While Web-based email services have become really popular with time (offering features like the ability to access you account from anywhere, switch providers, and more), desktop clients are still preferred by many users. Of course, it’s primarily a matter of personal preference (or specific features in some cases), but one thing is for sure: desktop email clients aren’t going anywhere soon.
With over one billion monthly active users, Gmail is undoubtedly one of the most popular free webmail services today. If you are a Gmail user and are looking for a Linux desktop client for the service, look no further, as in this article we will discuss one such app, Wmail.
Please note that all the instructions mentioned in this article have been tested on Ubuntu 16.04.
Wmail is an open source desktop email client for Gmail and Google Inbox. It’s a cross platform application – working on OS X, Windows, and Linux straight out the box – and offers features such as multiple account support, desktop notifications, unread badges, and support for all the keyboard shortcuts, file drag drop and other native integrations.
Download and Install Wmail
To download the Wmail app you can head to the tool’s download page on its official website, and click the “Download Linux 32-bit” or “Download Linux 64-bit,” depending on the architecture of your Linux system.
In either case a .zip file will be downloaded which you can easily unzip. Enter the extracted directory (“WMail-linux-ia32” in my case), and run the “wmail” executable file. Note that you may have to give execution permission to the file to make it executable on your system, something which you can do using the
When you launch the “wmail” executable, the application first asks you to add a Gmail or Inbox account.
Once you are done with the process, which involves entering you username, password, and a one-time password (if you have two-factor authentication turned on), the app will display your Gmail account.
As you can see in the image above, it’s the same Gmail UI except that it’s opened/displayed within the application window. You can add multiple accounts using the “+” icon located at the bottom-left corner.
The gear icon below that is for settings. Here’s Wmail’s Settings window.
There are three kinds of settings: General, Account-Related, and Advanced. General settings mostly let you tweak the app’s UI, except for those related to spell-checker and download location.
Here are the account-related settings.
Finally, the Advanced settings tab only contains proxy server-related information.
The application also features standard drop-down menus such as “Edit,” “View,” and “Help,” that mostly contain UI-related options. For example, here’s the “View” menu.
An important thing worth mentioning here is that there seems to be a bug in the application that won’t let you access any of the drop-down menus (and hence, resize the application window) once you use the “Toggle Full Screen” option to launch full screen mode.
One of the highlights of the Wmail app is its user interface, which in fact – for the most part – is the same Gmail UI that you are used to. This means that new users won’t find it difficult at all to start using the application. Of course, being a desktop client, Wmail provides some of its own options/features, but the learning curve is again low.
Despite any known bugs or missing functionality, the application is worth trying out.