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eMail in Ubuntu Linux

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eMail in Ubuntu Linux

Probably the most necessary task I need to accomplish on a daily basis is email communications. On Mac OS X I used the built in email client, Mail. When switching to Ubuntu I had a number of choices such as Evolution or Thunderbird, but I very quickly realized the problem therein—I was currently tied to the Apple Address book and Mail application. I had no portability. So along with my switch to Ubuntu I sought a cross-platform address and mail tool that would also give me portability. This is when I discovered the beauty of Gmail.

I had tried Gmail before and it never caught on because I had no need to switch to it—I never truly explored its features. Furthermore I thought I would need the offline editing that comes with a desktop email client. That is feature I have never missed since switching to Gmail.

My first task was to get Gmail checking all my email accounts, which is super easy. In the Settings → Accounts you can add any email address you have (up to 5.) If you need Gmail to check more than this then tell your mail server to forward messages to a single address. Then have Gmail check that one address.

But the real thing that got me hooked on Gmail was its labeling system. It not only helps with organization but it also serves to get things done. I now use Gmail exclusively, even when on OS X.

Gmail has a couple of added benefits over any desktop email client I have used. The first is its searching capabilities. They just work. I can find anything in Gmail very quickly. The real benefit here is my Inbox stays very lean as I archive everything that does not need immediate attention.

The second benefit, something that I have always wanted in Apple’s Mail but have never been given, is the ability to mark a message with different icons. Gmail now offers this via its labs settings (the little green beaker in the upper right corner of the Gmail screen.) After enabling the “Superstars” feature you can toggle the star next to each message to a number of different icons, from different colored stars to question marks and exclamation points. The list of icons that Gmail uses is customizable via the Settings → General pane.

If my Ubuntu experiment teaches me nothing else, it has certainly made my email workflow more efficient and less tied to any particular computer or platform

5 Responses to “eMail in Ubuntu Linux”
Vasto Says:
July 10th, 2008 at 1:25 pm

I have never tried this, but I believe you can also use Evolution/Thunderbird with GMail and sync using IMAP. That way you can keep your web version upto date, but you also have the flexibility of offline editing.
eha1990 Says:
July 12th, 2008 at 1:29 am

Gmail is my primary email platform too. I like the fact that you can integrate the Google Toolbar into Firefox and have those settings move around to whatever computer you are using by just logging into your Gmail account.
Mail Server For Linux Says:
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