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Thunderbird Unseats Evolution In Ubuntu 11.10 283

An anonymous reader writes "Coinciding with the recent release of Mozilla Thunderbird 5 and its 400 performance and stability fixes, Canonical has decided that it's now fit for adoption in Ubuntu — and as of version 11.10, Thunderbird will replace Evolution as the default mail program. You can download the second alpha of Ubuntu 11.10 today and give Thunderbird a whirl."
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Thunderbird Unseats Evolution In Ubuntu 11.10

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  • BFT (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cadeon ( 977561 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @10:41AM (#36682900)

    I've always hated evolution. Thunderbird is much cleaner.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I've always hated evolution. Thunderbird is much cleaner.

      Look, can you religious nut-jobs take your "intelligent design" and thunder throwing sky gods elsewhere? Evolution is a well founded scientific...

      What? Email programs?
      *Ahem* Sorry for the interruption, carry on.

    • Re:BFT (Score:5, Insightful)

      by poetmatt ( 793785 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @10:54AM (#36683064) Journal

      absolutely. I also agree with the commenter below, get rid of empathy and go back to pidgin, and then we'll be a step closer to ubuntu not being crap.

      • Yes I agree. And while we're ditching Empathy, can we get Ekiga back for SIP calls that 'just work', or otherwise Jitsi?

        • by frisket ( 149522 )
          And while we're about that, can we pleeeeeeease ditch Okular and go back to kpdf and kdvi? Not only is Okular's rendering sucky, but it has no "Print Current Page" option, and the double sidebar takes up waaaaay too much screen real estate.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        The only decent mail client on Linux is Thunderbird. Everything else crashes, locks up, and doesn't set up as easy.

        I've tried 'em all and every major release, I try them again - same result every time so far: crap.

        • by Nadaka ( 224565 )

          what about pine? I know it is old as hell, but I never had problems with it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ChrisMP1 ( 1130781 )

          Everything else crashes,

          I use Mutt. It's never crashed for me.

          locks up,

          I use Mutt. It's never locked up for me.

          and doesn't set up as easy.

          I use... ah hell, carry on. I would probably crash if I lost my muttrc...

      • absolutely. I also agree with the commenter below, get rid of empathy and go back to pidgin, and then we'll be a step closer to ubuntu not being crap.

        It might well happen.I think the main driver was the integration with Gnome and Ubuntu deferred to the Gnome guys. With Ubuntu moving away from Gnome lately we could see a reverse.

        Trouble is, neither Pidgin nor Empathy have progressed very much since Ubuntu put together this comparison: []

      • absolutely. I also agree with the commenter below,

        And I agree with the comment that's going to be posted an hour from now, on how everything in Ubuntu is broken now, and unity is just he last straw, and that I'm definitely going to switch to something else soon.

      • Re:BFT (Score:4, Interesting)

        by supersloshy ( 1273442 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @02:04PM (#36685504)

        Pidgin has a lot more features than Empathy does, that's for sure, but when GNOME 3 came out I decided to make the switch... and I'm really liking it so far. Aside from not supporting blocking contacts on every protocol that Pidgin does (I think it only supports one or two protocols right now for that), it does just enough for me and it feels easier to use than Pidgin, in addition to having great GNOME 3 integration. As far as Ubuntu goes, they'd be better off using Pidgin, but every other distro, as in the GNOME 3 using ones, are much better off with Empathy in the long run. It's very pleasant to use, even if it is lacking in a few parts.

    • Agree.

      I like Thunderbird because:
      -I like to keep the same apps across platforms
      -The availability of plugins
      -The fact that plugins can be programmed more easily than for Evolution (do they have them? are they done in C?)

      Yet at the same time, this continues the general theme of Ubuntu keeping on messing things around and changing them. Pick one thing and stick with it! F-spot -> Shotwell, Pidgin -> Empathy, drop GIMP, drop OpenOffice (from CD), Gnome -> Unity, etc.

    • by rgviza ( 1303161 )
      yea. why they stuck with evolution that long is a mystery to me.
  • Evolution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geek ( 5680 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @10:42AM (#36682912)

    I never liked Evolution. It tried too hard to be Outlook. It was just as convoluted to configure, was buggy as sin and used an enormous amount of screen real estate. Thunderbird has it's issues here also but it's been far better than Evolution for some time now. I'm probably not the target audience anymore though, I've been using webmail for some time and have no intentions of switching back to a client.

