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I'm trying to change the Preferred Application for email. I have installed the package desktop-webmail, but there is no new option under System - Preferences - Preferred Application as you would expect, infact, there is only one option there, only Evolution.

According to this post it should be possible to set a custom application, but no option is available.

Is it possible to setup GMail as Preferred email app so that File -> Send by email works in gnome apps?

This seems to be a dup of another post here, Thing is that this works fine in 10.10, but in 11.04 this method no longer work. My post above is meant for 11.04 and the question is still valid.

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Regarding the 1st part: did you do a sudo update-alternatives --config mail-client to see if it is then added? I know I needed to do that to have Opera show under browsers. – Rinzwind May 4 '11 at 12:39
The geek page that is used in your link (…) works for me! – Rinzwind May 4 '11 at 13:00
@jorge & @Rinzwind, I checked in 10.10 and works fine there. I therefore retagged this issue to 11.04 which is the version I have trouble. The UI for Preferred App seems to have changed. – grm May 4 '11 at 21:57
up vote 15 down vote accepted

To set GMail as the default for mailto links in Ubuntu 11.10 :

  1. Install gnome-gmail
  2. Edit ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list and add the line below:


  3. Open System Info (use the Dash) and under Default Applications change Mail to Gnome Gmail

Screenshot of System Info

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Hero! Confirmed this works in 11.04 :D – FoleyIsGood Jul 26 '11 at 23:03
is there a way to open this menu through the command line ? – viyyer Jan 10 '12 at 22:51
@viyyer: I guess setting the key mimeapps.listx-scheme-handler/mailto to "gnome-gmail.desktop;" in the section [Default Applications] in mimeapps.list should do it. This is what the gui application changes when you choose gmail. – migu Feb 15 '12 at 18:46
Second step is not necessary, at least in Ubuntu 12.10 – alfC Dec 20 '12 at 20:23
13.04: sudo apt-get install gnome-gmail; once you open the first mail by clicking a corresponding link in the browser, it asks you if it should be set as default. Choose 'yes' and be happy :-) – Marius Hofert May 18 '13 at 10:30

Just install gnome gmail

sudo apt-get install gnome-gmail

Then open it.

You should get a prompt asking whether you want it to be your default mail client. Say Yes. Works on 11.10.

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Just a slight alteration of funkymonk's post works. First install gnome-gmail:

sudo apt-get install gnome-gmail

Then open the following:

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/mimeapps.list

You want to add:


underneath both "Added Associations" and "Default Applications".

If there is something like


there, you should replace this, otherwise just add the code. Then save and close and it should now work.

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Check this post on Gnome Gmail. It allows Gmail to be selected as the default mail application for Gnome.

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To change the default email app:

cd ~/.local/share/applications
vi mimeapps.list

Which should output the following

2 [Default Applications]
3 x-scheme-handler/mailto=userapp-Evolution-RZZYTV.desktop
5 [Added Associations]
6 x-scheme-handler/mailto=userapp-Evolution-RZZYTV.desktop;

Now if you want Thunderbird to be your default e-mail application then make the following changes:

2 [Default Applications]
3 x-scheme-handler/mailto=thunderbird
5 [Added Associations]
6 x-scheme-handler/mailto=thunderbird;

Now whenever you click a mailto link it fires up Thunderbird.

Cheers !!

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He wants webmail ;) – Rinzwind May 4 '11 at 13:01

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