the KDE bug database and this [] looks like your bug, but the bug report says it was resolved in KMail 1.6, which is in KDE 3.2. If you still see the problem, have you submitted a bug report? The only other bug I can find that seems even remotely close to what you're seeing is this one [] , but it only applied to the case where the connection to the IMAP server got lost during the move, and it seems not to be reproduceable.

Re:reasons I don't like kmail (1)

schon (31600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334383)

I searched the KDE bug database and this looks like your bug

Thanks for the links, but it's not the same problem. For me, the message gets moved, but the one immediately following disappears. Occasionally selecting a message will cause it to disappear. Restarting Kmail always brings them back. I don't see the same problem with Thunderbird.

The last time I tried it was with KDE 3.4.2 (the packages from Slackware 10.2), but it's been there since 3.1.4 (which is when I started using IMAP.) I haven't submitted a bug report, simply because I don't have time to compile my own version of KDE (the Slackware packages are usually a versions or two behind), and I can't reproduce it 100% (it happens about 50% of the time when deleting or moving messages and less often when just selecting one.)

I think the problem could be timing-related, as it happens much more frequently at work (100Mbs connection to the mail server, vs 500Kbps from home.)

Re:reasons I don't like kmail (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334938)

I think the problem could be timing-related, as it happens much more frequently at work (100Mbs connection to the mail server, vs 500Kbps from home.)

Could be, but there must be another factor as well. I use mine via dialup, various network connections from hotels around the world (widely varying bandwidth, latency and reliability) and from my home office, where I have a Gig-E connection to the mail server.

Since there don't seem to be any bug reports about it, your problem must be fairly unique. I suppose someone will probably stumble on it eventually...

Re:reasons I don't like kmail (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334103)

It's been like this since the days of KDE 3.0, and each time a new version of KDE comes out, I check to see if they've fixed it. As of the most recent version, no dice. I'm currently stuck with Thunderbird until they fix it.

I've been using KDE since 3.0 and while I have had various problems over the years I've never run across this particular problem before. My IMAP server is Courier-IMAP... not sure if that makes any difference.

Also, have you posted a bug to about this? I imagine a bug like that would have been found and squashed very quickly.

It's very simple (3, Informative)

dpilot (134227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14329856)

KMail requires that you install a mess of stuff for KDE.

Evolution requires that you install a mess of stuff for GNOME.

Thunderbird requires that you install libc, gtk, and X11. If you prefer a stripped-down desktop, KMail and Evolution are non-starters.

Re:It's very simple (1)

Santana (103744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330193)

KMail requires that you install a mess of stuff for KDE.

Nope. Just kdelibs.

Re:It's very simple (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14330477)

What do you think is in kdelibs? A mess of stuff for KDE....

Re:It's very simple (1)

russ_allegro (444120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331476)

If installing stuff is a pain for you to do, your using the wrong distro.

Re:It's very simple (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331740)

It's not painful, I'd just rather keep the clutter out.

Plus perhaps I'm shorting KDE for what GNOME does, but...
I have one GNOME application installed, gnucash, and I've minimized the GNOME stuff I installed just to get that. (With USE flags, which gives away my distro.) At one point, I made the mistake of clicking the "Help" menu, and my simple, lightweight icewm desktop turned into GNOME. It took over my desktop in order to bring up Mozilla to show me help. Nor did it give it back, when I was done browsing the help.

IMHO, behavior like that is unforgivable. Unfortunately I have several years of financial data in gnucash, so moving to something else wouldn't be easy, even if I knew what to move to. Besides, my wife mostly knows how to use it, and she hates changing software.

As I said, perhaps I've prejudged KDE applications based on misbehaving GNOME ones.

Re:It's very simple (1)

Feyr (449684) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333361)


the only gripe i have found against KDE is its insane memory usage, but for the most part it's well behaved.

i've had the same experience as you with gnome, taking over the desktop and never giving it back, leaving crap laying around in memory after you close your app, and a botched reimplementation of microsoft's worst idea: the registry. that just makes gnome a big no no.

I recently switched from Evo to TBird (2, Interesting)

rjforster (2130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14329857)

I like Evolution, I really do. I miss the 'reply to list' option (even though forums are sadly taking the place of mailing lists and rendering this point mute). But I found that Evolution with built-in Spamassassin from FC4 just wasn't stopping either piece of spam I got each week and it was really starting to annoy me. So I tried out Thunderbird and I'm finding that it does what I need and it's stopping the spam.

