ProtonMail launches Bridge for Linux

protonmail bridge for linux

We are excited to announce that starting today, you can use Bridge to connect your ProtonMail account with your desktop email app on the Linux operating system.

ProtonMail Bridge is a desktop app available to all paying subscribers that integrates ProtonMail’s strong privacy and security features, such as zero-access encryption and end-to-end encryption, with your email client. 

Bridge implements IMAP/SMTP protocols and is compatible with any email client which follows this standard. The Linux version we are launching today includes special optimizations for Thunderbird.

Since releasing Bridge for Linux in beta, we have collected valuable feedback from our community and improved the speed and performance. Linux users now have access to all the convenience provided by an email client, including full-text search, offline editing, and the ability to export and back up emails from your ProtonMail account.  

Why use ProtonMail Bridge

Bridge delivers your ProtonMail messages to your favorite desktop email app by encrypting and decrypting the messages on your computer.

Learn more about how ProtonMail Bridge works

Your client stores a copy of the emails on your computer, enabling you to search their content. This also allows you to load emails for offline reading and processing. We are working on launching encrypted, full-text search and offline reading soon for the web and mobile applications. 

However, because email clients operate and store your conversations on your device, it is critical that you keep your computer safe.

With today’s launch, the application is now officially available for Windows, Mac, and Linux with support for Outlook, Apple Mail, and Thunderbird.

Bridge also lets you back up your ProtonMail data by facilitating its export through your email client and simplifies the transfer of emails between different ProtonMail accounts or from other email providers to ProtonMail.

Note: If you want to run a full mailbox import or export, we recommend using our dedicated Import-Export app, available in beta to all paid users.

How to set up Bridge for Linux 

To use Bridge, you need to download and install the application, add your account to Bridge, and configure Thunderbird. 

DOWNLOAD BRIDGE FOR LINUX

After downloading the correct package for your system, we recommend you verify the signature of the downloaded file. This ensures that the file you received was not damaged or tampered with. You can find the instructions for verifying file signatures in one of our installation guides for .deb, .rpm or PKGBUILD files.

Next, start the Bridge app and select Add Account. Enter your Proton login credentials to connect to Bridge.

Finally, to configure Thunderbird, you will need the IMAP/SMTP credentials from your Bridge application. Please follow these steps to configure your email client.

If you have any questions, please visit our Bridge for Linux support section.

What’s next for Bridge 

ProtonMail’s mission is to build a safe Internet for everyone. To do that, we are committed to building transparent, ethical, and secure products, and ProtonMail Bridge is no exception. That’s why we are working hard on opening our source code for Bridge. 

We will also continue improving the Bridge design, as well as work on supporting more IMAP/SMTP clients on Linux.

The feedback from the Linux community during the beta testing has been critical in launching this version of Bridge. We’d like to thank them and we invite everyone to send us ideas and comments at bridge@protonmail.com or via the Report Bug feature inside the app.

You can get a free secure email account from ProtonMail here.

We also provide a free VPN service to protect your privacy.

ProtonMail and ProtonVPN are funded by community contributions. If you would like to support our development efforts, you can upgrade to a paid plan or donate. Thank you for your support.

About the Author

Roxana Zega

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28 comments on “ProtonMail launches Bridge for Linux

  • Thank you !
    I have been expecting that for a long time !
    I had access to the beta version but for a company focused on privacy, having no public support of Linux was imho a very significant issue 😉
    Things are moving in a good direction !

    Reply
  • Great news!
    What is your update plan ? .
    By just downloading and installing a deb, users will not be aware of updates availability (unless they check blog regularly I guess)
    It could be a security problem.

    Reply
  • Please support Mailspring as a client for Linux! And thank you for your efforts at making Linux a supported platform!

    Reply
  • Thank you from a new Linux user! This is a welcome feature, and does a lot to help people like me replace insecure, data-collecting email services for good.

    Reply
  • Hello,

    First, thank you for supporting GNU/Linux !

    Then I have a few practical questions :

    Are the local and web mailboxes synchronized (meaning all messages and/or their location (folder) are always identical) ?
    Which of the two is the reference ?

    What background services does the bridge run on the Linux machine, and what are their names ?
    Are firewall adjustments needed ?

    Thank you
    Regards

    Reply
    • Hello,

      Yes, both mailboxes are synchronized and there is no reference. No specific firewall adjustments are needed. In some cases, Bridge may be blocked by your firewall/antivirus and you will need to allow (whitelist) it.

      Reply
  • Thank you, Proton!
    I had a free account a few years ago (as I recall, there was quite a wait to activate an account back then). All that was missing was a way to use it with my desktop client.
    I’m now a happy subscriber. The instructions for setting up Thunderbird were very clear, and so far no issues. A nominal fee for an extraordinary product, and I’m looking forward to transitioning from my data-mining “free” service.
    Home Run!

    Reply
  • Thanks for all the work you did on the Bridge client for Linux, it has really become significantly better over time.

    So is the 1.2.6 version (which is still marked as Beta in my client) the final release? Is there anything I need to do if I have the version 1.2.6 client installed already?

    Reply
  • I would like to see support for syncing contacts and calendars in a similar way, whether through Bridge or some other means. This would provide the benefits of the security of Proton’s offerings and the integration of these apps into most operating systems. As it is, Proton Contacts and Proton Calendar are not really that useful because they are stuck inside the Proton walled garden of the mobile & web apps.

    Reply
    • Hi Christos,

      This is generally hard to achieve and few users have been able to do it. It is possible that Proton will publish it in the future.

      Reply
  • I just downloaded and installed protonmail-bridge-1.2.6-1.x86_64.rpm and installed it over v1.2.5. The initial launch shows “Information about v1.2.6 beta.” Will this thing ever get out of the beta stage???

    Reply
  • Well it was a long wait for us Linux users to catch up with the commercials, but it was worth it. Superb tool. It enabled me to go Professional, which was impossible before, and use my domain properly.

    Reply