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Top three open source email clients for Linux, macOS and Windows.

Thunderbird, Evolution and Tutanota are three open source email clients that we'd like to compare quickly.

2019-07-04 / Updated: 2022-01-24
Use an open source email client on Linux, Windows or macOS.
Most commonly used open source desktop clients for emails on Linux are Thunderbird and Evolution. But there is another open source email client ermerging on the horizon, one that is constantly getting better: Tutanota. Let's take a look how it compares to the already established open source email clients like Thunderbird and Evolution, particularly when it comes to secure emails.

Best email clients for Linux

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

So we have decided to compare Tutanota with Thunderbird and Evolution. While we must keep in mind that Tutanota is a very young desktop client, it is improving quickly and already very rich in features, which makes it a great alternative to already existing desktop clients.

Updates in 2021

In 2021, we added lots of updates to the Tutanota desktop clients which enabled us to finally push the client out of beta:

  • Extensive security review
  • Spell checker for multiple languages
  • Installation policy for business use
  • Set Tutanota as default mail handler
  • OS integration, MAPI support for Windows

OS integration for Windows

This new feature further integrates our desktop client into Windows. We are particularly proud of the OS integration and MAPI support for Windows as this is a feature that can not be offered with the webmail client.

The improvements with the OS integration make using Tutanota even more convenient!

Via the context menu of a file -> Send to... -> Email recipient - you can now directly attach files to a new email, even when Tutanota is not running presently.

In various programs you can use the "Send document as mail" function and attach the currently opened file to a new email. Examples are

  • LibreOffice under File -> Send -> As e-mail
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office

Another big plus is that business software often uses this feature to send invoices and similar files directly from the application to the email client. For instance, you can now use the Tutanota desktop client to directly send invoices from the business tool SAGE50 via email.

Mail clients Linux


Works on MX Linux, Manjaro, Linux Mint, Ubuntu and more

Tutanota open source email client for Linux, Windows or macOS.

The Tutanota desktop client is a new and upcoming email client that works on MX Linux, Manjaro, Linux Mint, Ubuntu and more Linux distros as well as on Windows and macOS. As Tutanota is an email service itself, we are very close to the users and are very attentive to user feedback to improve the desktop email client.

While the Tutanota desktop client does not support offline availability and email import, yet, we are already working on both features!

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 also with an integrated encrypted calendar.

The clou 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 are ready to use a new email address or are using your own domain, 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 and get the secure Tutanota desktop client!


Thunderbird open source email client, mostly used on Linux.

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 with (Gmail, Yahoo, GMX, Outlook, Fastmail, Posteo, Hushmail, Startmail, 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 open source email client.

Evolution is an open source email client from the GNOME project with features such as email, calendar and address book. Evolution can be easily installed on MX Linux, Manjaro, Linux Mint, Ubuntu and other Linux distros 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.

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