YMMV of course.

Re:I recently switched from Evo to TBird (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331365)

thunderbird has a reply to all function so dont let your regrets prevent you from living life ( least large email based discussions) to the fullest

Re:I recently switched from Evo to TBird (1)

rjforster (2130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331567)

Reply to all doesn't quite fit the bill here because it sends a reply to the mailing list AND to the person on the list who sent the message I'm replying to. But the person who sent the message I'm replying to is on the list so he therefore gets two copies of my reply.
So I do reply to all but I have to do some editing to the addresses before I can send the message.

Re:I recently switched from Evo to TBird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333321)

moot, the point is moot.

Re:I recently switched from Evo to TBird (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338318)

NO, "...the point is moo. Like a cow's opinion, it doesn't matter."

Re:I recently switched from Evo to TBird (1) (40893) | more than 8 years ago | (#14339000)

> I miss the 'reply to list' option

The 'reply to list' functionnality is still available, albeit not in the context menu. It is now only available using the 'CTRL-L' keyboard combination. I also miss its presence in the context menu, but I'm now used to call it from the keyboard.

Re:I recently switched from Evo to TBird (1)

rjforster (2130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14339119)

>The 'reply to list' functionnality is still available, albeit not in the context menu. It is now only available using the 'CTRL-L' keyboard combination.

Now I'm really confused. CTRL + L is forward on my v1.0.7 copy of TBird. Not only that but it _is_ in the context menu.

Does it really matter? (1)

andy753421 (850820) | more than 8 years ago | (#14329869)

I generally use Thunderbird, however I think any of them would work just as well as the next. All I use e-mail for is reading e-mail (and sometimes newsgroups) and I think any of them will do that pretty good. The only thing I would like to see is better integration with outlook. While this really shouldn't be needed there are unfortunately some people that expect you to use obscure outlook features such as calender checking. Maybe if something come out of the Mozilla Lightning [] project that will help.

no one of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14329870)

but mutt(-ng).

uh. (1)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14329875)

Mutt [] :)

Re:uh. (2, Interesting)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330011)

I was thinking of replying with this. Combine Mutt, Lynx, Vim (not Emacs because this is a collection of software; if you want Emacs, this list doesn't apply to you as all your applications are available under the Emacs framework), wget, and maybe a few other CLI tools, and you have yourself a very good Internet application suite. ;)

Re:uh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14331711)

We could call it Netscape Navigator 9.0.

that's how i read my e-mail (1)

rp (29053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337198)

It works quite well, combined with a procmail filter to sort out my mail for me as it comes in. This has one major drawback: mutt cannot combine mail from different folders,
so I keep navigating back and forth between folders, especially when looking for messages that do not have a natural folder to be placed into, and this happens quite a lot. Something like virtual folders (which I've never seen in another client but apparently they exist in some) would be quite useful.

Re:uh. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330250)

Only bad thing with mutt are the few html mails you really wanted to see, and it's not as convenient (at least to me which has never done it) to search for e-mails in it.
It looks awesome, you get the job done and it's very convenient thought.

Re:uh. (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330468)

Read those emails in Lynx?

I hate at least 99% of HTML email. Sure, there are good uses for it (e.g. using only semantic mark-up to represent meaning to the email, not presentational crap), but even situations that would call for it are usually accomplished via ASCII text (or even Unicode if in another language).

Re:uh. (2, Informative)

stevey (64018) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330747)

I use mutt and it is simple to read HTML mails in mutt [] if you need to.

(Sadly I do.)

Re:uh. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331999)

Worked great, now all i need is that database indexer (maybe, or have all my mails forward thru gmail but i don't know if it's so good to have all your information on one place of that kind).
Do you show html immediatly or do you use it so you have to show the attachment? I don't know if I wanna tell them I've watched the link if there are any, but maybe that isn't an issue when where are no images.

Some points of comparison (3, Informative)

aminorex (141494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14329891)

KMail is lean and clean, and it's integrated support for encryption is superior to the plugins and extensions for Thunderbird. I used and loved KMail, but I had to give it up because I use too many computers:

Thunderbird works essentially everywhere. You can share your mailbox over the LAN filesystem or globally via WebDAV, regardless of whether you are using Windows, OSX, Linux, Solaris, *BSD.

As far as I know Evolution is best for 1) People who need to interoperate with Exchange servers under Linux, 2) the mentally impaired, and 3) Gnome partisans.
But then, I never saw a good reason to try it.

