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Email clients based on Thunderbird

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:[http://www.postbox-inc.com/ PostBox] is a commercial email client from a startup founded by Scott McGregor (the former Thunderbird lead engineer) and Sherman Dickman (a former Director of Product Management at Mozilla Corporation). You have to pay for any updates. It does not have an open source license, a Linux version, or support any languages other than English though there are several community-translated Language Packs. Postbox has much stricter system requirements than Thunderbird and drops support for older versions of operating systems quicker. It can import data and settings from a Thunderbird profile. [http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/ Mozbackup] (backup) supports it. :[http://www.postbox-inc.com/ PostBox] is a commercial email client from a startup founded by Scott McGregor (the former Thunderbird lead engineer) and Sherman Dickman (a former Director of Product Management at Mozilla Corporation). You have to pay for any updates. It does not have an open source license, a Linux version, or support any languages other than English though there are several community-translated Language Packs. Postbox has much stricter system requirements than Thunderbird and drops support for older versions of operating systems quicker. It can import data and settings from a Thunderbird profile. [http://mozbackup.jasnapaka.com/ Mozbackup] (backup) supports it.
-:Postbox 3.0.3 is based on Thunderbird 3.1 while adding proprietary features. It has more of a Web 2.0 focus with its integration with Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Gravatar, LinkedIn and Twitter. It has much better OS X support, supporting AppleScript (if you set Postbox as the default email client iCal and iPhoto will use it when sending events and photos), Growl, Lion style scrollbars (you will need a Trackpad) and Trackpad / Mighty Mouse Gestures support on Mac OS X Lion for example. They used to also sell Postbox through the Mac App Store though that has been dropped. They also offer a free [http://lifehacker.com/5565037/postbox-express-is-a-free-toned-down-version-of-the-advanced-email-client toned down version] called PostBox Express, that is missing some of their best features such as file, image, and URL search. +:Postbox 3.0.3 is based on Thunderbird (7.0.2?) , but has added numerous proprietary features. It has more of a Web 2.0 focus with its integration with Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Gravatar, LinkedIn and Twitter. It has much better OS X support, supporting AppleScript (if you set Postbox as the default email client iCal and iPhoto will use it when sending events and photos), Growl, Lion style scrollbars (you will need a Trackpad) and Trackpad / Mighty Mouse Gestures support on Mac OS X Lion for example. They used to also sell Postbox through the Mac App Store though that has been dropped. They also offer a free [http://lifehacker.com/5565037/postbox-express-is-a-free-toned-down-version-of-the-advanced-email-client toned down version] called PostBox Express, that is missing some of their best features such as file, image, and URL search.
:It supports file searching while composing a message and provides a [http://support.postbox-inc.com/entries/20043147-inspector-pane Inspector Pane] that "summarizes content detected within messages and conversations, and provides a set of actions to help you intuitively use this content". It supports global searching like Thunderbird, but has also added a few [http://support.postbox-inc.com/entries/263365-search-operators advanced search operators]. :It supports file searching while composing a message and provides a [http://support.postbox-inc.com/entries/20043147-inspector-pane Inspector Pane] that "summarizes content detected within messages and conversations, and provides a set of actions to help you intuitively use this content". It supports global searching like Thunderbird, but has also added a few [http://support.postbox-inc.com/entries/263365-search-operators advanced search operators].
-:Postbox does not have a strong user community like Thunderbird does. The most [http://www.postbox-inc.com/extensions add-ons] it has ever supported was 23. That has dropped to 16 with Postbox 3.0. They used to offer support on [http://getsatisfaction.com/postbox GetSatisfaction] but now use their own Zendesk based [http://support.postbox-inc.com/forums/78362-community-support forums]. +:Postbox does not have a strong user community like Thunderbird does. The most [http://www.postbox-inc.com/extensions add-ons] it has ever supported was 23. That has dropped to 16 with Postbox 3.0. On the other hand many of the features they have added would require you to find and install a corresponding add-on if you used Thunderbird, and would not be as well integrated. They used to offer support on [http://getsatisfaction.com/postbox GetSatisfaction] but now use their own Zendesk based [http://support.postbox-inc.com/forums/78362-community-support forums].
-:They have stuck with a traditional release process, rather than switching to a rapid release process like Mozilla did. They seem to be focused on adding unique features such as [http://postbox-inc.com/?/blog/entry/new_support_for_omnifocus_and_things/ quicker ways to convert emails to tasks] to Thunderbird 3.1 instead of staying in lockstep with Firefox releases. They do add some Firefox security updates but don't try to stay current. They are currently at Postbox 3.0.3 (released 03/04/2012). The last security updates were through Firefox version 3.6.13 in Postbox 2.1.2 (released 01/18/2011) while Mozilla has also released Firefox 3.6.27 and 11.0. +:Postbox formally added support for Yahoo IMAP in Postbox 2.5 (06/29/2011). Mozilla's attitude has been different. For a long time it actively discouraged users from using Yahoo IMAP, even after it added support for it in the new account wizard. The [http://support.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/kb/thunderbird-and-yahoo?s=yahoo+imap&as=s Thunderbird and Yahoo] article in their knowledge base still doesn't mention using IMAP (as of 3/21/2012). This is one example of the difference in the two companies attitude.
-:Mozilla appears to have reacted to Postbox's social media connectivity by adding support for attachments "in the cloud" and instant messaging in Thunderbird 13. +:They have stuck with a traditional release process, rather than switching to a rapid release process like Mozilla did. Postbox 3.0.3 (released 03/04/2012) uses Gecko 7.0.1. Thunderbird 7.0.2 (released 09/29/2011) used the same version of Gecko. Thunderbird 10.02 (released 2/16/2012) was released slightly before Postbox 3.0.3 and uses Gecko 10. ([http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gecko_%28layout_engine%29 Gecko] is the layout engine used in both Firefox and Thunderbird. What version of Gecko is used is also a way to track what [http://www.mozilla.org/security/announce/ security fixes] have been added.)
 + 
 +:[http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=2446079 Postbox-Parity] is a thread discussing bug reports/planned features to maintain parity with Postbox's user experience (UX).
'''SeaMonkey''' '''SeaMonkey'''

