Email is arguably one of the most popular and useful functions of a Linux system. Fortunately, there is a wide selection of free email software available on the Linux platform which is stable, feature laden, and ideal for personal and business environments. Send and receive emails, run a mail server, filter spam, administer a mailing list are just some of the options explored in this article.
To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 42 high quality Linux email applications, covering a broad spectrum of uses. There’s a mix of desktop and server based applications included. Hopefully, there will be something of interest for all types of users.
We previously published an article on excellent email software in 2008. Some of the tools featured in that article fell by the wayside. Given the length of time that has elapsed, we thought it best to update the article.
Now, let’s explore the 42 email applications at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action (where appropriate), a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.
|Thunderbird||Popular free, cross-platform e-mail, RSS and newsgroup client|
|Mailspring||New version of Nylas Mail|
|Evolution||Provides integrated mail, addressbook and calendaring functionality|
|Balsa||Email client for GNOME|
|KMail||Email component of Kontact|
|Claws Mail||Lightweight yet powerful and full-featured client|
|Sylpheed||Simple, lightweight client|
|Geary||Mail client for GNOME that is written in Vala|
|Alpine||Alternatively Licensed Program for Internet News and Email|
|mutt||Small but very powerful text based client|
|Sup||Curses threads-with tags style email client|
|RoundCube||Browser-based multilingual IMAP client|
|Mailpile||Client with user-friendly encryption and privacy features|
|SquirrelMail||Webmail package written in PHP|
|eGroupware||Enterprise ready web-based groupware suite|
|Citadel||Complete and feature-rich groupware server|
|Horde Groupware||Popular full-featured groupware server|
|Zimbra||Zimbra Collaboration Suite|
|Courier||Integrated mail/groupware server|
|DBMail||Enables storing and retrieving mail messages from a database|
|Dovecot||Secure POP3 server that supports mbox and maildir mailboxes|
|iRedMail||Mail server solution|
|Exim||Highly configurable mail transfer agent|
|Postfix||Popular mail transfer agent|
|qmail||Written as a more secure replacement for the Sendmail program|
|Sendmail||Mail transfer agent for sophisticated mail configurations|
|getmail||Flexible, extensible mail retrieval system|
|procmail||Mail delivery agent|
|Postfix Admin||Manage mailboxes, virtual domains and aliases|
|Enigmail||OpenPGP Email Security for Mozilla Applications|
|GnuPG||Encrypt and sign data and communication|
|Mailvelope||Extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox|
|Scrollout F1||Highly configurable email gateway for multiple domains and servers|
|ASSP||Perl based transparent SMTP proxy server|
|Postgrey||Postfix policy server implementing greylisting|
|MailScanner||Virus scanner and spam detector|
|SpamAssassin||Perl-based spam filter using text analysis|
|SpamBayes||Bayesian anti-spam classifier written in Python|
|Mailman||Manage electronic mail discussion and e-newsletter lists|
|Sympa||Scalable and highly customizable modern mailing list manager|
|Majordomo||Perl based mailing list manager|
|ezmlm-idx||Highly automated mailing list manager|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Corel, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.