Re:Some points of comparison (1)

toddbu (748790) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330105)

I used and loved KMail, but I had to give it up because I use too many computers:

Interesting. I tried KMail just now because of this thread and found that it wants to store lots of stuff locally. You can tell it where your Trash folder is, but I didn't see a place to tell it where to store sent items. Storing anything locally doesn't work for me since I have lots of machines that I check email from.

I guess I'll stick with Thunderbird for now.

Choose sent folder in identity settings (1)

gottabeme (590848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330191)

You can choose where sent mail is stored in the identity's settings.

Re:Some points of comparison (1)

agm (467017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330581)

Storing anything locally doesn't work for me since I have lots of machines that I check email from.

I'm in the same situation and use NXClient (using the free-NX server) to have a consistent email application with all email history etc. available from any machine that has a connection.

Re:Some points of comparison (1)

crsm (21260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333731)

You can tell it where your Trash folder is, but I didn't see a place to tell it where to store sent items

Select "Configure KMail" -> the "Identities" tab -> select your identity -> select "Modify" -> select the "Advanced" tab.

The placement of these options are a little confusing, but when you think about the separation between accounts and identities in KMail it makes sense after all.

Re:Some points of comparison (2, Interesting)

madstork2000 (143169) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331282)

I use both thunderbird and KMAIL form multiple computers. KMAIL is now my primary client. The key for me is all my mailboxes are IMAP, and I make sure to specify sent, and trash folders that are on the IMAP server rather than the default local versions.

I don't know how (or why) people choose to live with POP mail boxes. I cannot believe POP3 has not gone the way of telnet. IMAP is so superior, that it really makes little sense to use anything else...

IMAP makes a much bigger difference if you have multiple computers, than the mail client. IMAP makes life easy in a multiple computer world. Most ISPs and hosting companies offer it, but not all of them advertise that fact.

The other cool thing is with IMAP it can be used as a universal remote file server (much like an ftp server) using KDE IOSLAVES enter the url: imap://USERNAME@IMAP.SERVER.HOST.NAME/

You might not have a lot of use for it, but it makes it easy to backup large messages, or an alternate private place to dump some files (especially if you have a large mailbox quota.) On many hosts the IMAP folders are in the user home directory, so browsing via IMAP is an alternate way to manage files on the server.


Re:Some points of comparison (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333234)

I still pop my mail to my local server. They only give us a 50 MB quota, so I have to download all my mail to a local machine, which is now over 5 GB in /nsmail. I don't have access to all my mail from home or online (unless I run moz over X slowly). I generally use a web client anywhere other than my desk.

Re:Some points of comparison (1)

crsm (21260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333707)

Client-side filtering of emails have been a problem for IMAP based clients for a long time and have kept POP3 alive for all too long. If you have a substantial number of mails in your inbox every day, you just can't live without filtering.

KMail just got it with version 3.5 (I don't know about the other clients). You can do filtering with server-side sieve scripts, but thats not at all as handy as using the built-in interface in KMail.

Re:Some points of comparison (1)

madstork2000 (143169) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334625)

Thunderbird has actually done client side filtering quite well for the last several versions. Way back evolution used to to an acceptable job. KMAIL has finally ccaught up as you pointed out, which is why I am finally using it as my main mail app. The point though is filtering has been available for a while with IMAP.

It is strange why it has taken so long for the clients to mature with respect to IMAP. I find that strange, as IMAP has been around a long time. I remember using PINE in college back in 1995, with the new IMAP support. I have been hooked on IMAP for a long time. I guess I am one of those grumpy old time users...


Exchange (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14336767)

If your admin turns on IMAP on your Exchange server, then your choices increase greatly.

Thunderbird (1)

NaNO2x (856759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14329903)

I use Thunderbird for one reason really, and that is that Outlook stopped supporting Hotmail. Yes I know, Hotmail is evil and all but I use it for my spam account and my messenger account. It is probably the easiest and best type of email account to do these things. Since Thunderbird does not natively allow access to Hotmail you need to get the extenstion that does it and I've found it works best with the version just before the newest.

Re:Thunderbird (1)

si618 (263300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338780)

Have you tried GMail? I find it far better than Hotmail for normal or spam mail. Holla if you'd like an invite.