Revision as of 18:15, 21 March 2012

There are many applications that use the same mail and news library as Thunderbird or are based on Thunderbird.

Correo

Correo is a email client for OSX based on code from Thunderbird and Camino (a Mozilla OSX browser).

Eudora

Qualcomm announced in October 2006 that they were going to create a open source version based on Thunderbird and would stop selling Eudora when it was available. It is based on Thunderbird 3.0.4 and includes a Penelope extension which can also be used with the normal version of Thunderbird. It was originally called Eudora 8 but was released as Eudora OSE on September 13, 2010. The support forum is still active but it appears all development has stopped.
Apple dropped support for Rosetta in OS X 10.7 (Lion). That means you can't use Eudora OSE to import your old Eudora profile (it is PPC code that requires Rosetta to run) but the rest of Eudora OSE should still work. [1]
The last version of the Thunderbird 3.1 branch (3.1.21) is scheduled for April 24, 2012. This means there will be even less support for add-ons that might work with Eudora OSE. Version 1.0b1 is the last version of Lightning that supports Thunderbird 3.0.x.

Linux distros

Many Linux distros provide a version of Thunderbird that can be updated/installed using their package manager. This may include trunk code (code not released in the current version of Mozilla Thunderbird), some changes in where/how it's installed, or rebranding due to trademark issues. For example, IceDove is a email client distributed by Debian that is based on Thunderbird but removes any proprietary artwork and plugin support. See Moving from Windows to Linux for more information.
Some Linux distributions have separate repositories for beta releases. Also, if a specific branch version came with your installation, you may continue to receive maintenance updates for the old branch (e.g., TB 1.5 or 2.0) through your regular updates only, and may need to change the repository to get the current branch (TB 2.0 or 3.0 once it is released).

Mobility email

Mobility email provides support for running Thunderbird from a USB drive. It is a less well known alternative to Portable Thunderbird that provides its own launcher and has built-in support for S/MIME, OpenPGP (Enigmail) and several webmail providers such as Hotmail, Yahoo! and AOL.

Mozilla Suite

Mozilla Suite combines a browser with a composer, email, newsgroup and chat client, as well as a calendar. Its mail/news part was split off to build Thunderbird as a stand-alone client. The suite is now continued as a community project (SeaMonkey).

Mozilla Thunderbird for U3

Mozilla Thunderbird for U3 provides support for running Thunderbird 3 from a USB drive under Windows. There was also a version for Thunderbird 2.0.0.24 but its not clear whether that is still available. Sandisk and Microsoft are working on a replacement for Sandisk's U3 technology. Unless you really like the U3 launcher, it's recommended you use Portable Thunderbird instead.

Portable Thunderbird

Portable Thunderbird provides support for running Thunderbird from a USB drive under Windows. It does not install or register anything on the PC in order to make it more portable. One side effect of that decision is that the profile manager doesn't work. It's basically a copy of the latest released version of Mozilla Thunderbird bundled with a PortableApps.com launcher. Because it reuses a copy of Thunderbird, it's not unusual for users to update it to use the next major version of Thunderbird before it's released or find a web site that has modified it for them.

Portable Thunderbird OSX

Portable Thunderbird OSX provides support for running Thunderbird from a USB drive under OSX. It's provided by the Free OpenSource Software Mac User group (FreeSMUG). It uses a platypus script as its launcher.

