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Top three open source email clients for Linux.

Thunderbird, Evolution and Tutanota are three open source desktop clients that run well on Linux. Check this comparison.

2019-07-04
Most commonly used open source desktop clients for emails are Thunderbird and Evolution. Now the encrypted email service Tutanota has published its own desktop client in beta. Let's take a first look how it compares to the already established open source email clients, particularly when it comes to secure emails.

Based on this poll the top three email desktop clients are Thunderbird, Evolution and Other.

So we have decied to compare Tutanota with Thunderbird and Evolution. While we must keep in mind that Tutanota is a very young desktop client - and still in beta - this comparison will help us find out what the most important features are that we need to add to the Tutanota email client.

Open source email clients

Thunderbird

Thunderbird open source email client.

Thunderbird is one of the most widely used open source desktop clients for emails, calendar, address book, and more. Thunderbird can be easily installed on Linux and connected with your email address via IMAP.

Emails with Thunderbird are 'standard emails' meaning they are only secured with transport layer (TLS) encryption. For end-to-end encrypted emails, you need to install an add-on such as Enigmail.

Thunderbird comes with lots of usability features: chat, contact management, smart folders, search, filters and more.

Conclusion: If you want to keep your email address (Gmail, Yahoo, GMX, etc.), Thunderbird is a very good, fully-featured desktop mail client. Encrypted emails are complicated as these must be encrypted via an add-on, PGP keys must be managed and exchanged.

Evolution

Evolution open source email client.

Evolution is an open source desktop client from the GNOME project with features such as email, calendar and address book. Evolution can be easily installed on Linux and connected with your email address via IMAP.

Emails with Evolution are also 'standard emails' that are only secured with TLS encryption. For encrypting emails end-to-end, you need install Seahorse, which supports the OpenPGP standard.

Evolution comes with lots of usability features such as contacts management, an integrated calendar, a task management tool, filters & folders, notes and more.

Conclusion: Evolution is very similar to Thunderbird, which makes it hard to decide which one to pick. As with Thunderbird, encrypted emails are complicated, an add-on is needed and PGP keys must be handled by the user.

Tutanota

Tutanota open source email client.

The Tutanota desktop client is a new and upcoming email client developed by us. As Tutanota is an email service we are very close to the users and are very attentive to user feedback to improve the desktop email client.

As the Tutanota desktop client is still in beta, it does not support offline availability and email import, yet. But these two are the top priorities before we are going to push the desktop client out of beta.

Emails with Tutanota can be 'standard emails' - only protected with TLS encryption - or end-to-end encrypted emails. The aim of Tutanota is to make encrypted emails as easy as normal emails, which makes Tutanota the most secure desktop client available. It is open source and you can find the entire client code on GitHub.

Tutanota comes with lots of usability features such as normal and encrypted emails, contacts management, filters, folders, an innovative search feature, and soon also with an integrated encrypted calendar.

The clue with Tutanota is that all data is always encrypted, even when stored locally in the client. The smart search feature creates an encrypted search index to be searched locally on your client. This way, we make sure that our servers do not see any of your data or any of your search queries. Tutanota is the only email service with this combination of usability (search on encrypted data) and security (servers never see any data).

Conclusion: If you're ready to use a new email address or are using your own domain already, it is time to install the Tutanota desktop client. The desktop client makes sure that your data is always secured to the maximum by offering dead-easy encrypted emails and by encrypting all data stored in Tutanota automatically.

Sign up for your new mail address now!


Please let us know the must-have features of an email desktop client via the comments.

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