The all new Ask Slashdot Jeopardy game! (3, Funny)

HRbnjR (12398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14329975)

I will take "Topics designed to start a geek flamewar" for $500 Alex! ;P

Re:The all new Ask Slashdot Jeopardy game! (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14336449)

Next week on slashdot: George Bush uses Emacs when writing "thank you" letters to the RIAA.

Use IMAP, try them all. (4, Interesting)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 8 years ago | (#14329985)

Each of these clients has good points, and bad points, it's really a matter of trying them each for a while and seeing what happens. Use IMAP and you can do just that, all at the same time if you want.

I personally, currently, use Evolution - I like it's vFolders, I have a vFolder set to show me all unread mail from the last 2 days, across all my IMAP and local email accounts, one for the last week's mail and one to show me all flagged email and emails related to them (my "to do" threads).

I have the last 2 days vFolder open most of the time, as email comes in I can quickly read it, if it's junk then delete it right there, if it needs some attention (work needs doing) I flag it so it goes into my to do list unless it's a reply to something that's already in there.

Then when I want to work on a job, I open the "To Do" vFolder, and I can see all the jobs I have on the go, including all emails related to them (unfortunatly I can't get it to include emails I've sent in reply in the threads..yet), I also use the flag to keep a record of how long I've spent on the job, and use the "Completed" switch in the flag to indicate when I'm done and it's ready to be billed out (when it's billed I clear the flag and the thread drops out of the "To Do" vFolder).

It makes it very easy to manage the large amounts of incoming mail I tend to get, provides a pretty good timesheet system (for me, when I'm working on a job, it's always related to an email, so that's the perfect place to record time spent) and saves me from being frustrated at an INBOX containing several thousand messages!

Re:Use IMAP, try them all. (1)

DeadSea (69598) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330168)

Another advantage that Evolution has over Thunderbird is the filters. I switched to evolution because the filters were much more powerful than Thunderbird. I especially like its ability to play sounds as a filter action so I only get alerted to new mail that my filters deem especially important.

Recently I switched most of my filters to procmail on the IMAP server, and with the important messages pre-filtered into folders, evolution's filters can never see the messages and never play the sounds anymore. I considered switching back to Thunderbird, but it had two other disadvantages: 1) It asked me to accept the certificate that I generated for my secure mail connection every time it starts, whereas evolution asked me once and remembers. 2) Evolution can check for mail in all subfolders, thunderbird only ever seems to see my new mail in subfolders when I click on that subfolder.

Re:Use IMAP, try them all. (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330490)

Maybe I'm simplistic, or maybe it's because the filters in Thunderbird 1.5 (trunk or the release candidates and whatnot) are actually quite advanced, but I think that the filters in Thunderbird are quite robust. Maybe there are some magic filtering tools I have yet to use, but nothing beats [e]grep'ing a directory or file. Automatic filters, sure, it'd be nice to have tools for it, but a lot of very powerful filters can be done just by some relatively simple shell scripts (or via Perl one-liners if you're masochistic).

Re:Use IMAP, try them all. (2, Insightful)

Octorian (14086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330985)

I couldn't agree more with that suggestion.
For my mail server, I run IMAP (specifically Cyrus IMAPD) with server-side filtering rules (using sieve). These rules basically filter things caught by spamassassin and messages from mailing lists into their appropriate mail folters.

On the client side, I can use whatever the heck I want. I use KMail on my desktop, on my laptop (it's a PowerBook), pine when I ssh in remotely, and RoundCube for Webmail (new AJAX thing, still heavily development/featureless, but very nice and clean look/feel).

It is so nice that my e-mail is not tied to my e-mail client in any way, shape, or form. :-)

None Of The Above. Webmail only. (3, Insightful)

computersareevil (244846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330035)

I only use webmail because I can access all of my email from everywhere, and I never have to worry about duplicates updating many local clients, or which machine an email is on. But of course, now we have to argue over webmail clients. I use Horde IMP.

No connection, no mail. (1)

gottabeme (590848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330119)

That's the problem with using only webmail.

Re:No connection, no mail. (1)

computersareevil (244846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330175)

How often are you someplace where you have no connection, really? A few hours on a plane, maybe. Even that is being connected now.

The beauty of webmail is I can connect from any computer anywhere there is connectivity, which, if you read the news, is everywhere [] .

If I don't have connectivity, I can surely read a book or something until the plane lands...

Bad for business. (1)

gottabeme (590848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330208)

If it's just personal mail, that's probably ok. But for a business, work can still go on even if the Internet connection is down. In such a case, lack of e-mail access could likely be killer.

