5 Ways to Encrypt Email for Linux

Email, though an aging technology, is still as relevant as ever. For as much as people like to do most of their communication on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone willing to do any sort of professional work outside of email.

That’s right, email is still important for business and for private, personal correspondence. Why? Well, despite the fact that it’s aging, few emerging communication tools are as easy to make private and secure as email.

Yes, we’re talking about encryption in email, on Linux specifically. How can we make our messages more private? It turns out there are a few options for you Linux users out there. Here are five ways you can encrypt your email on Linux.

1. Enigmail for Thunderbird

When it comes to email clients on Linux, few people try anything other than Thunderbird. It’s everyone’s client of choice, and for good reason. Mozilla does a good job with their software and implementing features.


When it comes to encryption of email on Linux, there are many ways to encrypt your email messages. However, if you’re using Thunderbird, you should try out Enigmail. When you add this to your Thunderbird, you’ll be able to easily send encrypted messages over email.

The add-on, when added to Thunderbird, will give it the ability to send emails encrypted in openPGP (and GnuPGP). Just as well, you’ll be able to decrypt other senders’ messages, too.

2. Evolution

Evolution, the official email client for the Gnome desktop environment, is a robust client with a whole lot of features, including encryption. When it comes down to it, most email clients on Linux support messaging encryption.


Most do it by supporting GnuPGP key signing for messages. Evolution is no exception. With it you can import your GnuPGP keys and have your messages automatically signed as well as encrypted. That way as you send mail from your favorite client, you can rest assured that everything is totally secure and private.

If you’re looking for a client on Linux that supports GnuPGP encryption, Evolution isn’t the only one. However, the ease in which it allows users to get this process going is admirable and thus should be added to the list for those looking for this kind of thing.

3. Claws Mail

Much like Evolution, Claws Mail has some good GnuPGP encryption support, meaning you’ll be able to generate decryption keys as well as import them for use with sending and receiving email messages.


Claws is not as user-friendly as Evolution, but it’s still impressive in the way it handles things nonetheless. Messages are handled the way you’d expect: signing them with a GPG key and encrypting them in a similar fashion.

4. Mailvelope

If you’re a Linux user, you might just use web mail in the web browser. This means that you’re not necessarily tied down to the Linux email clients on the platform. Still, web mail is heavily used, so we should talk about it.


If you’re looking for encryption but still use something like Gmail, Yahoo, etc., you should check out Mailvelope. It’s a browser extension for both Chrome and Firefox that allows you you to generate PGP keys for encryption, as well as decrypt and encrypt messages for web-mail.

5. Proton Mail

Obfuscating your email with various email tools is great, but what if you could just sign up for an email provider that offers encryption right in the service? This would solve a lot of the problems that current, non-encryptable email providers offer.


Check out Proton mail. It’s free and offers end-to-end encrypted, anonymous email. For those accustomed to using things like Gmail, Outlook, or any of the other popular web-based mail services, this may be the way to go if you’re looking for encryption on Linux.

Currently, Proton mail does not support using any email clients but has a very robust web-mail client that should run on any web browser that runs on Linux. There’s no doubt that in the future, as things evolve, you may see Proton mail supporting your favorite email client on Linux.


Email has always been something that Linux has done particularly well. You’ll be hard pressed to run out of email clients to try on Linux. And best of all, most, if not all, of them support encrypting email messages in some fashion.

If you’ve tried all of these options on the list and find that you’re still not happy, just search your software sources on your Linux installation. There is no doubt you’ll find dozens more email clients with your needs covered!

What’s your favorite way to encrypt email on Linux? Tell us below!

Derrik Diener
Derrik Diener

Derrik Diener is a freelance technology blogger.

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