Note: This review was originally posted to the mailling list, but has been made available here|
Well, for better or worse, I've chosen an email client. You'll recall that
I had narrowed it down to four possibles, based upon the rather modest
requirements that the client support multiple email accounts and have some
filtering capabilities. So I installed all four, and I started looking at
them, keeping in mind the features of Eudora that I use every day or really
Email Comparison Sylpheed Mozilla Balsa Evolution
Multiple accts? yes yes yes yes
Filter criteria headers header/body header/body header/body/
(does/does not) contain contain/is/ contain contain/is/
regex begin/end regex begin/end
Multiple filters? 2 and/or N and/or N and/or N and/or
Filter actions move/delete move/delete/ move/delete/ move/delete/
flag/label pgm'd actn. color
Eudora mailbox? yes yes yes yes
Eudora addr's? no yes ? ?
Eudora filters? no ? ? ?
PGP support? yes yes ? yes
Attachments? yes yes yes yes
Return receipts? no yes yes no
BCC? yes yes yes yes
Msg size limit? yes yes no no
Signature files? one one per acct. multiple one per acct.
Address books? multiple multiple multiple multiple
Message Labels? no yes,5 no no, but flag
HTML email? no optional no optional
External actions? yes no filter no
Evolution has the most flexible filtering -- except that Balsa
allows the use of an external program as a filter, which would be VERY nice
for some of the spam filtering software I've seen. But all are as good as
Eudora 3. (All but Mozilla have some support for regular expressions.)
I'm thinking that I'll be using PGP more in the future, so that's
important. I also send and receive messages with "return receipts" so I'd
like the client to handle that.
A VERY important feature is the ability to leave a message on the server if
it exceeds a certain size. I'm on a dialup line, and the occasional
unwanted 2.5MB message does appear. It also keeps a lot of Klez viruses
away. This is a "deal breaker" and is sufficient to disqualify Balsa and
Another Eudora feature I use a lot is the ability to give messages
color-coded labels. Only Mozilla offers this. (Evolution lets you "flag"
a message, which is like having one label, but I use at least four.) Of
the four, only Mozilla offers this.
I do NOT want HTML email...what's important to me is that the feature can
be turned off, and the client forced to use text email. All four pass this
So, the best match to my desired feature set is Mozilla. Sylpheed is a
close second. Sylpheed is probably the closest to Eudora in appearance,
although none of the four offers the Eudora user interface that I've come
to love, with multiple mailboxes and multiple messages open simultaneously.
Balsa is ok, and I frankly dislike the Evolution look and feel and its
On the other hand, I may be unusual among Linux users in that I *like* a
combined email-news-browser program like Mozilla. I've had a lot of
problems in the Windoze environment getting my email to work with my
browser and news reader. (If I didn't like Eudora so much, I might have
switched to Netscape mail long ago.)
The new user interface will take some getting used to, and I'll miss some
handy features. But until someone brings out Eudora for Linux, it's a
price I'm willing to pay.