    • by Moryath ( 553296 )

      As a longtime Tbird (and Firefox) user... my question for the Mozilla folks is, For Fuck's Sake Why Do You Keep Breaking Plugins??

      Tbird 5 broke Lightning. AGAIN. Pain in the ass for those of us who actually like the (gag, yes I know it looks like outlook) idea of keeping our calendar in the same program we keep our email, since then it's Right There when we get an email about something that needs to be noted in the calendar.

      • I never understood the email-calendar connection. I don't see any advantage to having it in the same program. Switching to iCal is no more difficult than going to a different section of my email program. Generally I value keeping my email program fast and simple (thank you I cringe whenever I look at people's horrible email clients with a zillion different folders and functions.
        • Re:Evolution (Score:4, Informative)

          by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @12:09PM (#36684040)
          Because people use email to arrange and invite many people to meetings. I don't need my daily personal schedule in my email program, but getting an email invite to a meeting, clicking "accept" and having it automatically added to my calendar is pretty nice. Sure, you could make it work that the calendar program is separate, but why bother if you're going to run both anyway? Anyway, lightening is then linked to one of my Google calendars anyway, so no matter where I go I can check my schedule. So... anyway, I can see why you might not like it, but "never understood?" It actually makes perfect sense. And this isn't evolution or outlook... even with lightening add-on, thunderbird starts up quickly and is still relatively lightweight by comparison.
        • If much of your life is meetings, the ability to forward calendar items back and forth, and collaborate on changing them etc. is . . . well, actually, that + phone integration is probably the only reason I actually GET to most of my meetings.
    • by sqldr ( 838964 )

      It tried too hard to be Outlook

      Which is ironic, because 'provider for microsoft exchange' can talk to exchange 2010, complete with calendar and addressbook. Evolution is still failing there.

    • Have you tried mutt then? Works everywhere with nothing but ssh, and you can customize it or add support for anything you want in a few lines of shell.

      And since you're already logged in to the server, procmail with all its power is just nearby. Try to beat that with any GUI client, and especially webmail.

    • So you hated something for being relevant. Nice. One post after another of people showing ignorance and bias.

      Evolution is a good email client. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Though it has had runs of stability issues - typically caused by poor distribution management. Frankly, I find the Thunderbird interface to absolutely suck. Its a step backwards. Every single Thunderbird user I know, which is considerable (though I pointed them to it), hates the revised interface they tried to shove down the

  • About time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @10:49AM (#36682980) Homepage

    I like "close to how I set things up anyway", so that I don't have to fight against stupid defaults all the time. Purge evolution, purge empathy, install thunderbird, install pidgin. Done. That was the appeal of Ubuntu.

    Though they've jumped the shark with unity, so ... I'll switch to Debian now I guess.

    • by geek ( 5680 )

      That's what I used to do also. I hate Empathy with a passion. More and more though I am using google talk in the web browser since I have a gmail tab open all the time anyway. I also switched to Arch thanks to all this Unity stuff. If they tighten Unity up though I'll give it another try. It's pretty horrible right now though.

      • What really worries me is that a lot of the KDE people are putting resources into Telepathy and that Plasmoid thingy instead of working on Kopete. Kopete used to be light years ahead of everyone else, having webcam capability as well as a really attractive UI. I also adored the multiple profiles it supported. I first started pulling away when Pidgin gained facebook chat capability and Kopete took months to gain it. The last time I tried it on my LXDE laptop it wouldn't play nice with the message notificatio
        • Its very likely that the folks working Plasma are not the folks who worked on Kopete nor the folks who work on amaroK, etc.

