Subjectively best free and open source webmail service?

Supposedly, this isn’t Ubuntu MATE related. Many free software enthusiasts are here in this forum. Therefore, I think I could use some help deciding the preferred email service.

I have been searching for a Gmail alternative for a long time, that:

  • is free and open source; preferably uses GPL or other free software license (must).
  • ensures users privacy
  • Preferably free of cost
  • Simple, easy to use and modern.
  • Not driven by any company/corporation. Depends on community/users for expenses.

Till now I have come across and used quite a few email services: Tutanota, OpenMailBox, Protonmail, Lavaboom, Scryptmail, etc. These are currently my preffered email services. But of course, I cannot use every one of them simultaneously; nor I intend to. Each of these service has it’s own pros-and-cons. I cannot decide which one to use. But my current favorite is Tutanota; most for the implementing features based on community feedback as Ubuntu MATE does.

Do you have any favorite among these? Or, maybe any other name? Which one do you prefer? Why?


I have a protonmail account. It is a nice service, but I really don’t use it. I host my own email now on a vps with Mail-in-a-Box. I do have to pay, but it’s the price of one or two cups of coffee per month, not a big deal to me.

If they offered a little more space I think Kolabnow is the nicest service and closest to gmail in features.


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Till now, 36 views and 1 reply? Aren’t you people fond of secure emails?


It may be a matter of convenience. In all reality there is nothing that compares with gmail on the market…not even close really. Like I said, kolab may be closest. Even Microsoft’s outlook email is better than most out there… I think people will put convenience ahead of privacy in most situations.

Hosting yourself really needs to become super simple with all the features needed, or a vendor needs to release an equal to gmail that is secure and private… I don’t see it happening anytime soon though.

Again, mail-in-a-box is my compromise, and it is still a bit of a pain for me. But I am willing to put up with a little hoop jumping.

As you said, convenience is the driving force here. But you should also consider freedom along with convenience. Some secure email services also offer similar features as Gmail. However, it’s utterly personal choice. I cannot convince anyone unless they’re convinced to do these themselves.

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We live in the interesting world where some things are sub-optimal. My recommendation is to take Peter’s advice seriously.

I am recommending that people use because it

  1. Is hosted outside of the five eyes
  2. Uses real encryption

I would like to see an independent audit but the others either don’t satisfy that or don’t actually provide end to end encryption.

That said, I’m known to be over the top



Glad to see another response. :smile:

I haven’t seen this one yet. Do you have custom domain with them? How is the service?


I have no complaints so far. I manage my own domain, so I don’t use a lot of their services.

I like the user interface most of all. The cumbersome details of key management and synching between devices seems to a one-button option. The opportunity for manual key management continues to be available. Grandma CAN use this.

The iOS app is pretty nice, too.

So are you using your email and their web app? Or their email with your domain on it?


Right now only my personal email. I will eventually point my domain there.