ProtonMail is the go-to mail service for journalists, activists, and people seeking privacy during their email conversations. All communications are encrypted end-to-end, and is open source, ensuring the free software community can audit the code for any vulnerabilities.
ProtonMail has mobile applications for Android and iOS, but desktop users don’t have a dedicated mail application. Officially, the developers do not have an app made for computer users, so ElectronMail has picked up the slack.
ElectronMail is a third-party ProtonMail application. It uses the Electron tools to wrap the ProtonMail web interface into a slick, easy to use mail app for Linux, MacOS, and Windows.
Note: in this guide, we’ll focus on setting up ElectronMail on Linux. However, if you do not use Linux and want to try the app out on other platforms, click here to learn more.
The ElectronMail has support for many types of installation methods, including a DEB package for Ubuntu/Debian, an RPM for Fedora/SUSE, a Pacman package for Arch, as well as support for Snaps, and AppImage. Additionally, ElectronMail works on MacOS, Windows, and even FreeBSD!
To get your copy of ElectronMail up and running, open up a terminal window on the Linux desktop. The quickest way to do this is to press Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Once the terminal window is open, follow the command-line instructions down below.
Installing ElectronMail on Ubuntu or Debian starts by using the CD command to move into the “tmp” directory. The reason the terminal session must be moved there is that “tmp” only stores files for a short time. This folder is perfect for downloading a package to, rather than cluttering the home directory.
Download the DEB package release of ElectronMail to the “tmp” directory using wget. It should only take a couple of seconds, as the file is tiny.
Using the dpkg command, install the DEB package file into your Ubuntu or Debian PC.
sudo dpkg -i electron-mail-3.5.0-linux-amd64.deb
Finish up the installation process by running apt install. Keep in mind that on some versions of Debian, you may need to replace apt with apt-get.
sudo apt install -f
Usually, Arch Linux gets app support through the AUR. With ElectronMail, the developers have provided an easy to install Pacman package. To get the package, start by moving into “tmp” with the CD command.
Download the latest Pacman ElectronMail release using wget.
Install the app using the Arch Linux package manager.
sudo pacman -U electron-mail-3.5.0-linux-x64.pacman
Installing ElectronMail on Fedora or OpenSUSE is very similar to the Ubuntu/Debian route: download a package and install it.
The best thing about Fedora is that its package manager can install an RPM file directly from the internet. So, no need to use wget. Instead, install ElectronMail directly with the dnf command below.
sudo dnf install https://github.com/vladimiry/ElectronMail/releases/download/v3.5.0/electron-mail-3.5.0-linux-x86_64.rpm -y
To get ElectronMail on OpenSUSE, start by moving the terminal window into “tmp.” Then, download it with wget and install with Zypper.
sudo zypper install electron-mail-3.5.0-linux-x86_64.rpm
Don’t feel like downloading DEB, Pacman, or RPM package files? Try the Snap release of ElectronMail! It’s incredibly easy to install. Just run the snap install command below.
Note: your Linux PC must be running the latest Snap runtime. Not sure how to enable it? Check out our guide here!
sudo snap install electron-mail
ElectronMail is distributed via AppImage, for those that can’t install RPMs, Pacman packages, DEBs, or Snaps. To get the AppImage version working, enter the commands below.
mkdir -p ~/AppImages cd ~/AppImages wget https://github.com/vladimiry/ElectronMail/releases/download/v3.5.0/electron-mail-3.5.0-linux-x86_64.AppImage chmod +x electron-mail-3.5.0-linux-x86_64.AppImage ./electron-mail-3.5.0-linux-x86_64.AppImage
Set up ElectronMail
To start the setup for ElectronMail, open the app menu on your Linux PC, and launch the app. Once it opens up, follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to get it working.
Step 1: The first time, ElectronMail launches, you’ll be asked to set up a master password, to protect your email messages. Using the strongpasswordgenerator tool, create a new master password.
Step 2: Go to the login page, and fill out your Protonmail information, such as your login and the password. Be sure to also fill in your two-factor code in the box, if you use it.
Step 3: Click “Domain” and choose a domain from the list. If you use Tor, select the “Onion.” option.
Step 4: After adding your account, click the “Close” button.
As soon as a username is added to ElectronMail, your ProtonMail will load up, and you’ll have access to your Protonmail on the Linux desktop via ElectronMail!