Mail Notification - Check Email in the Background

Having a notification when new email arrives can be nice and really useful if you're waiting for an important message. But if you're using a desktop email client or maybe a third party webmail service, you might not want to run a big client application or have to keep checking that tab in Firefox to see if new mail has arrived.

Mail Notification is a small application that can run in your system tray area on GNOME (but it also runs fine on KDE, Xfce or pretty much any other desktop environment) that sits there and checks your account(s) for new email. If there's a new message, it notifies you and you can then open a full client to read it in.

This little app is more clever than its simplicity suggests. For example, if supported by your email service, it supports push email with IMAP IDLE so that it doesn't have to periodically poll the server and use up unnecessary bandwidth. It also supports lots of different account types.

It also has direct integration with Evolution, so it can check accounts that you have set up in the email client there without any further configuration. However, the Evolution support does require that Evolution is running in the background.

To install the application on Ubuntu, you can simply go to Applications > Add/Remove and search for mail-notification. You will also need fetchyahoo and getlive for Yahoo and Hotmail support.

Installing Mail Notification in Ubuntu

On other Linux distributions, the install process will be similar. Once the application is installed, in GNOME you will find it under Applications > Internet.

You simply choose which type of account you want to configure (supported types include IMAP, POP, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail), enter the details and then let Mail Notification sit in the background until a message comes along.

Setting up Mail Notification with a Yahoo account

A Mail Notification

As I said, Mail Notification is a very simple application, but it is especially useful in conjunction with a webmail-based email service. You can keep a check on your email without having to keep a browser tab dedicated to the email service open all the time.

Thanks to Adrian who pointed out this app in the comments to a previous post, noting its Evolution support.

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold -

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Mail Notification - Check Email in the Background

  1. # Posted on 13 January 2009 at 05:14 PM

    [...] Notification, comprueba tu correo electrónico 13 Ene 2009, por Datzerox Mail Notification es una pequeña aplicación que puede ejecutarse en la bandeja del sistema de Gnome (pero también funciona bien en KDE, Xfce o [...]

  2. daimon (guest)

    # Posted on 16 January 2009 at 01:05 PM

    I've installed fetchyahoo and mail-notifier. When trying to configure the mail-notifier for yahoo, it does not appear this option.

    What's wrong?

  3. Jens (guest)

    # Posted on 17 February 2009 at 01:20 AM

    Try the FireTray Add-on. It's quite useful. Small and perfect integrated into Firefox.

  4. uchari (guest)

    # Posted on 08 August 2009 at 05:26 PM

    I just try this and the webmail options are not working... we need a tutorial for that.

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