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I have used Thunderbird as an email client for years, but with the update to version 60, essential extensions are not working anymore.

The worst issue is that Thunderbird doesn't have a persistent visual indicator when new mail arrived (this has been a problem for a while, so I don't think it will be fixed). I used extensions for this until now, but they stopped working.

A mail client that doesn't tell me when I have mail is useless to me.

Because of this, I am looking for a new email client for Linux (specifically Ubuntu Mate 18.04).


Must haves:

  • The basics: Read/Write mail, support for multiple mail accounts, IMAP support, etc
  • Tray icon: It must have some sort of persistent notification that informs me of new mails (like the now non-working FireTray or MinimizeToTray Thunderbird extensions). This doesn't necessarily have to happen via tray, but I can't think of another option.
  • PGP support
  • Outlook compatible: It should have the ability to read Windows TNEF mails (.dat extension) (eg like the now non-working LookOut extension of Thunderbird did).

Nice to haves (the above already seems to be asking a lot, but these would be a nice bonus):

  • Run under Ubuntu Mate 18.04 (if necessary I would consider switching to a different Linux distribution. )
  • Email Threads: Sorting of emails into collapsible threads based on the email chain (like the Thunderbird Conversations extension ).
  • Run in background: An option to minimize the program so that it doesn't take up space in the taskbar, but still notifies me of new mail (eg a minimize to tray functionality).
  • Handle large emails and attachments well.
  • Ability to send HTML emails.
  • Ability to configure how often emails are fetched on an account basis (eg once an hour for one email address, once every 5 minutes for another).

If there are working plugins for Thunderbird that provide these abilities, that would be great as well.

I already had a look at the email-client tag, but did not find a duplicate question or an answer.

  • Thunderbird integrates well with the Message notification system, maybe Mate cannot handle this, but in Unity it works well and shows a persistant notification. But in general I agree, Linux lacks a good Email program ... Evolution is ugly and buggy not to mention the very bad search functionality. Geary is only good if you're fine with the basic features. Thunderbird is still the best, but has not improved much for many years. – RoVo Oct 17 '18 at 8:54
  • @RoVo I really disliked Unity and its move away from the classic task bar. The large icons felt clunky, primarily aimed at tablet users, and confusing/too busy (because of the mix of launcher icons and taskbar functionality). And with Ubuntus move away from Unity, I don't think that's a good option for me. Do you know if the integration with Gnome 3 also works? I dislike it for the same reason I dislike Unity, but I would expect better support for it in the future. – tim Oct 17 '18 at 9:18
  • The "Email Threads" is already built-in isn't it? At least that works with my Thunderbird 59 on Windows. Does this mean this feature was removed in v60? – a_horse_with_no_name Oct 17 '18 at 9:44
  • Did you have a look at getmailspring.com – a_horse_with_no_name Oct 17 '18 at 9:48
  • @a_horse_with_no_name Thanks! "Email threads" works under v60. Maybe that's a new(ish) feature? In either case, without working mail notification, threads are nice to have but not enough for me. From what I can tell, Mailspring doesn't seem to have PGP support (yet). – tim Oct 17 '18 at 9:57

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