    • I bought I second hard disk just so I can prepare my exodus from Ubuntu (vmware workstation isn't suitable, need to work with the native devices). I switched over to Xubuntu for now, but am configuring the Debian XFCE from the XFCE/LXDE disk in my spare time. More loose ends to deal with than Ubuntu, such as usb device plugging permissions and 32 bit libraries needed for some things to work on amd64. But thus far forums have all the solutions. Don't bother with the LXDE, that's like a beta that still
      • by Tarlus ( 1000874 )

        Dunno, I kinda like the way LXDE is set up now. I do agree that its configuration could be reorganized a bit but it's a great way to go lighter than XFCE without losing too much functionality. Yes, I said it, my hardware needs something lighter than XFCE...

        • with LXDE I also hit the issues of partial redraw/refresh of desktop at times, and sometimes the panel runs CPU to 100% and it sticks there.....these things will get fixed (if they haven't been already), and I will be keeping my eye on LXDE from now on
    • by Machtyn ( 759119 )
      Yep - that's the same for me, too. Since I'm still a Linux newb, it's "figure out how to purge Evolution and Empathy, figure out how to integrate Thunderbird".
  • Download (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dan East ( 318230 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @10:49AM (#36682998) Journal

    You can download the second alpha of Ubuntu 11.10 today and give Thunderbird a whirl.

    Wow, you have to download and install an entire OS distribution to try an email client.

  • I just haven't seen any significant innovation Evolution for some time now. I switched to Thunderbird a long time ago and haven't missed Evolution one bit. For one, the extensions support for Thunderbird makes it more appealing not to mention the ability to choose what is and isn't in my mail client. For example, if don't want to do calendaring from Thunderbird I don't add the extension.

  • by dousette ( 562546 ) <dave@do[ ] ['use' in gap]> on Thursday July 07, 2011 @11:05AM (#36683204) Homepage
    How does Thunderbird 5 handle full Exchange connectivity (including Calendaring, Contacts, Tasks, etc)? That is my main reason for sticking with Evolution.
    • by sqldr ( 838964 )
      Flaky, but it works.. most of the time :-) Even with 2010
      • by repetty ( 260322 )

        How does Thunderbird 5 handle full Exchange connectivity (including Calendaring, Contacts, Tasks, etc)? That is my main reason for sticking with Evolution.

        Flaky, but it works.. most of the time :-) Even with 2010

        So you're saying it's just like Outlook... cool.

    • You can use DavMail to convert Exchange into IMAP/POP/CalDav/LDAP.

      • I also rely on davmail + thunderbird after struggling for years with evolution - both MAPI and webdav integration.

        It never worked right, regardless of patches tested and protocol used. It corrupted messages, it crashed,it lost messages, calendaring was almost always non-functional save for a brief period before they upgraded Exchange then I lost it again.

        DavMail works beautifully, including calendaring using Lightning. []

        I'm also a big

  • Addressbook (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 07, 2011 @11:06AM (#36683214)

    I'm really surprised they're doing this before they fix Thunderbird's Addressbook. How they still have not implemented allowing as many email addresses as you want to add for a person is beyond me.

    • And along those lines, I wish they'd decouple message preferences from the address book. For example, I get a sales newsletter from an online computer parts retailer we all know and love, and the only way to tell Thunderbird to always display the images from that sender is to add them to my address book and set an option there. Why, oh why? Thunderbird already uses SQLite for other stuff, so why can't it have a table like showimages (address varchar, show boolean) instead of making me litter my contact database?

    • Setup Wizard (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And they STILL haven't fixed the setup wizard. I've said the same thing with every release since thunderbird 3: the setup process needs a way to completely BYPASS the wizard, BEFORE the wizard starts spinning out of control. Not after, not during, but BEFORE.

      It's not rocket science. The very first thing you do, before committing any changes, is prompt the user: "Would you like to use the account setup wizard, or would you like to setup your account manually?" For christ's sake, it's going to take all of 5 m

  • I've been using Thunderbird forever, and have been hating Ubuntu's insistent pushing of Evolution as long. It can be disabled, but its backend is integrated with the gnome panel and calendar, which is impossible to connect with Thunderbird. Worse, Evolution is inferior where features, addons as well as IMAP are concerned (I haven't tested Evolution's POP). Synchronization takes forever, the folder structure is rigid and clashes with that of Googlemail, and the interface periodically freezes when displaying

  • by Curunir_wolf ( 588405 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @11:21AM (#36683404) Homepage Journal
    Good news! Now if they could just rip out all those Evolution dependencies, maybe I could install a functional Gnome desktop without all the Evolution crap that I never use.
  • Is Thunderbird able to work well with Exchange yet?

