9 Best Free and Open Source Graphical Email Clients

Email remains the killer information and communications technology. Email volume shows no sign of diminishing, despite the increasing popularity of collaborative messaging tools. There were over 4 billion email users in 2022.

Messages are exchanged between hosts using the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol with software programs called mail transfer agents, and delivered to a mail store by programs called mail delivery agents, frequently referred to as email clients.

Email clients offer a variety of features. Many email clients offer a slew of features, some stick with just the basics. At the end of the day, what is important is that you find an email client that offers what you need, it is reliable, and works well on your computer.

Thunderbird is widely regarded as an exceptional open source desktop email client, especially on Linux. It is highly customizable, has a rich set of features, and is geared for both novices and professional users. But there’s lots of other graphical email clients that might be a better fit for you.

We’ve surveyed all of the graphical email clients that run under Linux. The chart below summarises our findings. There will be something of interest for anyone who wants to efficiently manage their mailbox with all the benefits that an attractive interface bestows.

Ratings chart for the best free and open source graphical email clients

Let’s explore the 9 graphical email clients. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.

Graphical Email Clients
ThunderbirdPopular free, cross-platform e-mail, RSS and newsgroup client
KmailEmail component of Kontact
SylpheedSimple, lightweight client
MailspringNew version of Nylas Mail
Claws MailLightweight yet powerful and full-featured client
EvolutionProvides integrated mail, addressbook and calendaring functionality
GearyMail client for GNOME written in Vala
BalsaEmail client for GNOME
AstroidLightweight and fast Mail User Agent

If you prefer console applications, we compiled the best free console based email clients in this roundup.

Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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3 years ago

What about text-based email clients?

3 years ago

Thunderbird should be renamed Ostrichbird.

3 years ago
Reply to  Umit