I’ve been spending more time dealing with mail recently, and I really don’t want to. Thus the search for the “best” (for me) mail client or, technically, Mail User Agent (MUA). I want it to be fast, I want to be able to read lots of mail quickly, rearrange it, and use GPG when I need to. GMail rocks, but there’s no way to integrate GPG into it, and I suspect that there never will be.
mutt - I spent about a week using mutt. First of all, I was lazy and didn’t want to learn all the keybindings. I only learned the ones that allowed me to switch folders and reply to mails. Second of all, it doesn’t handle HTML mails very well. It needs an external viewer for anything that isn’t plaintext. Configuring the external viewers was also not something I was into. On the plus side, I can get/send mail from anywhere that has an SSH client, and GPG support is included.
Thunderbird + Enigmail - this is what I switched to after mutt. My main complaints are that Thunderbird is simply slow. Getting mails, displaying mails, etc, it just feels slightly sluggish. Enigmail is nice. The main downsides here are a) sluggishness and b) no good default keybindings. Threaded view also isn’t used by default. While I’m sure I could configure Thunderbird to do everything exactly how I want it, it’s easier to type “apt-get install sylpheed”.
Sylpheed - I switched to this client the other day after reading an excellent post about it here: Sylpheed Saved My Life. I came across this post after searching Google with the phrase “why is procmail so damn complicated?” (without quotes) because I joined a couple of new mailing lists and wanted to filter their messages. My coworker’s .procmailrc does this, but deciphering it is not trivial, to say the least. Why do I need to understand procmail if I can just get my mail client to filter and arrange mails for me?
GMail - This is still the client I use for all my personal mail. It’s reliable, simple and powerful. I don’t have to worry about administering the mail server. I don’t have to worry about message sizes. I don’t have to worry about deleting messages. GMail is awesome, except that you have to trust Google with the content of all your mails…