Looking at Sylpheed 3.1.1 – Is this the package to unseat Thunderbird on my desktop?

with the blisteringly quick Sylpheed, a user merely requiring an Email client can’t go wrong  – Its memory footprint is tiny, its faster than an MVP after a freebie and with a simple to use no nonsense interface probably the best solution for the vast majority of users.

Since I wrote about SeaMonkey, it seems only right that with the release of 3.1.1 I look at Sylpheed.

Sylpheed is an email client supporting numerous protocols out of the box including POP3, IMAP, SMTP, NNTP as well as IPV6.   The website text claims to offer an Outlook type look, which while the creators seem to think  is a good thing, for me having been burned by Microsoft products in the past (and in particular Outlook)  see this as far from a ringing endorsement, but I reserved judgement as I delved into what Sylpheed had to offer.

One of the nice things about Sylpheed is its straight forward UI, even for the new user its going to be seconds before they have imported their email settings and are ready to go.

Filters are handled in pretty much the same way as Thunderbird, with a simple method of setting up rules for your email. Slypheed also offers simple to use features for junk-mail:

Sylpheed has a learning-type junk mail control feature which utilizes external commands. You can automatically filter junk mails without setting filter rules by hand, so you don’t have to worry about being buried in the flood of junk mail anymore. It also has high flexibility. Other than the bogofilter and bsfilter, which are the default, you can use any programs as the external commands. The standard programs can be easily used from Sylpheed by just installing them.

Source: Sylpheed Home Page

Conclusions

Sylpheed is very fast and stable.  In those two respects it wins hands-down over Thunderbird.  Whilst I would not like to belittle Thunderbird, Ive found that its become a tad sluggish over the years.  I hasten to add that if you are a Windows user you would probably not think it sluggish at all, however in Linux land, it seems to lag behind the “punchyness” of my other applications of late.  I have also had the occasional crash, but Thunderbird will be left for another occasion as we discuss Sylpheed.

So with speed and stability in abundance, Sylpheed should be my first choice? Unfortunately not.  As was stated on the SeaMonkey review I am after improving my desktop functionality.  Thunderbird only rarely iritates me and the fact that Sylpheed does not support RSS and Usenet is a major issue for me.   If I was to choose Sylpheed now, it would mean going back to having separate clients for both, which is something I am not prepared to do. HTML Formating is also absent from Sylpheed, however for me, thats no real issue.

With that in mind though, with the blisteringly quick Sylpheed, a user merely requiring an Email client can’t go wrong  – Its memory footprint is tiny, its faster than a MVP after a freebie and with a simple to use no nonsense interface probably the best solution for the vast majority of users.

Sylpheed is available for Linux, Mac and Windows although if  3.1.1 is not in your repo’s then you will have to compile from source to experience the latest version.

Goblin

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. James says:

    Thanx for a clear article.
    Slypheed does have plugins for HTML and RSS, not sure about Usenet and of course there is the spin-off of Claws-mail which is updated more often and has nore plugins (I think).
    James
    PS. I’m tryiing out Opera Next email and finding it very user friendly!

    1. openbytes says:

      Thanks for commenting!

      Yes I saw there is a RSS plugin (thanks for that) although , I assume that would be a 3rd party one and it was the out of the box experience I am more in favour of. The official site does not make a RSS plugin clear (maybe I missed it) As for Usenet, the search continues, having said that I still use a separate client as a reader (Thunderbird) with LottaNZB handling binaries….it would be nice to see a true “all in one package”!

      Kindest regards

      Tim.

  2. GVS says:

    Let us not forget that one cannot delete messages from anywhere but the main window of Sylpheed (unless fixed in above reviewed version). Sylpheed has tons of potential but simply is not finished IMO. AAMOF it felt like an alpha version rather than a repository version… Also, if all one needs is a simple client, there are better ones than Sylpheed at this stage … again … not ready for big time IMO.

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