(Never mind...we ain't got any steenken email alerts.)

Such a seemingly simple subject - email alerts...right ??

Nope, not simple a'tall is what I've found.

I use Thunderbird for several gmail acounts, Seamonkey for several others, and soon shall also use Evolution for 2 which can only be called 'other'. (All via IMAP.)

Before maturing into full time Linux usage for my emailing needs I was able to create totally different visible & audible notifications for new emails via extensions and built-in functions of my 2 TB instances.

This was a huge help for me as I do not sit at the screen all day long & prefer to know when someone is trying to reach me even if I am in the next room.

Of course over 90% of any/all blame in this matter points STRAIGHT to the Mozilla folks. In their hurry to lobotomize Thunderbird they made it almost impossible to customize & something like 90% of its addons are no more...including the tray notification addon I enjoyed using for years & years. Being forced to switch into the latest version of TB & Seamonkey to cover my emailing needs is a huge disappointmet to me in this important regard.

Of course the Linux world has several separate email alerter apps one may use - if one is patient enough in tolerating their foibles; This used to be sort of a built-in OS function, but the far-sighted Ubuntu Mate devs decided to remove the OS's notifier for no apparent reason that I have found or seen.

Of the (small) lot, the closest to actually working for me was an (unsupported ??) app called Unity Mail. It worked splendidly for gmail - but with my 3rd party email server it would only crash repeatedly and has been removed from my PC already. (Oddly, after getting & removing that app - indicator applet complete gained an email icon again, but it doesn't seem to do anything...?)

There used to be 'popper', but it went extinct, then got updated to 'mailnag', which is a complete hassle to try to use that I tried & gave up on.

Finally, my query in short:

How may I get desktop notifications for new emails which will stay on-screen and maybe also make different sounds per app ??

Thanks in advance for any helpful replies here !!


Thunderbird has this built in, on the Preferences / General page, When new messages arrive: section.

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You can crank the time up on the alert using the Customize button, and add the sound of your choosing.

  • Thanks for replying !! I should have mentioned that I tried that & did get sounds customized, but no matter what number I used for the alert delay it stayed up for only 5 seconds ?!?
    – mark
    Jan 12 '20 at 5:18
  • I had never changed the setting, but before posting this answer I set it to 120 seconds and it worked. Perhaps this is a desktop difference - I use Ubuntu 18.04 but I install the LXDE desktop and use that as my default. Jan 12 '20 at 17:41
  • Ubuntu Mate is what I use. Also just tried Birdtray & found it to be a real stinker - even though it works, sort of - I noticed that TB's activities increased by like 1000% - which caused endless HDD thrashing - nasty !! Open TB minus Birdtray though, and zero thrashing. Another effort headed to the bitbucket now.
    – mark
    Jan 13 '20 at 4:50

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