Mailer for solaris

The new solaris box came with Thunderbird installed as a default mailer.  It works for mail once I’ve disabled crap like pseudo-HTML composition.  At least, while online and its IMAP servers are responding.  And so long as you post everything through one SMTP host.

OK, yes, that’s pretty limiting.  But the real killer is how it falls about in a ghastly heap when trying to access an IMAP server that’s offline or responding slowly.

I’m used to Apple’s mailer – on the mac laptop – which makes a decent job of it.  Once it’s synced with the IMAP server on the (linux) desktop, I can access its local cached copies of my mail, no fuss.  And it’s pretty good at syncing up whenever a connection is available.

Thunderbird, by contrast, hangs and refuses to open the offline account when the IMAP server is unavailable.  Worse, it pops up error messages about it, to interrupt whatever I’m doing.  And worst of all, this morning when I first tried to sync it, the IMAPD was responding slowly because the linux box was running updatedb, and has the slowest of cheapo discs.  Instead of syncing in background, thunderbird started grabbing all my desktop’s resources, and made X11 more sluggish than ever the linux box’s own desktop gets when running updatedb.  It felt like a forkbomb!

So, I want a better mailer.  And here’s the rub: I’ve never run a *X box in the same circumstances, with intermittent availability of an IMAP server.  I do most of my mail on the Linux box, but obviously its own dovecot instance is always up when i use that.  Going back before the days of the mac laptop, I wasn’t running an imapd, so I didn’t have the issue.  Back in the days of dialup, I used fetchmail+local folders, as opposed to fetchmail feeding dovecot, and Pine worked just fine.

So, dear lazyweb, what’s a good mailer for *X with intermittent connectivity?

Posted on May 5, 2008, in email, solaris. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. It’s a bit of an effort but I get by with Thunderbird on my laptop by making sure it aways starts in offline mode, not ideal but works for me. Also you can have more than one SMTP server again with a bit of effort though.

  2. you might be able to “fix” the problem by using an imap proxy (or perhaps it has been fixed in a more recent thunderbird).
    Or just ditch all the gui bloat and go for something more usable like mutt.

  3. OK, trying Sun’s edition of Ximian Evolution, which also came pre-installed. Didn’t notice it at first!

    I’ve avoided it in favour of something lighter-weight in the past, but this Solaris box has more RAM than anything I’ve used before, so a heavyweight mailer should be fine. That is, if it doesn’t suffer the same defects as Thunderbird!

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