I've been using Linux for years, but only used GUI email applications like thunderbird or KMail. I'm aware there are some TUI/CLI email applications as well.

However, as far as I know, none of their storage formats interoperate with one another. It is a pain that sometimes I find my mostly-used email application is inconvenient for some tasks but I can't switch to a different one easily (needing to reconfigure accounts and downloading emails).

Naturally, a "solution" come to my mind is to have the daemon/service and front-end/user-interface separated -- the email daemon handles the actual tasks like receiving and sending emails, while UI just interacts with user and returns tasks to the daemon.
One well-known example of such architecture is MPD and its clients for music playing. This also helps save memory when the front-end is not running while emails are still being fetched/sent (and notifications, if exists).

My question is: are there such applications for emails on Linux/*nix?
I took a read of the Wikipedia page of comparison of email clients, but found nothing -- they are all stand-alone applications, as far as I can tell.

Surely being FLOSS is the best, but the existence is more important for the sake of this question.

Note about KMail: KMail seems to have a daemon part, but it is tightly coupled with Akonadi and KDE, and there does not seem to be documents about creating other frontends. The existence of a daemon for KMail seems like a coincidence rather than an intentional design (in terms of "being a daemon/service and any compatible front-ends can use it").

  • Just for clarification: usually, nowadays, the storage happens on the mail server, most times using IMAP.So each of your client accesses the very same IMAP storage – and there's nothing with incompatibility between clients. So what's different in your case? Are you using good-old POP to get the messages to your local machine? You could run a local IMAP server of course (and feed it using something like fetchmail) to have a "local-network" or even localhost solution, then point your mail clients to that.
    – Izzy
    Aug 8, 2022 at 6:38
  • @Izzy Yes, I understand how emailing works in general. The problem is that different email clients provide different handy features (e.g. saved search, collective mail boxes), but none of a single client provides everything I want. That means, as explained in the post, I need to switch between them at times, which is a pain because I have multiple email accounts as well -- I need to configure the accounts if not yet, and then wait for synchronization. That also multiplies the storage -- their data on my disk are incompatible with each other.
    – renyuneyun
    Aug 8, 2022 at 10:09
  • Thanks, just wanted to make sure. Afraid not much chances that there are mail clients sharing the same local caches and configuration the way you want it. But I might be wrong with that,
    – Izzy
    Aug 8, 2022 at 23:08


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