Lightweight, high quality and user friendly mail app Geary

Most Linux users will probably use the highly versatile Thunderbird Mail from Mozilla for their incoming and outgoing mail. Thunderbird is a very good, extensive and stable mail application and offers many possibilities for customization such as themes and add-ons. In a future article I will go deeper into Thunderbird, but in this article I want to highlight the much simpler application Geary.

About Geary

If you do not need all bells and whistles of the more old school organized application Thunderbird and prefer a deliciously well-organized and simple mail application that is easy to use and has a modern conversational workflow, then you find a nice alternative in Geary. Geary is described by developer Yorba as a lightweight mail app for Linux that starts from simply compiling mail messages and viewing messages in the form of conversations.

Geary has a very clear and modern interface where you will not be bothered by an excess of non core functionality and therefore aggravating information and that offers a lightweight user experience as we see more and more in mobile apps. Your messages always form the center in a well presented two- or three-column layout. You need the content of an old mail? Geary offers superfast keyword search.

Messages are characterized by follow-up reciprocating reactions, shown in the form of conversations as opposed to individual emails, which is for a lot of younger users something of the past. This ensures a tidy mail organization, but can be can be confusing at first. But but do not give up too quickly if it doesn’t feel natural at first, because after a while the conversation workflow will grow second nature and soon you want nothing else.

Installing Geary

Geary is available in Linux Mint in the standard repositories (via Software Manager), but the PPA (Personal Package Archive) always contains the most recent version. To activate the PPA you can use the following commands in the order as indicated via the Terminal command line:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa: yorba / ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install geary

Connecting Geary

Geary works well with the best known webmail services, such as Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook, but also works with IMAP and SMTP so you can also activate mail accounts with other providers.

Google now requires email clients implement its proprietary protocol to sign in by default. As a result, you may need to update your Google settings to allow Geary to connect to your Gmail account via IMAP. The setting to change depends on whether you have 2-Step authentication enabled for your Google account:

If 2-step verification is enabled, you should create an App Password, and use that in your Geary account settings
If 2-step verification is not enabled, you will need to allow access for “Less Secure Apps”

Have fun!

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About John Been

Hi there! My name is John Been. At the moment I work as a senior solution engineer for a large financial institution, but in my free time, I am the owner of,, and author of my first book "Linux for the rest of us". I have a broad insight and user experience in everything related to information technology and I believe I can communicate about it with some fun and knowledge and skills.

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