When comparing Mozilla Thunderbird vs Alpine, the Slant community recommends Mozilla Thunderbird for most people. In the question“What are the best native e-mail clients for Linux?” Mozilla Thunderbird is ranked 2nd while Alpine is ranked 8th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free (as in freedom and beer)
Pro Good filtering system
Mozilla Thunderbird offers a flexible filtering system with the ability to set flags and read/unread, as well as sort/assign to new mail directories. There are also numerous plugins available to assist in the filtering.
Pro Very reliable
Version after version, Mozilla Thunderbird works as expected.
Pro Lightning Calendar and Address Book integration
Pro Large assortment of plugins available
Mozilla Thunderbird offers a huge amount of extensions to expand the usability and options of the client.
Pro Available on Linux, OS X and Windows
Pro Consistent and involving a moderate learning curve
The app design of Mozilla Thunderbird has not changed significantly since its beginning, making its learning curve almost non-existent.
Pro Great flexibility
More options and extended settings than most power users could dream of. Get it working how YOU want.
Pro Tabs for navigation
Pro Send large files easy
Install pCloud plugin for Thunderbird and your files (upto 20 GB free storage included) will be received as download links
Pro Extremely user-friendly
Pro Can use the built-in text editor or can be integrated with another text editor
Alpine comes with pico, a lightweight text editor which can also be used as a standalone tool. It can also be integrated with vi, vim, emacs, etc... if the user prefers to do so.
Pro On-screen contextual help
Alpine has contextual help that can be displayed on-screen. Removing the need to consult the man pages every time you forget a command or how to do something inside it.
Con Terrible integration with macOS
Simple things - drag/dropping pictures doesn't work, for instance.
Con Outdated interface
Thunderbird's interface is very outdated and unpleasant. It feels more like a Windows XP application than like a modern MacOS one.
Con Serious bugs
Clicking on a subject line can bring up the wrong email.
Con Development slowed to only focus on stability and security
Mozilla Thunderbird has slowed down its development of features to only focus resources on security and stability.
Con Subject lines can (temporarily) disappear from the list
This is sporadic behavior.
Con Updates are not frequent
Alpine is not updated frequently. This means that new features, bug fixes or security updates come much later than in other email clients.