PaleMoon team looking for a new FossaMail maintainer

A recent post by Moonchild, lead developer of PaleMoon and FossaMail, indicates that he is looking for a new maintainer for FossaMail.

FossaMail is an open source messaging program (email, chat and news) that is based on Mozilla's Thunderbird email client. Unlike Thunderbird, FossaMail uses Pale Moon's browser core as the backend, so that it depends more on the browser and not on Firefox.

While it offers features similar to Thunderbird, it is been optimized just like Pale Moon has been optimized. Also, it runs independent of Thunderbird as it uses its own profile folder. FossaMail is offered as a 32-bit and 64-bit client for Windows and Linux.

We reviewed Fossamail back in 2014 for the first time, and did update the review back in 2016.

New FossaMail maintainer


Moonchild announced that he is looking for a new maintainer for the project. The core reason given is that he is not able anymore to give "proper attention" to FossaMail,

As part of my investigation of work load and what I'm able to give proper attention, FossaMail has been falling through the cracks on more than a few occasions.

The new maintainer will get full ownership of the FossaMail brand and trademarks, and the domain name In return, Moonchild has the following requirements for the new maintainer:

  1. Keep the general spirit of the program (independent, vendor-neutral, mail, news and chat without in-app ads.
  2. Keeping users safe by updating the program regularly with security updates.
  3. Signing an agreement that binds the maintainer to the requirements.

One interesting tidbit of the decision is that the new maintainer may select a different codebase for FossaMail. Moonchild notes that there is no requirement to keep on using Pale Moon's backend for the messaging program.

Read also:  Email Backup Software MailStore Home 10 released

It is unclear what is going to happen if no new maintainer is found. Since Moonchild cannot give FossaMail the attention the project deserves anymore, it could very well mean the end of the project. Another option is keeping it alive but doing only what is absolutely necessary, but that is probably the last desirable outcome for the current maintainer of the project.

If all things break down, users of FossaMail could probably migrate their email inboxes to Thunderbird.

Now You: Have you tried FossaMail?

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PaleMoon team looking for a new FossaMail maintainer
A recent post by Moonchild, lead developer of PaleMoon and FossaMail, indicates that he is looking for a new maintainer for FossaMail.
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Responses to PaleMoon team looking for a new FossaMail maintainer

  1. User001 March 12, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    Yes, i "tried" FossaMail. Use it since beginning and even before that, when the name was "Mail & News".
    Its sad but i hope a new maintainer will be found soon.

  2. wonton March 12, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    Rather use Thunderbird its gets proper security updates.

  3. asdf March 12, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

    The problem with Moonchild Productions is that they are seriously understaffed. Shame.

    • March 13, 2017 at 8:00 am #

      Well ya wanna work for free then go for it.

      I'm sure somebody out there will...

    • Kubrick March 15, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

      my linux distro only has one mans name to it.!
      so your point being.?

      • March 16, 2017 at 12:46 pm #


        Well ya wanna work for free then go for it.

        I'm sure somebody out there will...

  4. Moonchild March 12, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

    > "It is unclear what is going to happen if no new maintainer is found."

    If no new maintainer is found, then there won't be a way to properly continue development for FossaMail and the client will end up in the software graveyard. I would prefer that over a half-maintained client that won't provide proper security to its users (which would be the only other option).

    There are many other mail/news clients available on Windows and Linux, so people will always have the opportunity to use a different one; and FossaMail's mailbox format should be fully compatible with Thunderbird so migration to that would be possible as well.

    • Martin Brinkmann March 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

      Thanks for the info Moonchild. Good luck with finding a new maintainer, hope my article helps find one.

    • Paranam Kid March 12, 2017 at 3:01 pm #

      "There are many other mail/news clients available on Windows and Linux ...."
      True, and that goes for browsers too.

  5. George March 12, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

    Thunderbird has been crashing on me increasingly over the years - much like Firefox. Tried to test the commercial PostBox more than once, it looked nice but I couldn't even set up a single account due to constant crashing.

    FossaMail was/is getting all relevant security updates and almost always rock-stable as an email client. Let's hope someone goes through or that some sort of solution appears.

    • Appster March 12, 2017 at 2:40 pm #

      Postbox never crashed here. Not once. I am using it within OS X, though.

    • kalmly March 12, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

      Really? How odd. I've used TB on two different computers for . . . for as far back as I can remember, and that is a very long time. I've never experienced a crash. I'm using XP and Win7. What OS are you using?

