Why do you use Mailpile?


So, one thing I’m curious about… why do people use Mailpile? Let’s see how polls work on this thing!

Why do you use Mailpile?

  • For the search engine!
  • For the tags!
  • I wanted a self-hosted web-mail
  • I wanted something like GMail, but without spying
  • I like how it handles PGP encryption
  • I wanted an e-mail client I could hack and change

0 voters


Self-learning tags (I assume it’s Bayesian but I haven’t actually checked the code) are something I’ve wanted for a long time. Ever since I understood how spam filters (i.e. many years ago) I’ve thought “why can’t I do this for more than just spam?”.

There was once a Thunderbird add-on that did it, but it was abandoned years ago. I don’'t have the time/skill to write a mail client with that function myself, so when I saw Mailpile had it, well I figured it was worth a go :slight_smile:


I should have added an option for folks to say “not using it yet…” - I’m also of course curious what keeps people from giving Mailpile a try. I’m aware for many it will be the lack of Windows or Mac packages, but other reasons would interest me as well.


Exactly. Waiting for Win package :frowning:


Well I am quite happy with it as I use linux however I’d love to have it on my folks computer as I seen any other apps that make pgp so seamless (they use gmail so would really really like to have those conversations enc).
regardless, thanks for MP! When the mac and win versions are ready we should really bug boing boing, they are really supportive of things like MP and few sites have more relevant traffic.


I came to this project originally because I wanted something self hosted (to avoid spying) that still let me use tags. While following development I came to appreciate that there’s a decent search engine behind it and some of the more innovative features like the learning tags and seamless pgp encryption.

I’m more of a designer and not a coder, so at some stage I’m looking forward to trying my hand at making Mailpile a modern, beautiful theme (although I have to say that it’s current incarnation is pretty damn decent for programmer design…)


Thanks! A designer (Brennan Novak) was part of the project during its first year or so. Since then I’ve been doing my best not to (badly) break his work.


I use Mailpile for a couple of reasons:

  • Comes with both a CLI and web-interface. I greatly prefer the first one as browsers are madness and a huge attack surface.
  • Sane architecture behind it (delete messages on the server, encryption at rest, Tor support built-in, SPAM filtering included).
  • Blazing fast search. I mean, just name me one other mail client that is able to dig through 20GB of emails in milliseconds.
  • Open-source, happy hacking and auditing the code.
  • Multi account support (have currently 12 accounts in Mailpile).
  • Project goals that align with personal wishes/desires/needs.


Well, I don’t actually use MP, not yet, so not sure about voting, but I went ahead and voted, anyway.

I’m looking for a T-bird replacement, that lets me easily access my mail from multiple devices/locations, ideally even from outside my home network … but that still works like an email client that actually leaves control of my emails in my hands.

I’ve tried just syncing my entire T-bird profile directory thru Nextcloud, to multiple devices, but that has not worked well. More broadly, I also have issues w/T-bird generally, and would like to find a replacement.

I’ll be trying out MP, as soon as I figure out the best place to host it … suggestions? VM? my main PC? RPi? an external VPS?


I’ll be trying out MP, as soon as I figure out the best place to host it … suggestions? VM? my main PC? RPi? an external VPS?

It mainly depends on your specific situation, preferences and threat model. If you want Mailpile to be remotely accessible, a VPS is relatively painless with things like port forwarding and more resilient to power outages, network issues, etc.

Hosting it yourself at home would give you more privacy. A RPi is cost effective when it comes to power consumption. But if you experience power outages or don’t have a good power source, I’d be wary to use it. As to your main PC or a VM on it, I think you are the best judge to ups and downs.

For remote access, do you intent to use a (SSH) tunnel, VPN? If not, you’d want to make sure you have a properly and secure setup webserver.


At least to start with, I’ll be running it locally, either in a VM on my main machine, or on a spare RPi – either way, easy to scrape it and start over if I screw it up.