Gmail-like Open Source IMAP Client?

September 7th, 2005

I haven’t seen it, but someone has got to be working on it, so where is the open source webmail app, that can front-end my IMAP server, and works like Gmail? So calling out to the LazyWeb I haven’t seen it, but someone has got to be working on it, so where is the open source webmail app, that can front-end my IMAP server, and works like Gmail? So calling out to the LazyWeb

Its funny, Gmail just added the one feature that I was missing so much that I was ready to leave, the ability to customize the From: field, and yet I’m more ready to leave then ever. Why?

Spam false positives.

Bad Spam Filtering

False positives, are unforgivable in a spam filter, especially lots and lots of them. False positives mean you have to manually look through every spam message you get and manually check that each one isn’t spam. I don’t know what algorithm Google is using, but it sucks. I’ll admit my address has been out on the web for years, and so I’d understand if spam was getting through (and it does), but what I can’t understand is why:

  • mail from the moderated mailing lists I’m on get flaggeds as spam
  • mail from people already in my inbox gets flagged as spam
  • mail from people who I’ve emailed gets flagged as spam
  • mail from Google HR personnel

In particular Gmail seems to hate the microformats list, of which a significant percentage of the traffic gets flagged as spam. Editorial commentary I wonder?

Which is really a shame, as Gmail (or any of the centralized mail houses) should be in possession of plenty of information to do an excellent job on the filtering.

The Potential

And once we had our own Gmail-like client we could adding features without having to rely on Greasemonkey scripts!

My short list:

  • mailing list aware
  • roles ala Pine
  • GPG integration
  • archive this thread (aka conversation) and all future messages to it

That plus client independence with the IMAP backend. There have been a few good comments added to my original Gmail IMAP post if anyone is looking for inspiration.

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15 responses to “Gmail-like Open Source IMAP Client?”

  1. blindMoe says:

    You need to look into RoundCube:

  2. glitch says:

    Roundcube is nice but still an infant, and it still lacks a lot of features. The AJAX implementation is very good though. Also, it seems to require a MySQL backend for storing stuff. In fairness, I love it’s clean interface.

    Check out AtMail ( too. It has great features. Unfortunately, it’s not totally free. The site offers a 30-day trial though.

  3. Paul says:

    I hear atmail is working on an open source version which should be very nice.

  4. pat says:

    Roundcube will be awesome when it’s further along in its’ development, but right now, it’s a VERY basic interface with some bugs and some problems. atmail is a nice interface with lots of features, but it’s not opensource (as of yet).

  5. moyo says:

    damnit you people. why dont you just use gmail

  6. Jorge says:

    I’m really looking for a good webmail to install here. But, i already installed the Roundcube for 10 mounths and it still have alot of bugs, so now we are using squirrelmail back even find another else better. The squirrel is really very good, but out-of-date in design and technology.

  7. gst says:

    Late reply, but…. Why not look at the FOSS of zimbra? ( Not exactly gmail, but a competent webmail AJAX client… lots of features…

    — G

  8. Guys just to let you know that AtMail when open-source last night (

    Note the same as Google, but at least folders work the way they should.

  9. Jimmy says:

    AtMail have released a really nice Ajax Webmail client under the Apache 2.0 license – Take a look at: – Gives Roundcube a run for their money, and looks like its got the backing of a team dedicated to the project.

  10. Anarch says:

    Atmail is nice, but it lacks the thread-handling totally. What I would like is just a client that puts the reply in the same folder as the answered mail is, and be able to show them somehow nicely. This not-so-difficult task seems however to be extremely difficult…

    Well, as for gmail. The feat is nice, just people hate KGB-like institutions. I mean google knows where you live, where do you work, who are your friends, even knows what are you interested in and what are your thoughts and desires… No way dude, I use ixquick and my own email.

  11. Poukram says:

    I heard of Claros webmail – – but the project does not look really active… Does anyone know more about it?

  12. ohman says:

    I’m still amazed that in the whole f***ing world, only google was able to implement the concept of “conversation” in a email client. how hard is that to do?

    outlook have some kind of follow up system, but ffs, it really sucks…

  13. dex says:

    i guess roundcube+some plugins is the best/easiest-to-setup option for now

  14. planet51 says:

    @Ohman – Zimbra does conversations and has done for some years now (possibly even before gmail).