      • Tom Hawack March 12, 2017 at 6:30 pm #

        Same here, never had a crash with Thunderbird, nor with Firefox by the way.
        Never had a crash with Pale Moon nor with Fossamail as well when I was running both in replacement of Mozilla. Pale Moon could make its way back on this computer depending on my appreciation of Firefox's development and especially starting next November. As for FossaMail I'd regret even more its disappearance should Thunderbird experience the same development as Firefox, if applicable. It'll all take place one way or another before the end of the year.

        I never understood crashes mentioned here and there with either of the 4 applications above mentioned. Some users seem to collect crashes and unless they be numerous to report these issues I consider the cause as a bad configuration, not to mention a chaotic system-wide configuration. It's the user's problem then but what is rather bothering is when the user puts his issue on the account of the application.

    • March 13, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

      Haven't had Firefox crash on me since I dumped Flash. Using the ESR version.

      I've never had Thunderbird crash on me. Just installed their latest update the other day.

  6. Appster March 12, 2017 at 2:39 pm #

    Good riddance. This application never provided an advantage over Thunderbird anyway.

    • seeprime March 13, 2017 at 1:14 am #

      That's a pretty harsh comment about a free program maintained by other people. I's say it provides options, that some people want.

    • Kubrick April 14, 2017 at 8:01 pm #

      Absolutely useless comment.
      Nobody is forcing you or anyone else for that matter to use fossemail.
      Its users like you that makes life hard for software developers in general.

    • Jody Thornton May 4, 2017 at 1:58 am #

      That was my thought. Love Pale Moon, but never saw a SINGLE advantage for FossaMail. Hmmm ... (except for x64 capability - that's one).

      Now Kubrick and seeprime, Appster is welcome to his comments. You don't have to like them, but they're his to make. Try going over to the Pale Moon Forums and was an ass Matt Tobin is to people. I applauded someone who bravely confronted him on his boorish behaviour, and got banned for it.

      Trust me, the Pale Moon group have their jerks as well. It took me a couple years to notice, but now I see clearly.

    • Jody Thornton May 4, 2017 at 3:00 am #

      See I never saw an advantage either - other than being x64 compatible.
      (not sure what happened to my other comment)

  7. Klaas Vaak March 12, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

    I dropped Thunderbird for FossaMail & have been very happy with it, it is stable & the last (or penultimate) major update significantly improved the rendering. It is very similar to TB, obviously, but both are now "not wanted" by their owners, which does not make me want to use either. Having said that, even if FM is discontinued one can keep using the last version installed on one's computer, for some time anyway.

    • Tom Hawack March 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm #

      And FossaMail has a 64-BIT build when Thunderbird may never have.
      One thing is sure, be it Thunderbird or FossaMail both appear to be lost somewhere. Maybe are e-mail clients destined to disappear, replaced by Web mail?

      • March 13, 2017 at 8:05 am #

        >Maybe are e-mail clients destined to disappear, replaced by Web mail?

        Let's hope not. I don't wanna be stuck with just Outlook all the time.

  8. Norm March 12, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

    I use FossaMail and prefer it over Thunderbird. I see that some people are concerned about "security".
    I suppose that a fully patched and up to date Windows 10 installation is considered "secure" by some people.
    Security cannot be given to us, we have to do it ourselves. The best we can. No offense meant to anyone.

  9. Earl March 12, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

    Well, if SeaMonkey and Thunderbird are going to be merged--the dev teams anyway, then maybe there's something in FossaMail that might make it worth adding to the mix? In fact, maybe they could all "breakaway" together entirely... come up with something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue--a marriage of... convenience: PaleMonkey? SeaMoon? FossaBird?

    XUL is cool!

  10. Haakon March 12, 2017 at 7:36 pm #

    I've been using TB since 2004, v0.6 I think, when my email needs were far more casual than today.

    As "paperless" interaction with finance, insurance, health care, etc. and online commerce became a default in those landscapes, far too much critical data was stored in that wide-open profile folder.

    The lack of an embedded encryption scheme is beyond reasoning and requests for such have fallen first on deaf ears then the dearth of development energy. And the primary reason I stopped donating.

    As well, an extension to that end is unacceptable for all the obvious reasons.

