When comparing Roundcube vs Alpine, the Slant community recommends Alpine for most people. In the question“What are the best native e-mail clients for Linux?” Alpine is ranked 7th while Roundcube is ranked 9th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free and open source
Licensed under GPL v3 with code available on GitHub.
Pro Plug-in support
Pro Sophisticated address book
Each contact can have their e-mail address, phone number, location, photos and associated URLs added to them. You can then group contacts and address your mails to the group instead of having to enter each person separately. Additionally, you can import vCards and CSV files as contact information. And, it has LDAP connectors.
Pro Drag & drop support
Roundcube supports attaching files simply by dragging and dropping them in.
Roundcube is available in over 70 languages.
Pro Access control support
Roundcube has built-in support for access control lists (ACL).
Pro Built-in caching
Roundcube caches messages to allow quicker access to your mailbox and to alleviate the strain put on the server. You can turn off caching (change 'enable_caching' property in your config/main.inc.php file) if you need messages to appear instantly.
Pro Multiple identities
You receive mail from multiple sources in one account.
Has auto-refresh functionality for email boxes.
Pro Good documentation
You have access to the documentation for APIs as well plugins development.
Pro Spell checking
You can enable/disable spellcheck by changing "enable_spellcheck" in main.inc.php file.
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.
Not easy to create your own themes.
Con Moblie Use
Does not translate to mobile use very well
Con For search there is no reverse index
This means it is very slow.
Unfortunately, all interfaces of roundcube look very old. I hope there will be a progress soon, Google Mail and Outlook Webmail should be the role models here. But also Yahoo mail offers an intuitive design.
If this open source software should survive, it must be completely renewed and bring up to new standards.
Con Extremely clunky unintuitive interface
For example the mouse cursor may start getting stuck and lag.
Con Search option are limited
You can only search for one item at a time instead of multiple search terms, which makes it difficult to go through large amounts of emails.
Con You can't make multiple accounts
It is not possible to make more then one account.
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.