Multi-media Internet Mail for Unix Systems

Welcome !

We hope that you will find that Ishmail is the finest e-mail tool available for Unix systems. You can find out more about the product, or download a copy of the program. Ishmail is distributed as free software under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Click here to see screen snapshots of various Ishmail windows, which will give you a feel for what the program looks like and how it works.

Here is a list of some of the places where Ishmail is used.

December 2015

I'm keeping this website around for sentimental and historical reasons. It was the first website I built, in 1994. Ishmail was, I believe, the first product offered for purchase and download on the Internet. At that time software was distributed on CDs or floppy disks.

We offered Ishmail as a free download with a built in license manager that kept track of how long it had been installed. After the free trial period the customer needed to pay for a license key or the software stopped working. The concept of a license manager was not new, it was widely used to keep people from buying one copy of software and letting others copy and use it for free, but I think we were the first people to use this technique for downloaded software.

We accepted payment by mailing us a check or calling us and giving us your credit card number. Online payment systems had not yet been developed.

Ishmail source code has been sitting on SourceForge for a decade or so, but SourceForge has some widely publicized problems so I decided to copy the source to GitHub. You can now find it at:

April 2002

Wow, something new to report! Ishmail lives on, supported by a group of dedicated users who have been making improvements to the code. Please check out what they've been doing at

May 1999

Ishmail is no longer being sold or supported. H&L Software is closing down. We will still offer Ishmail for download.

Version 1.3.4 is available for Linux, Sun Solaris 2.5.1, and HP-UX 10.20 systems. This version has the license manager disabled, so a license key is no longer requried.

NOTE: (October 9,1999) Many people reported problems with Linux version 1.3.4. Since the only thing that changed was the license manager, I suspect problems with the build environment. Anyway, the easiest thing to do was go back to version 1.3.3, which is now packaged with a free permanent license key. If you download now, this is the version you will get.

Source Code

Source code is available here.

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