Re:Bad for business. (1)

clambake (37702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330315)

But for a business, work can still go on even if the Internet connection is down. In such a case, lack of e-mail access could likely be killer.

I'm curious how a normal email client will be able to receive mail while the internet connectivity is down?

Need to access already-received mail. (2, Informative)

gottabeme (590848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330338)

Ok, let me give you just one example. A friend of mine runs a mortgage business. I often help him with his computers, Internet service, etc. He receives lots of information via e-mail, including PDF documents, etc. He also spends a lot of time on the phone, and meets with people in person. He has software on his PCs that connects to a remote database, but also has local stores of the data. If his Internet connection went down for a day or two, he would likely still need access to his already-received e-mail so he could continue to do business. And, of course, he'd still need to be able to access his local database stores. If all his data was only stored on web servers, and only accessible by getting online, then a bad DSL/cable day would just about stop him from doing business.

Come on, this is a no-brainer. :)

Re:Bad for business. (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330994)

It won't be able to receive new mail. However, you will still have full access to all the mail you did receive when the connection was up. This can be very useful if you're "on the go".

In a locally based client you can compose offline! (1)

hadaso (798794) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333391)

When you're offline you cannot send and receive, but you can compose or reply or forward mail that has already been received, "send" it, and it will be sent when the connection is resumed (assuming the client is configured to do it).

You cannot do that with webmail.

Personnaly I don't use a locally based client, even though I use only one PC almost exclusively. I use FastMail.FM's webmail client and I don't know a locally based client that can duplicate the functionality I use on that webmail client (but then, I haven't thoroughly checked). If email was a critical application for me I would certainly use an offline client. (Actually I do use a sort of client: I use FastCheck that is a very thin IMAP client that does only incoming email alerts for FastMail.FM accounts using IMAP IDLE extension. And I also have several email clients configured to access my account but I hardly ever use them, so they don't have local copies of recent files. Those clients are OE, ThunderBird, ImapSize and an expired trial of Mulberry that I'm too lazy to uninstall).

Re:None Of The Above. Webmail only. (1)

egarland (120202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331149)

I use IMAP for that functionality. HTTP is a second rate email access protocol. IMAP is better suited for it and the clients are better suited for reading and composing emails than web browsers are. A combination of the two is nice though. IMAP when you can, Webmail when you need to.

One problem with IMAP (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332976)

Or more specifically, 90% of IMAP clients out there. They insist on storing crap locally, even though the whole point of IMAP is to leave everything on the server!

IMP, SquirrelMail, and Pine are about the only IMAP clients I've used that don't try to download your mail locally even when using IMAP. Everything else I've tried has been a POP client with IMAP support hacked in.

SquirrelMail chokes on large mailboxes, so I use IMP. It works great, and there is also a version of it designed for mobile devices (mIMP, available from CVS only at the moment.)

For those that need a local copy in a few places, see my above comment about crappy IMAP clients that insist on local storage.

Re:None Of The Above. Webmail only. (1)

computersareevil (244846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334843)

But that still requires a local email client that you have to maintain on every machine you use. I use four machines with any regularity, and really don't want to manage updating the clients on each machine. On one of those machines, I'm not allowed to maintain anything.

Not to mention that the required ports on a foreign network may be filtered or blocked, whereas ports 80 and 443 are almost never blocked or filtered stringently enough to kill IMP.

Also not sure what functionality makes the local clients "better suited" than the web clients. Sure, IMP lacks some of the features of (bloated, IMHO) local clients, but it doesn't lack any feature that I actually use. It does 75%+ of what the local clients do, and that's about 110% of what I need.

Re:None Of The Above. Webmail only. (1)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333213)

Funny, I use Thunderbird,, and Horde as well, and I don't have that worry either. How? Simple, I just use IMAP. Now I can access my e-mail from anywhere, AND I get a nice interface for when I have one of my own computers around. Imagine that!

Seamonkey (2, Interesting)

StuffMaster (412029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330104)

I use Seamonkey (Mozilla) mail because I LIKE my mail client integrated with my browser, and I LIKE it staying resident in memory, checking my email every 10 minutes. Oh yeah, the name change was stupid. It's freaking Mozilla. Long live Seamonkey!

Re:Seamonkey (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331734)

That's the same reason I use M2 in Opera. It has all the fancy features, and is right there when needed, and keeps in touch with the mail server. It's the mail client of choice on Windows systems. On linux there's more competition though, I use KMail because that's what got installed, and it has the same interface as on my PDA (ie. KOrganizer - Ko/Pi).

