Picking an EMail Reader

Dozens of e-mail clients exist for Linux, and they provide features to meet just about any need. Some of the more popular programs include:

Balsa This program, headquartered at http://balsa.gnome.org, is officially part of the GNOME Office suite. Its user interface resembles that of the Windows program Eudora, and its features include all the standard fare for modern e-mail clients.

Evolution The Ximian Evolution package

(http://www.ximian.com/products/evolution) is another GNOME Office component, but Evolution's scope is much broader that that of Balsa. Modeled after Microsoft's Outlook, and even able to share data files with Outlook (via the use of intermediary file formats), Evolution includes scheduling, contact management, and other features not found in most e-mail clients.

KMail The KDE project's main mail reader is KMail (http://kmail.kde.org), and it is normally installed as part of the kdenetwork package. This program is roughly similar to Balsa in overall scope, but it integrates well with other KDE packages; for instance, it uses the KDE address book.

Mutt This program is a powerful text-based mail program. Many Linux users prefer using Mutt to the flashier GUI programs such as Evolution or KMail, but Mutt may be intimidating to new users or those who are uncomfortable with text-based tools. You can learn more at http://www.mutt.org.

Netscape E-mail The Netscape Communicator package includes the Navigator browser and other components, including an e-mail client. Mozilla includes a similar e-mail client. Therefore, if you normally keep Netscape or Mozilla open, you may find these e-mail clients convenient.

Pine Another popular text-based mail client is Pine (http://www.washington.edu/pine/). Pine is similar in general scope to Mutt, but Pine is the older program. It has been used on text-based Unix systems for a long time, so users of such systems should find it familiar.

Sylpheed This mail reader, headquartered at http://sylpheed.good-day.net, is built using the GIMP Toolkit (GTK+), and it integrates well with GNOME. It's designed for speed, and it provides all the usual GUI mail reader features.

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