ElectronMail

Unofficial desktop app for ProtonMail and Tutanota end-to-end encrypted email providers

3 weeks after

ElectronMail

is an Electron-based unofficial desktop client for ProtonMail and Tutanota end-to-end encrypted email providers. The app aims to provide enhanced desktop user experience enabling features that are not supported by the official in-browser web clients. It is written in TypeScript and uses Angular.

Build Status: Linux / MacOS Build status: Windows

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Download

The download page with Linux/OSX/Windows installation packages is here.

Pacman and Snap packages are also available for installing from the following repositories (both repositories are being maintained by @joshirio):

Get it from the AUR

Get it from the Snap Store

Features

  • Cross platform. The app works on Linux/OSX/Windows platforms.
  • Multi email providers support. ProtonMail and Tutanota at the moment.
  • Multi accounts support per each email provider including supporting individual entry point domains.
  • Automatic login into the app with a remembered master password using keytar module (keep me signed in feature).
  • Automatic login into the email accounts, including filling 2FA tokens. Two auto-login delay scenarios supported in order to make it harder to correlate the identities, see the respective issue.
  • Encrypted settings storage with switchable predefined key derivation and encryption presets. Argon2 is used as the default key derivation function.
  • Native notifications for individual accounts clicking on which focuses the app window and selects respective account in the accounts list.
  • System tray icon with a total number of unread messages shown on top of it. Enabling local messages store improves this feature (how to enable), see respective issue.
  • Switchable view layouts (full, tabs and dropdown). See details here and screenshots in the images folder.
  • Offline access to the emails. The local store feature enables storing your messages in the encrypted database.bin file, so you could view your messages offline, perform a full-text search against them and export them to EML files. Enabled since v2.0.0 release.
  • Batch emails export to EML files. Feature released with v2.0.0-beta.4 version, requires local messages store feature to be enabled (how to enable).
  • Full-text search. Enabled with v2.2.0 release. See the respective issue for details.
  • Built-in/prepackaged web clients. The built-in web clients are built from source code, see respective official Protonmail and Tutanota repositories. See 79 and 80 issues for details.
  • Configuring proxy per account support. Enabled since v3.0.0 release. See 113 and 120 issues for details.
  • Starting minimized to tray.
  • Closing to tray.

How to build package from source code

  • Regardless of the platform you are working on, you will need to have Node.js v10 installed. v10 as it's recommended to go with the same Node.js version Electron comes with. If you already have Node.js installed, but not the version 10, then you might want to use Node Version Manager to be able to switch between multiple Node.js versions:
    • Install NVM.
    • Run nvm install 10.
    • Run nvm use 10.
  • Some native modules require node prebuilds files compiling and for that Python and C++ compiler need to be installed on your system:
    • On Windows: the simplest way to install all the needed stuff on Windows is to run npm install --global --production windows-build-tools CLI command. Tutanota and ProtonMail web clients projects require bash for building, so a few more steps need to be fulfilled:
    • Install bash then check the path of bash ex: C:\\Program Files\\git\\bin\\bash.exe.
    • Execute npm config set script-shell "C:\\Program Files\\git\\bin\\bash.exe" command.
    • On Linux: python v2.7, make and a C/C++ compiler toolchain, like GCC are most likely already installed. Besides keytar needs libsecret library to be installed.
    • On Mac OS X: python v2.7 and Xcode need to be installed. You also need to install the Command Line Tools via Xcode, can be found under the Xcode -> Preferences -> Downloads menu.
  • Clone this project to your local device. If you are going to contribute, consider cloning the forked into your own GitHub account project.
  • Install Yarn.
  • Install dependencies running yarn --pure-lockfile.
  • Build app running yarn run app:dist. It's better to not touch a mouse during the process, since it might interfere with the e2e tests running at the end of the process.
  • Build a package to install running yarn run electron-builder:dist command to build Windows/Mac OS X package and one of the following commands to build Linux package:
    • yarn run electron-builder:dist:linux:appimage
    • yarn run electron-builder:dist:linux:deb
    • yarn run electron-builder:dist:linux:freebsd
    • yarn run electron-builder:dist:linux:pacman
    • yarn run electron-builder:dist:linux:rpm
    • yarn run electron-builder:dist:linux:snap
  • If you don't need a package to install, but a folder to execute app from, simply run yarn run electron-builder:dir command.
  • Binary executable, whether it's a folder or package to install, comes into the ./dist folder.

To recap, considering that all the described build requirements are met, the short command to build let's say Arch Linux package will be yarn --pure-lockfile && yarn app:dist && yarn electron-builder:dist:linux:pacman.

Data/config files created and used by the app

If you want to backup the app data these are only files you need to take care of (files localed in the settings folder):

  • config.json file keeps config parameters. There is no sensitive data in this file, so unencrypted.
  • settings.bin file keeps added to the app accounts including credentials if a user decided to save them. The file is encrypted with 32 bytes length key derived from the master password.
  • database.bin file is a local database that keeps fetched emails/folders/contacts entities if the local store feature was enabled for at least one account. The file is encrypted with 32 bytes length key randomly generated and stored in settings.bin. The app by design flushes and loads to memory the database.bin file as a whole thing but not like encrypting only the specific columns of the database. It's of course not an optimal approach in terms of performance and resource consumption but it allows keeping the metadata hidden. You can see some details here.
  • log.log file keeps log lines. The log level by default is set to error (see config.json file).

Removing the app

It's recommended to perform the following actions before uninstalling the app:

  • If you had the Keep me signed in feature enabled (see screenshot), click Log-out action in the app menu (see screenshot). That will remove locally stored master password (done with node-keytar). You can also remove it having the app already uninstalled, but that would be a more complicated way as you will have to manually edit the system's keychain.
  • Remove settings folder manually. You can locate settings folder path clicking Open setting folder app/tray menu item (see screenshot) or reading app.getPath(name ="userData") related app.getPath(name) section here.