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SeaMonkey for email vs Thunderbird - risks, benefits?(Linux)

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mafev

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Joined: May 8th, 2012, 5:43 am

Post Posted August 2nd, 2022, 1:03 pm

Hello community, I've been using SeaMonkey/Firefox for many years to browse the web, and Thunderbird for a couple of years to read my emails and have a local copy of them (POP3).

I was using version 68 of Thunderbird, but recently updated to 91 and my experience has worsened quite a bit, mainly because of a sluggish GUI. It seems it now requires too much resources and my current setup is not adequate.

So I remembered SeaMonkey and how snappy and light it is.

My thoughts are this:

* Is SeaMonkey as safe/updated as Thunderbird is?
* Are those updates really fundamental or could they be disregarded (if I disable the load of external elements for example)?
* If I keep using Thunderbird and disable loading external elements, will it still be safe to use version 68?
* How does SeaMonkey store the downloaded emails vs. Thunderbird, how is the indexing done, in terms of speed and responsiveness and disk space?
* Why would anybody prefer one over the other?

About the add-ons and such, I don't really care because I don't use any at the moment.

I feel like SeaMonkey is a more adequate alternative for me but I'd like to know your opinions.

Thank you :wink:
Last edited by DanRaisch on August 4th, 2022, 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: (Linux) added to subject line.

LinuxUserSince1991

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Joined: February 2nd, 2007, 5:03 pm
Location: Los Angeles area

Post Posted August 4th, 2022, 11:42 am

Well, I only use Linux, and always have (okay, UNIX before that) and have used SM since its inception as Netscape Communicator. I have no issues at all....well, except for sites that don't work correctly. That's bad programming on their part. SM is fully up-to-date as far as security goes, and I don't know of any reason not to use it for mail or anything else.

I haven't even looked at TB in years, and I'm not at all current on its method of storing mail. I'm *guessing* that you should be able to use its mail with SM without issue, but I don't know that for sure. With SM, mail is stored in the location of your choice--it defaults to your home directory unless you point it elsewhere, like I do--and it's all very logical. My SM mail storage looks something like this (where /data is a separate partition on my hard drive):

/data/mail
-- /data/mail/account1
--- /data/mail/account1/Inbox.sbd
---- /data/mail/account1/Inbox.sbd/[various subdirectories and files]

and repeat for all other mail items, such as 'sent' and 'drafts' and whatever. Repeat for each mail account.

Here's how the OS interprets each entry:
Code: Select all
$ file *
Drafts:             empty
Drafts.msf:         Mozilla Mork database, version 1.4
filterlog.html:     HTML document, ASCII text, with no line terminators
Inbox:              HTML document, Non-ISO extended-ASCII text, with very long lines
Inbox.msf:          Mozilla Mork database, version 1.4
Junk:               empty
Junk.msf:           Mozilla Mork database, version 1.4
msgFilterRules.dat: ASCII text
popstate.dat:       ASCII text
Sent:               ASCII text, with very long lines, with CRLF, LF line terminators
Sent.msf:           Mozilla Mork database, version 1.4
Templates.msf:      Mozilla Mork database, version 1.4
Trash:              empty
Trash.msf:          Mozilla Mork database, version 1.4


If I were you, and I didn't have a definitive answer yet, I'd safely backup my real mail, copy its entire directory structure somewhere else, and then point SM to use the copied location. If it screws up anything there, you're still good to go with the real ones!

mafev

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Joined: May 8th, 2012, 5:43 am

Post Posted August 8th, 2022, 1:50 pm

Wow, using Linux since 1991! Are you Linus? :D

Thanks for your answer

Yours is a great idea, in fact I already have a separate copy of all the mail, and I'm testing SeaMonkey using IMAP for the time being, to see how well it behaves.

I was asking mainly because I check the logs of Thunderbird bugs and there are quite a lot, and sometimes CRITICAL bugs too, which make me think how safe it is to use older versions.

Probably most comes down to javascript exploits, that's why I was thinking about completely disabling external elements and I guess that would be the end of any potential vulnerabilities.

It seems they update it WAY too much, like they do with Firefox, albeit a little less (it sticks to the ESR version).

SeaMonkey browser, as far as I know, uses an older web engine. But SeaMonkey mail is probably very similar to Thunderbird... isn't it?

LinuxUserSince1991

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Posts: 325
Joined: February 2nd, 2007, 5:03 pm
Location: Los Angeles area

Post Posted August 10th, 2022, 11:21 am

mafev wrote:Wow, using Linux since 1991! Are you Linus? :D

Ha ha, I wish! I *was* a programmer and sysadmin on UNIX and then Linux, but I could never have pulled off what he has! BTW, I still have my 3.5" diskette (somewhere in an unpacked box in my garage) with, I believe, v0.1 from late 1991 on it. I haven't seen it in decades and it's very likely that I've got the version wrong, but not the time-frame. Definitely late 1991.

Thanks for your answer

Yours is a great idea, in fact I already have a separate copy of all the mail, and I'm testing SeaMonkey using IMAP for the time being, to see how well it behaves.

You're welcome. I hope everything works out well. I'd be lost if I suddenly had to switch to a mail client that didn't understand SM's mail! I've carried mail with me for decades and wouldn't want to lose it.

SeaMonkey browser, as far as I know, uses an older web engine. But SeaMonkey mail is probably very similar to Thunderbird... isn't it?

It used to be. In fact, I believe they were interchangeable. Again, that's if memory serves. I remember trying TB at one point, and as I recall I simply pointed it to the copy of SM's mail directories for each account, and it worked fine. But today? I have no idea!

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