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Columba is an Email Client written in Java, featuring a user-friendly graphical interface with wizards and internationalization.




Columba is an Email Client written in Java, featuring a user-friendly graphical interface with wizards and internationalization support.

Columba is a powerful email management tool with features to enhance your productivity and communication.

Here are some key features of "Columba":

Clean and Responsive User Interface

Following strict user interface guidelines (Gnome HIG) Columba offers a consistent and clean user interface.

Columba makes use of multi-threading wherever possible. This keeps the user interface highly responsive. You don't need to wait for tasks to finish until going on with your work. Its for example common for Columba users to download new messages from multiple servers and reading new ones when they start to appear in your Inbox.


Columba is written in Java and therefore runs on every platform supporting it. You can share your configuration and mailbox on every platform you want!


Columba offers translation packages which can be downloaded separately to localize your version of Columba.

You can read and write messages in every language or character encoding you want. This also includes more sophisticated charsets like BIG5 or kyrillian.

Unlimited Functionality using Plugins

Columba is very extensible and offers many extension points where you are able to enhance and fine tune its behaviour with java, Groovy or Jython plugins. This goes from changing the look and feel, adding your favourite spam killer tool or customizing Columba to a full-featured Customer-Relationship-Management Software.

Safe and Secure

We support strong encryption in using GnuPG, the open-source PGP pendant, in Columba. This makes encrypting, signing and verifying messages a breeze and should lower the bar for beginners new to message encryption.

Additionally it supports secure connections using SSL/TLS and many different authentication types.

Organizing your messages

Powerful filtering capabilities support you in this task. Filters can be attached to every folder and applied automatically when receiving new messages or manually. VFolders let you save your search request and apply it later as often as you want. This is especially useful for maintaince tasks like marking all unread messages as read or finding every message from a specific person.

Columba's search backend uses the Lucene technology, a full-text indexing machine. This speeds up searching and filtering a lot and makes using vFolders a fun task.

Columba features many shortcuts to speed up the creation and maintaince of your filtering rules. Even beginners get used to filters and vFolders very quickly, due to its easy interface. Advanced users will appreciate the fine grained control you get when using Columba.

Glueing Together Third-Party Tools

The composer uses the open-source aspell Spell-checker component to provide advanced spell-checking features.

Account Management

Columba supports multiple accounts, meaning it enables you to use an infinite number of identities. Nearly every option can be choosen on a per account basis. The intelligent account management supports you in not mixing up your identities.

So, for example, you can use Columba to manage your private and your work messages in one program and keeps care your boss doesn't receive your private messages accidently. It doesn't matter wether your prefer to access your mail with POP3 or IMAP. Columba hides the details from you in offering a transparent interface.

Integrated Spam Filter

Columba's spam filter analyzes your message and identifyies those that are most likely to be spam.

The spam filter is based on the Bayes' Theorem. This technique is used by many other people and has proven to create good results. You can read a nice introduction written by Paul Graham at if interested in more technical details.

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Last updated on November 29th, 2007

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