Tiny Code

Tiny Code

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

the sad state of Linux email clients

I use the Thunderbird email client under Fedora at work. I've been searching for a different email client to use to retrieve my personal email since I prefer to keep those messages totally separate. After doing a bit of research, it looks like Evolution and Balsa are the two top email clients (aside from Thunderbird).

I didn't find either to my liking. Evolution (at least the latest version available from Fedora's package manager) was terribly unstable. It also had the worst address book of the 3 email clients. Its rendering of HTML messages was substandard at best. It doesn't display embedded images by default and didn't always display them when I selected the display images option.

Balsa wasn't much better. It was more stable than Evolution but it really didn't support HTML messages well at all. Retrieving messages frequently caused the sorting of message in the Inbox to get confused, forcing me to select the Date heading to force a re-sort. The filtering feature was very disappointing. Adding filters made it activate procmail filtering which caused messages to get stuck in the command line mail utility.

I've settled for using Thunderbird for both work and personal email. Using one of the others just wasn't feasible.

1 comment:

Chard said...

I, too, use Thunderbird for my e-mail, both on Linux and DOS...er...Windows. I have tried numerous other options over the years, including Evolution several times, and have yet to find anything even close.

Evolution may be the clumsiest mail program I've ever used, and its calendar feature is bad. I was using it on Linux as a way to avoid Outlook on Windows, but had to give up.

I eventually came back around to Thunderbird with the Lightning add-on for the calendar. Not ideal, but it does what I need. Can't stomach Outlook, in spite of a few handy features.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that I've been using Thunderbird and/or its Mozilla/Netscape ancestors for well over a decade, but I just can't find anything comparable.