    • Yes and no. Yes, in that it sends and receives e-mails just fine. No, in that Exchange calendar support (which we use heavily here at my office) is still ridiculously fubar, even with the Lightning addon. [comments based on Thunderbird 3.5 & Lightning about 3 months ago]
  • I know the big thing about Ubuntu is that it is ready to go out of the box (so to speak), but people are always complaining about the default programs. And if you changed them to what the complainers wanted, other people would complain about the changes.

    So why not give "advanced users" the option to install just the programs they want so that they can add in what they want later without a mess of orphaned packages. They don't even have to be sophisticated about it. Deselecting "Internet Applications" the

  • Finally, I use Thunderbird everyday, this is just one more app I don't need to install when I do a fresh install of Ubuntu.
  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @11:56AM (#36683838) Homepage Journal

    I have yet to see a windows version of Evolution. I keep hearing about one but so far I have not seen one. Thunderbird works on Windows and Linux so it is a better choice for people that have to use both systems.

  • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @12:07PM (#36684008) Homepage

    Apple is working on multiple-device cloud services and bringing the app-supplants-web model to every form factor. Microsoft is working on new mobile platforms and the multitouch desktop.

    Meanwhile, Linux continues to be embroiled in the devastatingly interesting GNOME vs. KDE and POP email client wars.

    1999 called. They want their story back.

    • by tuffy ( 10202 ) on Thursday July 07, 2011 @12:30PM (#36684290) Homepage Journal

      And Apple has finally introduced downloadable apps to its core OS, like Debian's had since 1999 via apt. But we're still waiting for delta updates to those apps, like Fedora has supported for years via delta RPM.

      Plenty of anachronisms to go around.

      • Let's face it: this is about GNOME/KDE, not Linux the kernel. Linux the kernel has won already. It's not the year of "Linux on the Desktop", it's the year of Linux on the Android/Tivo/VirginAmerica/the list goes on...

        Linux the kernel is no longer relevant to this discussion. FWIW, Apple's Mach kernel is just as good as Linux. The discussions are about GNOME/KDE vs. Mac OS/iOs vs. Windows.

        The backend is just catching up to Debian/yum, but the front end is way ahead. Once there is parity between the Linux bac

  • About time too. Evolution is huge and slow and cumbersome, and insists on loading every folder and subfolder in your IMAP config every time you open it and log in, instead of doing it on demand.
  • When I switched computers a few years ago I had to change email clients and switched to Thunderbird. Configuration was excruciating. Mercifully I've blocked out the details but one thing I remember is that Thunderbird WOULD NOT let me just enter the configuration... I could enter the server and then it had to guess at what the rest of the parameters were, and I had to stop the process at the right moment, or else I was screwed. I spent a ton of time crawling thru the settings and there didn't seem to be a

    • Configuration became trivial for most servers in Thunderbird 3,
      where it gussed or tried various parameters automatically.

      • by murdocj ( 543661 )

        The "guessing & trying" WAS the problem. And it wasn't just me who ran into the problem, I've seen posts from others complaining about the same issue.

        When I tried to configure Thunderbird I could see it guessing at POP & SMTP server names that were clearly wrong, and when it had finished, there was no way for me to enter the correct names. As I recall, I had to interrupt the process as the right moment and then it was possible to enter server configuration, but if I let it complete, I was screwed.

  • But the incarnation in current Debian (icedove 3, whatever that corresponds to) sucks. It was once fairly well-behaved, but now changes the screen format when you search, adds all sorts of stupid indentation and grouping to the accounts menu and generally behaves like a kid's been let loose with the feature list. Maybe it's time to go back to MH.
  • Evolution has not been 'booted' (word used in TFA), the decision on going ahead with Thunderbird or Evolution will be made before the release of alpha 3 in a few weeks. See the blueprint. I knew there was a reason why I stopped reading Extremetech.
  • by evilad ( 87480 )

    I'll consider it fit as soon as I an drag an attachment to the desktop. It's been a bug for four years and counting now.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson