Review of the Free Email Program 'Sylpheed'

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Sylpheed is a surprisingly versatile Linux email client. 'Surprisingly' because it has a friendly, easy to use interface to its many useful features.

What We Like
  • Sylpheed is a nice and easy to use email client.

  • Supports templates, labels and virtual folders for organizing mail.

  • Sylpheed sports OpenPGP encryption and TLS/SSL support.

What We Don't Like
  • Sylpheed does not support HTML formatting.

  • The filters could be more flexible.

  • Sylpheed's message editor cannot reflow text, only wraps it.


  • Access multiple POP, IMAP accounts, MH mailers, as well as newsgroups with Sylpheed.
  • Automatically file messages with simple or regexp filters, and organize them with color labels.
  • Sylpheed offers flexible message templates for canned replies and frequently sent emails.
  • All server connections support TLS/SSL security, and mail can be encrypted with PGP/MIME.
  • Sylpheed includes a simple, but capable message editor, and lets you use an external editor, too.
  • International language support including Unicode makes Sylpheed a global citizen.
  • Sylpheed supports X-Face to show the face behind an email and can display HTML emails in plain text.
  • Integration with bogofilter offers easy and precise spam filtering.
  • Sylph-Searcher, a separate tool, provides a fast database-driver full-text search of all your messages.
  • Sylpheed supports Windows 2000/3/XP/Vista, Mac OS X, and Linux/BSD/Unix.


Sylpheed not only has a pleasant name, but it also pleases with a nice and friendly user interface.

All the features are where you look for them first, and useful features Sylpheed has aplenty: flexible message templates and color labels, support for PGP encryption and TLS/SSL security, and proper message threading, to begin with. Add to that smart folders and integration with bogofilter spam filtering.

Sylph-Searcher, a separate program, can find any text in any Sylpheed email fast using a database-driven search.

There are also areas, however, where Sylpheed can still improve. The internal message editor can't reflow quoted text correctly under all circumstances (Sylpheed supports external editors, though) and does not support HTML, for example, and remote POP mailbox access or the ability to read RSS feeds would be nice.