I am looking for an e-mail client for Ubuntu 10.04-12.04 which would look like Gmail and would replace my current Thunderbird configuration. I have no problems with the efficiency or reliability of Thunderbird, but I am used to the Gmail interface and the interface of Thunderbird doesn't suit my taste even after forcing myself to learn, use and configure it for several weeks. Unfortunately, I can no longer use Gmail for corporate e-mails.

I would like to have:

  • interface close to Gmail
  • many, if not most features of Thunderbird (and Gmail) -- address books, labels, automatic scoring, conversation view, starring interesting articles, filters, single-key shortcuts (like "a" in Thunderbird or "y" in Gmail).

I would have no problem with a TB plugin that just modifies the interface, if you know of one.


An email client called geary is in an early state of development, but provides most of the features that you want. It is explicitly designed around gmail support and the conversation view style and implements features such as starring messages and labels, but search is limited to the message headers and not the full text until version 0.3.

It may not be quite ready for your purposes, but it is worth keeping in mind, as it closely resembles the gmail way of conversation style organisation, which is in contrast to how Thunderbird deals with mail. In geary, like in gmail, related emails are viewed as one conversation; i.e. when one mail is opened, the replies and other related mails to it are also shown. For more general information, please see the wiki mentioned or the help pages here.

The screenshot below is from the latest compiled version (0.2.2), but I will update it in the future as geary develops.

enter image description here

You can either compile it from source or install the ppa, while also noting the information here regarding ppas:

Note: at the current time this ppa is only for Precise (12.04) and earlier Ubuntu versions; geary 0.21 is in the Quantal repositories, but it will be necessary to compile if you want later versions than 0.21 on Quantal.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install geary
  • +1 for Geary. While there are still some missing features, it's great for day-to-day email. – ImaginaryRobots Nov 25 '12 at 2:54
  • I will give it a try, but a full-text search is a must. – January Nov 25 '12 at 10:10
  • OK, for now I was not even able to set up my account (secure imap + secure smpt). Well, I'll try to file a bug report. – January Nov 25 '12 at 10:15

Have you tried Thunderbird conversation add-on?

  • Very nice add-on! – January Nov 22 '12 at 18:43

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