The name change (1)

jonasj (538692) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337124)

Just thought I'd point out that Seamonkey has been the code name of the integrated application suite since way before it was ever called "Mozilla Application Suite". Mozilla means a lot of other things anyway -- a project, a platform, a rendering engine, a foundation, a corporation, etc. Seamonkey is unique.

Use IMAP? Use KMail. (4, Insightful)

gottabeme (590848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330107)

I used Tb for a long time, and I like it. But its IMAP support is not good at all. When I changed to another e-mail provider, still with IMAP, Tb would no longer download IMAP messages for offline use. I'd activate the function to download and sync e-mail folders, and it would always say that there were no new messages on the server, even though there were. When I went into offline mode, the messages weren't available. I tried making a new, clean profile, but it didn't fix it. (Tb 1.0.7/Debian, BTW.) It also would go into some sort of mode after leaving it running for a long time where trying to move or delete messages, or change folders, would do nothing. I'd have to restart Tb to fix it. Even when Tb was working properly, doing things like moving or deleting a message would block other mail operations until it sync'ed with the server.

Finally I had enough. I tried KMail. It has superb offline IMAP support: operations happen quickly and in the background, and are queued as well, letting me continue to do things while KMail syncs it. It has nice little features like automatically changing addresses from "someone at somewhere dot org" to "". It also seems faster than Tb.

I still like Tb; it has a good interface, and is pleasant to use. I will try 1.5 when it comes out. But I am also disappointed in the Tb's team not fixing old, simple, outstanding bugs that have been in the bug db for years. There are some important ones that are breaking Tb for people, but they don't seem to care. Those people would be glad to help test and debug...but the Tb team has more important things on their list, it seems.

So, I highly recommend KMail.

Re:Use IMAP? Use KMail. (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331141)

it would always say that there were no new messages on the server, even though there were.

I have this problem on *every* platform I use Thunderbird on: OS X, Linux, and Windows. I can't figure it out for the life of me. The only way to make it notice the messages is to restart it. It's most annoying when nothing tips you off that you might have messages and you just asusme you actually don't. I'm convinced all IMAP clients are horrible.

Re:Use IMAP? Use KMail. (2, Interesting)

gottabeme (590848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331397)

Well, actually, as far as just notifying goes, Tb works fine. The IMAP idle command works fine with it; it always shows me when I have new messages in folders I have Tb set to check. But I just couldn't get offline caching to work anymore.

Maybe it's a problem with your IMAP server. Some IMAP servers don't support "idle" well.

Another one to be considered (3, Interesting)

Lee_in_KC (816490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330114)

I'm in the "if you like it, use it" boat. An email client is just a means to an end, it's not a destination in and of itself.

Personally, I use and recommend "The Bat! [] " on my Windows boxes. I have what could be called "advanced" needs and this is one awesome program. It allows (automatically) different sigs per account, different sigs per folder, shared folders between multiple users on the same desktop, cookies, etc. It's not free but a short time using it hooked me. If you have some time and perceive some limitations in your existing client(s), give it a shot.

Standard disclaimer, not affiliated, yadda, yadda.

Re:Another one to be considered (1)

KlaymenDK (713149) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337272)

It's such a shame they don't make one "for the rest of us". When I used Windows I also used TheBat 1.something (always kept a ^^ö^^ in my tag line :-). Sweet client; it loaded from scratch to ready in literally a fraction of a second, and remains to this date the only program I know of that does concurrent mail send/receive (but I may be behind the curve). The fact that you could set up very elaborate macros and templates for each folder allowed me a very customized setup.

Mmmm, how I long for it (= how it has spoiled me)! Ever since I ditched Windows I've been putting up with SquirrelMail webmail, in part because I use different computers, and in part because I wasn't content with any of the clients that I tried. The only downside with TheBat is that it was limited to plain text monospace in all that it did -- but I get that from my webmail as well.

Evolution has Calendaring (3, Informative)

jimpop (27817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330649)

It's almost 2006, where is Calendaring w/ Thunderbird? 90% of the world distributes scheduling updates via email (iCal). Outlook and Evolution support iCal, but the Mozilla team keeps leaving it out of Thunderbird. There is some sort of extension for Thunderbird, but I gave up waiting for it to catch up with the Tbird releases. There is some better calendaring app coming from Mozilla, sometime in the future, but I needed integrated calendaring last year, this year, and next year. To me, email and calendaring belong together.