    Several years ago I began to run Haller's portable version in a TrueCrypt (now another one) container. In the long run, this method became most convenient for backup: the container daily to a USB stick, stored in a fireproof safe, and the NAS. Also for the cloud, an encrypted self-extracting zip file with the container and the portable version of the container app.

    After a long run with Pale Moon, I went to Cyberfox a few years ago but I did consider FossaMail and ran it on a test system for a while.

    FM is an excellent client. I would recommend it to anyone over TB if privacy above and beyond that which can be provided by the OS is not an issue. Maybe a new maintainer might fix that.

    But without a portable version, I can't consider it.

  11. Albert March 13, 2017 at 1:17 am #

    I do not use local email clients anymore. Only the web page or apps on the phone.

    I backup the emails in my accounts using MailStore Home. Free for home usage. Takes a little bit of fiddling to get going the first time. But works great after. All my emails are stored locally so that I can back them up.

    Which I discovered through Martin with his always excellent web site.

    • March 13, 2017 at 8:08 am #

      Yeah well I have multiple accounts and I don't feel like fu*king logging into each and every one of them through a webpage. Backing up email accounts is only part of the story.

    • Haakon March 13, 2017 at 9:16 pm #

      I prefer serious communications occur between the sender, my cable ISP and me with my heavily fortified and maintained LAN and wired desktop. Six accounts via secure POP3, SMTP and IMAP ports.

      Anyone conducting personal business via someone's dot com email services and/or over cellular/wifi with an Android or iOS device is naive to the Nth degree.

      Of course the former could be flagged and subject to targeted surveillance, but the latter is akin to "Hey! I'm over here! Have a look."

      That said, "yo! wassup dude?" with cousin Bob and koolguy1264 gets done with gmail, on my Moto G3 or Nexus 7.2 also.

  12. Klaas Vaak March 13, 2017 at 9:51 am #

    Nowadays you don't have to log into each & everyone of them. The major webmail services have the option to download your mails from your other accounts too. But I would not want Google, MS, or any of the others to know the contents of all my other messages.

    • March 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

      >The major webmail services have the option to download your mails from your other accounts too. But I would not want Google, MS, or any of the others to know the contents of all my other messages.

      Well that kinda defeats the purpose, now doesn't it...

  13. pd March 14, 2017 at 11:38 am #

    I'd love a decent desktop email client again. Nothing has ever come close to Eudora 7 for me. Unfortunately the Mozilla mail codebase, neglected or under-developed over the years, doesn't do it for me. It seems like it has all the worst habits of Firefox and interface functionality and styling that has always felt bulky or something to me. Can't really explain it. The biggest drawback though is the lack of commitment. Everyone and their dog has some derivative desktop email client out there with a handful of devs or less and no real entity behind it to ensure a long term commitment. It's ridiculous how many projects are all doing essentially the same thing, but each of them periodically go through this existential crisis. Some last, some don't but none of them seem to answer the question of whether there's enough users genuinely interested in a desktop client for one to be an ongoing entity.

    We still have Outlook. It's not as if business users have all given up on genuine mail clients. Why can't the FOSS community get together and cut down the splintered efforts to produce one codebase that can be customized into any look/feel that people want. It's almost a simple architectural problem. There should be no more than a couple of mail storage formats and basic processing engines. From there, an API should be made available for other developers to interact with the engines and storage through whichever filters, searching, pagination and so forth that the front-ends have more need to tailor.

    But whatever the future of desktop mail is, surely it should be based on Rust for security and performance.

    • Blue Knight March 20, 2017 at 1:53 pm #

      > "But whatever the future of desktop mail is, surely it should be based on Rust for security and performance"

      Rust? Oh my God! Please, no...

  14. George April 10, 2017 at 10:13 pm #

    And unfortunately, it's officially gone. At least, Pale Moon will benefit.

    • Barb April 14, 2017 at 7:58 pm #

      Sounds to me like Pale Moon may not be around very much longer either.
      Shame though really the earlier versions were very, very good.

      • George April 14, 2017 at 10:00 pm #

        Quite the contrary - this was partly done to increase development time for Pale Moon.

  15. kubrick April 13, 2017 at 1:57 am #

    How long before he gives palemoon the big heave ho.?

    • Jody Thornton May 4, 2017 at 2:01 am #

      Well in all honesty, especially since Facebook is now working fine on Pale Moon, things have been really good for the browser. It works with everything I need. It's still a pain for those needing full Netflix compatibility (though that doesn't affect me personally)

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