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

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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