Balsa E-mail App Questions

Since I cannot use BeMail or Beam because I will not use “app-specific” passwords and 2FA due to that it would mess up my current configurations in Linux and Windows. However, this can change if I can figure out Balsa.

I went to their Web site–sadly, it is under-developed and they do not have any documention on how to use the software [, though they have a FAQ–but I require details on how to use this software.]

This is the main window where I added my three e-mails account at Gmail, Yahoo, & Netscape (AOL):

In the Edit–>Preferences–>Settings window, I added the IMAP & SMPT server info for each e-mail service:

For Gmail settings, here are the settings:

When I completed setting up IMAP & SMPT accounts, Gmail sent an e-mail that a new connection from Linux was made and wanted to make sure it was me. Well, it was Balsa running in Haiku–so yes it was. .
So I know the connections are working. So when I click on the ‘Check’ button or ‘File’–>‘Get New Mail’ or ‘File’–>'Send or Receive Mail; a ‘Checking Mail…’ window appears and closes–no e-mails were transferred to my local mailbox from any of the services.

My question is --any others Haiku users using Balsa? If so, how did you get the e-mail from your service to be downloaded into your local ‘/boot/home/mail’ directory and populate its sub-folders?

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I’ve tried Balsa with iCloud, it connects and downloads emails but with severe limitations such as the inability to store the password. Balsa keeps asking it every time is started.
I know this is not an answer to your question but maybe you can give Claws Mail a try and see if it suits your needs best.
I know people from itHUG who are successfully using it with Gmail and there’s also an experimental plug-in for Haiku.
I hope this helps.


What I would suggest is trying a different Security protocol. I use Balsa with, and the settings I used when I built Balsa for incoming IMAP mail was SSL (Outlook settings were listed as STARTTLS). When Balsa was built for Haiku Depot, The setting I’ve had to use is TLS-Required for both incoming and outgoing mail.

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I tried Claws Mail…that also requires the 2FA To work in my situation unfortunately.

2-step verification is a pre-requirement to use app specific password, see here.

Yes…that is true…just did not mention it.

Well, I tried switching to ‘TLS required’ from ‘IMAP over SSL (IMAPS)’ but it just hangs for a very, very long time before closing its window or it just locks up the Balsa app completely. No error windows or any status windows pop-up to indicate if anything is working or processing.

It was the most promising prospect for getting my e-mail working (without app-specific” passwords and 2FA being required) on Haiku. Conclusion is that Balsa is not working at this time for me either.

I think at this point, after trying a dozen different apps, maybe you have to consider trying a different email provider that doesn’t make it such a nightmare to connect to their servers. For Google it isn’t possible anymore to connect with a normal client unless you enable “app passwords”. You need a client with special support for OAuth2, that will open a webpage and ask you to login to your Google account.


If i need to check my email, I connect using Web via Gmail web site. I use Thundertbird software in my environments, except Haiku of course.

Saw Balsa in HaikuDepot and saw it was an email client. Never heard of it…so I tested for my needs. It is very basic if it worked…victory; instead, it was a bust…no problem.

Oneday Haiku will have an email client that does what Thunderbird does. Until then, I’m happily being a Haiku daily user.


this is the main point, we need to make some efforts towards this direction… I think BEAM could be a good candidate for an overhaul despite it’s age.


I would agree if Beam was a Haiku core app.

I remember in a previous e-mail app related discussion here that someone stated that Mail would be re-written for the 2020+. This would bring it up to date to meet current operational needs and also to future-proof the code (if I remember it correctly).

At the time, it was understood to accomplish the Mail v2 that it would be a very big project.

For me, this rewrite is very necessary for R1 release. [Not sure if it is already marked to be done for R1.]

But if Beam is updated to accommodate the latest security protocols so we can connect to many e-mail services in one app–that would be great too! No need to be linked to Haiku’s relases.

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Maybe this is something for GSOC next year?

I think a app like this is not a good product for people who are only a smal time of the community. We need some one who have fun to be the main dev for the app a long time.

BEAM has some neat features as well as some big gaps. I would start understanding if the best of the two worlds can be reused, combined, refactored to get something better before rewriting everything from scratch, IMHO.


I think the IMAP filesystem project idea has been on the GSoC ideas list for like 10 years now? But no student ever submitted an application for it.

The idea is to mount an IMAP mailbox as a filesystem and expose mails there for use with the native email reader. There would be no local offline copy of the mails, maybe some optional caching.

However, this won’t solve the connection problems, which don’t need a complete rewrite (why is everyone’s reaction to any bug always “let’s rewrite the whole thing”?). For GMail in particular the problem is very specific (we need OAuth support as a new authentication method) and well documented ujust read the OAuth spec). For other providers that ŝould work with the normal identification methods, we need eitheir to update our mail providers database for autoconfiguration (because we can’t trust people to correcly enter the correct server name, password, auth metood and port), or to fix bugs in the SMTP and IMAP code if there are any. None of that requires a big rewrite.