Claws Mail

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Claws Mail is a mail client forked from Sylpheed. In Claws Mail FAQ, it is said: Claws Mail has many extra features compared to Sylpheed and is more powerful, yet is just as fast, lightweight and stable.

It is in active development, can be extended by many plugins, and allows importing of mbox-format mailboxes (coming from Thunderbird, for example). Its native mailbox format is wikipedia:MH Message Handling System, although the mbox format can be used with a plugin. Claws Mail cannot write HTML messages (in keeping with the Keep It Simple principle), but can read them using plugins.

For Gentoo Linux it is provided by the mail-client/claws-mail package for all architectures except ia64.

Installation

USE flags

USE flags for mail-client/claws-mail An email client (and news reader) based on GTK+

archive Enable archiving plugin local
bogofilter Build mail-filter/bogofilter plugin local
calendar Add support for calendars (not using mcal!) global
clamav Add support for Clam AntiVirus software (usually with a plugin) global
dbus Enable dbus support for anything that needs it (gpsd, gnomemeeting, etc) global
debug Enable extra debug codepaths, like asserts and extra output. If you want to get meaningful backtraces see https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Project:Quality_Assurance/Backtraces global
doc Add extra documentation (API, Javadoc, etc). It is recommended to enable per package instead of globally global
gdata Enable plugin for access to Google data providers local
gnutls Add support for net-libs/gnutls (TLS 1.0 and SSL 3.0 support) global
gtk3 Build support for GTK+3 local
imap Add support for IMAP (Internet Mail Application Protocol) global
ipv6 Add support for IP version 6 global
ldap Add LDAP support (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) global
libcanberra Enable sound notification in connection with USE=notification local
libindicate Enable notification through DBUS in connection with USE=notification local
libnotify Enable notification on the desktop in connection with USE=notification local
networkmanager Enable net-misc/networkmanager support global
nls Add Native Language Support (using gettext - GNU locale utilities) global
nntp Add support for newsgroups (Network News Transfer Protocol) global
notification Notification for new mail in different way, see also USE flags libcanberra, libindicate and libnotify local
pda Add support for portable devices global
pdf Add general support for PDF (Portable Document Format), this replaces the pdflib and cpdflib flags global
perl Add optional support/bindings for the Perl language global
pgp Enable PGP support local
python Add optional support/bindings for the Python language global
rss Enable support for RSS feeds global
session Add persistent session support global
sieve Build plugin for sieve filter support local
smime Build plugin for S/MIME support local
spam-report Enable plugin for spam reporting to various services local
spamassassin Build mail-filter/spamassassin plugin local
spell Add dictionary support global
startup-notification Enable application startup event feedback mechanism global
svg Add support for SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) global
valgrind Add support for memory debugging using valgrind local
xface Add xface support used to allow a small image of xface format to be included in an email via the header 'X-Face' global

Plugins

Plugins are compiled with Claws Mail when the appropriate USE flags are set — bogofilter, spamassassin or pdf, for example.

Note
Before version 3.9.1 plugins had to be separately emerged.

Spam Filtering

  • Simple way: Bogofilter is a powerful Bayesian filter which doesn't need to be configured. It quickly learns from the user's spam and ham classifications in Claws Mail. It is the preferred spam filter for desktop computers. Set the bogofilter USE flag to compile the plugin with Claws Mail.
  • Hard way: Spamassassin is a huge mail filtering system, using Bayesian filtering and external spam-definition resources. It must be extensively configured and its daemon (spamd) must be running for Claws Mail to use it. It is the preferred spam filter for mail servers. Set the spamassassin USE flag to compile the plugin with Claws Mail. Some information can be found in the articles Complete Virtual Mail Server and Mailfiltering Gateway.

Emerge

Create a /etc/portage/package.use/claws-mail file to activate the desired USE flags (or add them to the /etc/portage/package.use file). To set bogofilter, pgp and archive, for example:

root #echo 'mail-client/claws-mail bogofilter pgp archive' > /etc/portage/package.use/claws-mail

Then emerge Claws Mail:

root #emerge --ask mail-client/claws-mail

Configuration and Usage

  • Accounts, mail filtering, models, actions, labels, etc. are set in the Configuration menu;
  • main configuration is done in Configuration > Preferences…;
  • plugins are (de)activated in Configuration > Plugins… and configured in Configuration > Preferences…;
  • the archive plugin is run from Tools > Create Archive…;
  • the user interface can be modified: lists headers in global or message views, icons, fonts;
  • the address book can import and export several formats.

Clawsker

mail-client/clawsker can be installed to edit many preferences which are not in the GUI:

root #emerge --ask mail-client/clawsker

Then launch it when Claws Mail is not running:

user $clawsker

The Claws Mail preferences file is ~/.claws-mail/clawsrc.

Themes

Many icon themes can be installed with x11-themes/claws-mail-themes:

root #emerge --ask x11-themes/claws-mail-themes

External resources