Open source email pioneer Roundcube joins the Nextcloud family

We are thrilled to announce that Roundcube project has found a new home with Nextcloud. Becoming a new steward for a popular webmail client trusted in highly regulated industries and among security-savvy users alike, we set sail to foster the growth and improvement of the project. This brings about a new milestone for global IT decentralization. Read on to understand why.

Redefining email security with Roundcube

Just like any communication and productivity software, the email is being consumed by technology giants seeking to monopolize the daily tools companies and individuals use for work. Email communication is as relevant as ever and remains a tidbit for user acquisition. Without equally viable alternatives, businesses, governments, and individual users will slowly lose the grip on their own data.

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What is Roundcube?

Roundcube is a multilingual IMAP client with an application-like UI that offers MIME support, address book, folders, message search and spell checking. It provides ample security and privacy protection, including PGP, XSS resistance and brute force protection.

Roundcube mailbox

As a self-hosted solution, Roundcube offers a standard of privacy and security in mail communication that is seeing an unfortunate decline at the modern workplace. Its capabilities find application in highly regulated industries like education and government.

The client is a choice of notable universities including Harvard, Cambridge, Tata Institute in Mumbai, University of Victoria and government administrations with examples like India and the European Commission. CPanel includes Roundcube, enabling hosting via numerous service providers like HostGator, OVH, Telekom Italy and GoDaddy. It is the default mail system of the popular Synology NAS devices.

A partnership between privacy-centered projects like Nextcloud and Roundcube draws a complete picture of a decentralized collaboration ecosystem empowered by synergy of shared vision.

What this partnership means to the community

Before choice becomes an illusion, developers of independent solutions need to consolidate their efforts to establish a counter-force. Behind the new partnership stands our shared community-powered mission to respond to challenges brought by technological centralization, both for the public and private sector but also for private users.

The merger not only underscores the collective strength of the open source community but also highlights our enduring commitment to privacy, security, and user empowerment

Frank Karlitschek
Founder of Nextcloud
Frank Karlitschek

Together we can bring a new perspective to the digital Europe as a whole. And the collaboration grows the Nextcloud-led Coalition for a Level Playing Field, our anti-trust campaign which filed complaints about the anti-competitive behavior of Big Tech to the European Union and the German government.

Next steps for Roundcube and Nextcloud

The plan for the upcoming year includes the adaptation and advancement of Roundcube to create a complete offering that will fit a wide range of users. That involves continuous investment to accelerate and oversee the development process while serving the common vision the two projects have.

Both projects share the same ideology about the role and importance of free software as an independent alternative to the big cloud services.

Thomas Brüderli
Roundcube founder
Roundcube logo with background

What sets this collaboration apart is that both projects focus on user empowerment. Using Nextcloud or Roundcube, users can anticipate increased autonomy and control over their digital experiences. Both projects will continue to focus on self-hosting and privacy, as well as great user experiences.

Our short-term plan is to boost development, hiring some new team members for Roundcube. We also hope to support and grow the contributing community, inviting new talent to boost the development and health of the project.

As a product, Roundcube has an established path to success on its own. With opportunities remaining to be explored, a direct merger between Roundcube and Nextcloud is not planned. Neither will Roundcube replace Nextcloud Mail or the other way around. The products both have strengths and weaknesses and as open source products they already do share some underlying libraries and tools, but remain independent offerings for overlapping but different use scenarios. Nextcloud Mail will evolve as it is, focused on being used naturally within Nextcloud. Roundcube will continue to serve its active and new users as a stand-alone secure mail client.

“I‘ve been following the development of Nextcloud and Frank‘s tireless efforts for free software for years. It was the first name to come to my mind when I started thinking about the future of Roundcube.”

Frank Karlitschek and Thomas Brüderli, founders of Nextcloud and Roundcube respectively, discuss the past, the present, and the future of this partnership.

Join the discussion

Roundcube community members, including users and contributors, are welcome to to join the conversation. As a new playground, we offer a separate Roundcube section on the Nextcloud forum where you can raise issues, start discussions, and get in touch with Nextcloud.

Read our official press release about the merger between Nextcloud and Roundcube below.

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