An Easy Guide to Getting Going with the Thunderbird Email Client

by Ostatic Staff - Jul. 31, 2012

As we reported in early July, Mozilla has pulled back on further development of its long-standing Thunderbird email platform, despite the fact that it has more than 20 million users. Mitchell Baker, Chair of the Mozilla Foundation, has a blog post up about the topic.

Despite Mozilla's pullback, though, Thunderbird is a mature email client that many people love for its flexibility, and you can get advantages from it that you can't from webmail services such as Gmail. FLOSS Manuals has a workbook up that can help you get going with Thunderbird. It's worth a look.

FLOSS Manuals specializes in delivering free guides to useful open source platforms and applications, and you can read more about what the site does here.  The Thunderbird workbook consists of a series of educational challenges designed to teach you essential Thunderbird skills.

As the workbook notes:

"These days many people manage their email on the web using services such as Gmail or Hotmail. These services offer access to email accounts through any web browser. It is convenient because you can get your email from almost any computer. If you live in New York and you are backpacking in Thailand, just find an Internet cafe, log on to a computer, and check your email...Another way to handle your email is to use an email client program installed on your own computer. A program like this offers many advantages over using a web email client. It lets you organize your email exactly how you want, it enables you to check email when you are not connected to the Internet, and you can manage multiple email accounts in one place."

Also, make no mistake: You can use your Thunderbird client and a webmail service in tandem with each other.

The FLOSS Manuals Thunderbird workbook covers installing Thunderbird on Ubuntu, Windows and Mac OS X.  It also delves into advanced customizations such as how to send encrypted and signed emails.

Many of us spend much of the day working with email. If you haven't experimented with a dedicated email client like Thunderbird, get the FLOSS Manuals workbook and give it a spin.