Re:Evolution has Calendaring (1)

facelessnumber (613859) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331021)

You have a point. But Thunderbird is an email client. I consider Evolution (and Outlook, Groupwise, Kontact) to be a "groupware" app. I really appreciate the seperation. It's why I use Kmail. If I want all the other stuff (and sometimes I do) I can fire up Kontact, but if I want to check my email without loading up a full groupware suite and all the bloat that comes with it, I can. I would hate to see Thunderbird grow into something like Evolution. Evoltion is great for its intended purpose, but I would like to think Thunderbird's purpose isn't the same.

Re:Evolution has Calendaring (1)

jimpop (27817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331229)

FWIW, Evolution (and all it's "groupware") has always loaded faster for me than Thunderbird ever has.

Re:Evolution has Calendaring (1)

SumeyDevil (906408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331471)

If you read the Thunderbird FAQ, you'll see that they have no intention of integrating a calendar. They deliberately left it so.

Re:Evolution has Calendaring, isn't this... (1)

chivo243 (808298) | more than 8 years ago | (#14335983)

SunBird?? or Am I really from another planet??

Gmail Is My Favorite (2, Interesting) (687626) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330785)

I would love to have an email client that works like it does, which should be possible under Unix using something like Maildir and soft links.

Is anyone aware of such an effort?

Re:Gmail Is My Favorite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333504)

Gmail is overrated. Try to forward multiple emails. It won't let you.

With KDE Strongly Consider KMAIL (1)

madstork2000 (143169) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330925)

I was (and still am to a lesser extent) a Thunderbird users, but with my new Kubuntu box I finally switched to a primarily KMAIL setup. The main reasons are the very nice integration with the KDE environment.

It is so nice to be able to easily drag and drop between konqueror for attachments (especially for my non-techy wife). The tight integration really is the main thing for me.

I am a bit tired of customizing things, I have been doing it for close to 10 years now with Linux, that I am at the stage where it is nice to just have things work without having to spend the time and effort to make them work.

Thunderbird is nice, and works fine, and I like the filtering and the plug-in support better but to get the same level of integration with KDE takes much more effort.

I have found that Thunderbird still seems more stable, KMAIL on KDE 3.5 still crashes once every couple of days on me and has some weird "lock-ups" when it has trouble with a network connection. (I have a flaky switch that itself needs to be reset every few days, and that seems to cause KMAIL grief).

I have not used Evolution since I gave up on gnome about 3 years ago.
It was probably the one thing I missed the most about gnome when I first switched to KDE. I know I could run it on KDE, but it always seemed to be a major pain after the early days of red carpet setup.


POP3 mail clients are so 1990 :-P (1)

Grandmaster Mort (731817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14330947)

Gmail is where it's at. Forget bothering to use it as a POP3 mailbox as well. Just keep your shit on the server and view it via a web browser. You won't run into those issues with the POP3 mail client having corrupted mailbox folders, hosing all the emails that you have. You also don't need to worry about configuring a POP3 mail client on each computer you wish to view your emails at.

So drop all 3 and go Gmail all the way! []

Most users have no alternative to POP3 (1)

wysiwia (932559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332363)

Not everybody gets a Gmail account while POP3 is mostly included by the internet access providers. I estimate that more than 90% of all users still use a POP3 account.

O. Wyss

Re:POP3 mail clients are so 1990 :-P (1)

Down8 (223459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332660)

You can still use POP3 and leave your mail on the server. That's my colution for Gmail - though I a shameful Outlook user, so my opinion may not count. ;^)


Re:POP3 mail clients are so 1990 :-P (1)

wysiwia (932559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332935)

You can do that with Thunderbird as well, but it doesn't work with folders since a Move of a message is a Copy/Delete. Therefore moved messages get deleted even if you don't want it.

O. Wyss

Re:POP3 mail clients are so 1990 :-P (1)

Down8 (223459) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333339)

You can tell Gmail to archive mail once it's DLed, so it never goes away. That's what I do.


I prefer KMail (2, Insightful)

jgardn (539054) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331026)

I've been using KMail for quite a while now. I don't clearly remember why I chose it above the alternatives. However, I believe it was a combination of the following things.

(1) KMail is mature. It can handle a variety of mail delivery systems properly. In particular, it handles my setup extremely well. (The others do equally well, however.)

