Email notification

Do you also sometimes find yourself desperately checking for new emails, afraid as you are to miss anything? Well, that time is over now, with the extremely handy Mail Watcher Panel plugin! If you set it up correctly, you can get it to notify you of new messages in a nice popup balloon and gives you easy access to your email.

Mailwatcher Notification Balloon

Of course, the first step is to add this plugin. Not that difficult: right click a panel, “Add New Item”, then in that window select “Mail Watcher”, then click “Add”.

You then get the “Edit Properties” window. In this window you can select what type of email you want to watch by clicking “Add”.

Mailwatcher - Add New Mailbox

Now, that’s very cool and all, that it checks your e-mail, but we’d like to go a bit further. First, we want it to open our email when we click the Mail Watcher icon. If you use some kind of web mail, e.g. Gmail, then we can set the “Run on click” command to firefox -new-tab http://gmail.comThat will open a new tab in Firefox that will display your email. If you use an email program like Thunderbird, you can set this command to that program, e.g.: thunderbird

Now that we have that set, let’s set the coolest feature – the notification balloon! First, we will need to have libnotify-bin installed, so fire up the Synaptic Package Manager and install that. Then we can add the “Run on new messages” command: notify-send "New mail" "You have new messages in your inbox" -i xfce-newmail

Mail Watcher - Edit Properties

Tada! Now you are all set and will be notified when you receive a new email.

18 Responses to “Email notification”

  1. 1 Bas 2 May 2007 at 10:25 pm

    I tried it and it didn’t work right away. The package libnotify-bin is required, because it provides the notify-send tool.
    Good trick nonetheless. 🙂

  2. 2 Bas 2 May 2007 at 10:43 pm

    Another tip:
    Adding –icon=xfce-newmail to the “Run on new messages” command will make the notification a bit cooler. 🙂

  3. 3 Vincent 3 May 2007 at 10:08 am

    Bas, as for your fist comment, didn’t I say:

    First, we will need to have libnotify-bin installed, so fire up the Synaptic Package Manager and install that.

    The icon is a nice tip. For one reason or another, WordPress replaces double dashed with a single one, so --icon=xfce-newmail needs to have two dashes at the beginning! Or you could just say -i xfce-newmail

    I’ve added it to the post.

  4. 4 Bas 6 May 2007 at 2:46 pm

    I must have missed that bit. My bad. 🙂

  5. 5 SQ 21 May 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Cool idea!

    I never thought about adding the notification. Thanks!

  6. 6 HyperHacker 8 September 2009 at 3:45 am

    Doesn’t work with multiple (&-separated) commands. None of them will run.

  7. 7 John Niendorf 28 February 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Any way to have it tell you who the mail is from and what it is about?

  8. 10 Daniel 13 August 2012 at 4:28 pm


    I’d like to have new mails considered as read (in thunderbird) if I click on the mail notification icon. Which command (to be executed if you click on the icon) is the right one? It should be something like “thunderbird [[account that is affected]] [[command to consider new mails as read]]”.


    • 11 Daniel 13 August 2012 at 4:33 pm

      In the last message, I forgot to click on “Notify me of follow-up comments via email”. Now I did that.

    • 12 Vincent 13 August 2012 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Daniel, I don’t use Thunderbird myself but I’ve done some Googling for what command line options Thunderbird takes. Unfortunately, it seems that mark all messages as read is not an option that is available, making this function pretty much impossible to use with this feature without programming.

    • 13 Daniel 13 August 2012 at 7:03 pm

      Yes I think you’re right. Perhaps I will ask that same question in a forum on thunderbird, and eventually propose to include an option like that in future versions of thunderbird.
      Thank you.

  9. 14 Gorgar 27 June 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Nice tool – it just shows unread mails instead of new mails. Is there some way to configure this?

  10. 16 RoSk 5 September 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Gmail service now complains that this tool is ‘not secure enough’ and blocks it.

  1. 1 One More Blog » Blog Archive » Xubuntu Day 3 Trackback on 2 August 2007 at 3:14 pm

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