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Byobu supports `mail notification':

mail - system mail for the current user; the letter '[M]' is displayed
in the lower bar toward the left in black text on a grey background

How could system mail be set to regard IMAP accounts?

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You need to configure your system mail client included in the mailutils package to receive mails from you online account (e.g. gmail). Last time I checked the mail notification feature in byobu was premature. See https://answers.launchpad.net/byobu/+question/143784

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thanks, do u know if alpine can be used for that maybe? –  type Jun 10 '11 at 13:14
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