Geary – A Very Simple Email Client for Linux

My laptop is dual-boot with Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.10 installed side by side. Mostly I prefer to use Ubuntu unless there is special need for Windows – something like working with complex Excel sheets etc.  For emailing I use Gmail in browser for both personal and official (Google Apps) purpose. Gmail has very good interface that’s why it is replacing standalone email clients gradually. But sometimes you need an email client because of various reasons like accessing in offline mode, for backup or handling multiple accounts. Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird are the two major email clients available . Outlook comes bundled with Microsoft Office and Thunderbird is free to download. Outlook is available only for Windows and Mac while Thunderbird is available for all major operating systems including Windows, Mac and Linux. In fact, Thunderbird comes pre-installed on Ubuntu since version 11.10 when it replaced Evolution email client. Both Outlook and Thunderbird are very good email clients having many features but I always feel that they are good to be used with POP3 and not with IMAP. IMAP implementation is never very good either in Outlook or in Thunderbird. I was in search of a lightweight and simple email client which handles IMAP in a better way.

Then I found Geary which is a very simple, fast and lightweight email client for Linux. Geary has been developed by Yorba, the makers of Shotwell photo organizing application for Linux. Shotwell is the default photo organizer application on Ubuntu. Geary is a very new application, it’s latest version is 0.3 which has been released last month only. Geary is designed with keeping simple and easy design in mind. It displays multi-threaded emails in conversations mode same like we have seen in Gmail. Setting up an email account is very easy in Geary, it needs only username and password for both Gmail and Yahoo Mail. For other email accounts we need to provide IMAP and SMTP server details. It works only with IMAP as of now, there is no provision for POP3 accounts. Like most email clients it has three viewing panes – one each for Navigation, Message List and Message View. It has good integration with Gmail as it displays all Gmail Labels flawlessly.

Geary is completely free to download and available for Ubuntu and other Linux distros like Fedora, Debian etc. For Ubuntu 12.10 its available in Ubuntu Software Center. For command line lovers, you need to open Terminal and need to run below commands –

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yorba/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install geary

Geary is very new and it has few limitations as well. Search option is still not available and it works only with Gmail, Yahoo and few other IMAP servers. I hope to see Geary in mainstream use in near future as the developers have plan to add these missing features and also a plugin system in next releases.

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