(2) KMail integrates well into the KDE platform. If you're using KDE, you'll probably like KMail. If you're not, then it probably won't work for you.

(3) KMail seems to be snappier and less memory hungry than Evolution and Thunderbird. (I haven't used recent versions of Thunderbird, so this may not be true.)

(4) KMail handles HTML and Outlook mail reasonably well. It doesn't try to pressure me to use HTML format, but it does pretty well with it anyway.

(5) I tried for a while to use the command line MUAs. Mutt was my best fit, but it had weaknesses where KMail had strengths. I think KMail does a reasonable job of keeping the UNIX philosophy in that it doesn't try to do everything, just reading and delivering mail.

(6) KMail seems more intuitive. The keyboard settings seemed to fit my style, whereas the others don't quite match well.

(7) KMail has reasonable support for mailing lists. The others may have good support to, it's just that I haven't been able to get them to work together too well.

Ultimately, it comes down to choice. I don't expect many people to have similar experiences to mine.

Evolution vs. Thunderbird (1)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331220)

I'm a day-to-day Evolution user. One of the things I like most is the speed with which it searches over very large folders. At one point or other, I moved my catchall address from my personal to a separate catchall.

I decided to try Thunderbird against this to see how it worked without jeopardizing my primary mail folders. It went badly. In a folder with about 70,000 mails in it, Thunderbird completely fried. Evolution would allow that and search it no problem. I don't generally have real folders with real mail in them that are that large, but it would have been nice to be able to search against it to see if there were any real messages in there too.

Oh yeah, and vFolders, game over, point, Evolution.

Oh it's history (1)

freeplatypus (846535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14331591)

Once I was Pine user.
Then I was KMail user (rather old release... KDE 2.x times)
Then there was ThunderBird...
Now... One and only Evolution. Why?

Calendar, Address Book, sync with my cellphone, vFolders. I just wish that new-mail-notification was working in KDE. Appart from this it is a great software.

What's more amazing ... (1)

wysiwia (932559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332339)

neither of the three mail applications seems to be attractive enough for the users participating in the Linux Desktop Survey ( .pdf [] ). In the survey e-mail was rated the most important application while the top inhibitor for a Linux desktop adoption are the missing applications. Why aren't any of these mailers sufficient enough for the everyday use of ordinary users?

O. Wyss

If you want to sync with a PalmOS device (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14332959)

Avoid Evolution at all costs. I don't think they bothered to test Evolution's sync functionality AT ALL in version 2.0. (Worked great in earlier versions, Evo 2.0 and above will make a dupe of every contact every time you sync.)

I switched from Kmail to Tbird 6 months ago.. (1)

GrumpyOldMan (140072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333610)

I used kmail as an imap mail client because it allows the use of an external editor to compose messages. After more than a decade of using emacs, I just cannot get used to the key bindings that builtin editors in gui mail clients use. The "emacs" like key bindings that some mailers offer just do not cut it. Kmail mostly worked for me. It was fast and efficient. However, it seemed to get horribly confused when I would wake my desktop up in the morning after suspending it the previous evening. About 3/4 of the time, I'd need to kill and restart kmail. Somehow, some obscure setting became corrupt, and the language it used for outgoing mail switched to some arabic font. My outgoing mail appeared blank to people using Outlook, and like gibberish to people using mail clients with the correct font installed.

I finally settled on thunderbird after a co-worker told me it has an extenstion which allows me to use emacs to edit my messages. It works reliably after resuming my desktop in the morning. Basically, it just works. The fonts/colors were ugly as hell out of the box and took a lot of work to make even barely tolerable. But for "just works", I can live with that.

Sylpheed (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334204)

Keep it simple. Sylpheed [] . Or fancy it up a little with Sylpheed-Claws [] .

I prefer Thundirbird after trying all 3 (1)

cyclocommuter (762131) | more than 8 years ago | (#14335849)

When I started using Linux a few years ago, I used Evolution which I liked very much. Unfortunately at the time I did not find it easy to integrate it with Spamassasin so I move to KMail. I found KMail's interface not as polished as Evolution's but it did integrate pretty well with Spamassasin.

Then my ISPs started offering spam filtering service on its servers and I found that it was more effective than running Spamassasin locally (or training the email client locally to catch spam) and I switched email clients yet again... this time I decided I was going to use Thunderbird, the main reason being just like Firefox, it runs on both on Linux and Windows PCs. IMHO, UI wise, it is in between Evolution (better) and KMail (not bad).

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