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Linux Daily Driver (Part 3): A Glimmer of Email Hope?

Linux Daily Driver (Part 3): A Glimmer of Email Hope?

Well it’s been a few weeks. My daily Linux use continues, so far, Ubuntu has been friendly on the Dell E7450, although I did bump the stock 8GB of RAM to 12GB (1 4GB and 1 8GB stick). I’ve been able to solve most of my problems. In a Windows environment, it’s taken some tricks, but I’m getting there.

  • Windows PC in my LAN room + RDP (Remmina Remote Desktop Client) for Active Directory management
  • Chrome/Firefox/Chromium for browsing
  • Sky – Skype for Business on Linux – (I think this is the most pleasant surprise of my switch to full time Linux. I was using the web based SfB client in Office 365 but it’s ok at best, Sky has been a breath of fresh air, I have some complaints, but it seems good overall.)
  • LibreOffice – Office…duh.

There’s still one unfilled need. Email clients. I can hear everyone now…and yes, I’ve tried using webmail, but with 4 email accounts, (2 work, 1 professional, 1 personal/social) it’s pretty shitty tabbing through those in a browser. (Yes I could only focus on the 2 work emails, but still not ideal).

In the last article, I mentioned Thunderbird’s runaway memory use, I haven’t tried it again with the extra 4GB of RAM, but with it being responsible for full system lock ups, I’m wary.  I seemed to have settled on to Geary. It served a need, it showed me my email, and let me send messages, great, barebones but effective. Then I heard Nylas Mail mentioned on Linux Unplugged. I think I came across Nylas in the past, when it was just the email service, not the application, but when I went to the website, I saw there was a free email client. It seemed to fit the needs of what I needed, so I downloaded it and got moving.

Well it seemed too good to be true. The interface was pleasant, I spent some time fiddling with the themes, browsing all the settings, it had great keyboard shortcut support and it just worked! It synced with my exchange account, 2 Gmail accounts and a FastMail account. So far so good. I could files emails in folders, I could send emails, this is good right? But then the problems popped up. It start with my exchange account, it was still syncing my folders for my exchange account DAYS later.

folderlistinNylasMailNow I have a lot of folders in my inbox, around 150, with a 100GB available inbox, everything I have is in my inbox. I’m only using <4GB of total space, but other apps allow me to set only 2 weeks of mail to sync, etc. Maybe I’ve found the practical limit for folders in Nylas, the other accounts were syncing fine, but not my exchange. And now, I wasn’t getting emails in my inbox, maybe the syncing folders was taking all of Nylas’ resources? I could deal with a lack of some synced folders, but no email in my inbox? That’s a basic need of email clients, show me my inbox. There is no way to manually sync email in Nylas, like a “Send/Receive” button or “Refresh”. (There is a “reload”, but it looks like that just refreshes the interface). I found myself needing to quit the app, kill any residual processes, and then relaunch to see new mail. No thanks.

Contacting support lead to an “uninstall/reinstall” for a fix, I’m an IT manager, that’s where I started. So after another uninstall, clearing the local email cache, and all that, I’ve started the sync OVER and now I’ll wait another few days and see what happens. Until then, I still don’t have an email client, I guess I’ll install Geary again.