PostBox

PostBox is a commercial email client from a startup founded by Scott McGregor (the former Thunderbird lead engineer) and Sherman Dickman (a former Director of Product Management at Mozilla Corporation). You have to pay for any updates. It does not have an open source license, a Linux version, or support any languages other than English though there are several community-translated Language Packs. Postbox has much stricter system requirements than Thunderbird and drops support for older versions of operating systems quicker. It can import data and settings from a Thunderbird profile. Mozbackup (backup) supports it.
Postbox 3.0.3 is based on Thunderbird (7.0.2?) , but has added numerous proprietary features. It has more of a Web 2.0 focus with its integration with Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Gravatar, LinkedIn and Twitter. It has much better OS X support, supporting AppleScript (if you set Postbox as the default email client iCal and iPhoto will use it when sending events and photos), Growl, Lion style scrollbars (you will need a Trackpad) and Trackpad / Mighty Mouse Gestures support on Mac OS X Lion for example. They used to also sell Postbox through the Mac App Store though that has been dropped. They also offer a free toned down version called PostBox Express, that is missing some of their best features such as file, image, and URL search.
It supports file searching while composing a message and provides a Inspector Pane that "summarizes content detected within messages and conversations, and provides a set of actions to help you intuitively use this content". It supports global searching like Thunderbird, but has also added a few advanced search operators.
Postbox does not have a strong user community like Thunderbird does. The most add-ons it has ever supported was 23. That has dropped to 16 with Postbox 3.0. On the other hand many of the features they have added would require you to find and install a corresponding add-on if you used Thunderbird, and would not be as well integrated. They used to offer support on GetSatisfaction but now use their own Zendesk based forums.
Postbox formally added support for Yahoo IMAP in Postbox 2.5 (06/29/2011). Mozilla's attitude has been different. For a long time it actively discouraged users from using Yahoo IMAP, even after it added support for it in the new account wizard. The Thunderbird and Yahoo article in their knowledge base still doesn't mention using IMAP (as of 3/21/2012). This is one example of the difference in the two companies attitude.
They have stuck with a traditional release process, rather than switching to a rapid release process like Mozilla did. Postbox 3.0.3 (released 03/04/2012) uses Gecko 7.0.1. Thunderbird 7.0.2 (released 09/29/2011) used the same version of Gecko. Thunderbird 10.02 (released 2/16/2012) was released slightly before Postbox 3.0.3 and uses Gecko 10. (Gecko is the layout engine used in both Firefox and Thunderbird. What version of Gecko is used is also a way to track what security fixes have been added.)
Postbox-Parity is a thread discussing bug reports/planned features to maintain parity with Postbox's user experience (UX).

SeaMonkey

SeaMonkey is a community project that continued Mozilla Suite when Mozilla stopped developing it as a product and focused on Firefox/Thunderbird instead. SeaMonkey combines a browser with an HTML authoring tool (composer), email, newsgroup, and IRC chat client (Chatzilla).
The shared MailNews Core code (which includes backend but also UI components like the account manager) is maintained by both Thunderbird and SeaMonkey developers. While the SeaMonkey 1.x Mail & Newsgroups user interface has much in common with Thunderbird 2.0, SeaMonkey 2.0 will share the same backend improvements but likely won't make many visible changes intended in Thunderbird 3.0 (the header pane redesign being an example, moving toolbar action buttons into the message itself). Both applications synchronize their releases and use the same comm-central repository.

SpiceBird

SpiceBird merges email, contacts, calendaring and instant messaging into one application. It's based on Thunderbird, the Lightning add-on and a communications framework called Telepathy. You can add iGoogle gadgets to Spicebird. Spicebird looked promising but after 4 years its still only at version 0.8.

Third party builds

The Third Party/Unofficial Builds forum has several threads for Thunderbird and SeaMonkey builds.

Thunderbird -x64

Thunderbird -x64 is a third party build of Thunderbird for Windows x64 . The Mozilla Thunderbird source code is 32 bit code that can't be complied as 64 bit code without patches. You do not need to use it to run Thunderbird under Windows x64. Since Thunderbird doesn't need the extra memory available to 64 bit applications the main advantage is it runs slightly faster because it's optimized for CPU's that support Intel EM64T or AMD64 and you're not using 32 bit code in a 64 bit environment.

Trustedbird

Trustedbird is a Milimail project to develop Thunderbird add-ons plus an open-source version of Thunderbird (Trustedbird) that integrates most of those features. It's funded by the French Ministry of Defence and British Telecom. The added features include:
  • Address auto completion with several LDAP directories
  • Adds deletion receipt to Message Delivery Notification (MDN)
  • Enhanced security services for S/MIME (triple wrapping, signed receipt, security labels)
  • Limit the message size
  • Process the message priority at the envelope level
  • XSMTP support (lets you integrate additional headers in SMTP format in the body of a message)

Misc. information

See also

External links