Ubuntu 10.10 Email Notification How To: Easily Check Hotmail, Gmail and Ymail Using WebMail Notifier For Firefox
2010 Oct 31, Update: Next release of Ubuntu is Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 1 (Natty Narwhal) scheduled for November 4th, 2010.
Note: The solution in this article was written for Ubuntu versions 9.10 and above: namely Ubuntu 9.10, 10.04, 10.10, 11.04, etc... It will also work for some earlier versions. Plus the WebMail Notifier Addon for Firefox is really platform independent, so this will also work in Windows XP, WIndows 7, and other OSes that can run Mozilla Firefox. I currently have this running in a backup Windows OS, where when if I need to use it - my main windows PC is not accessible and I need the ability to go online, with automatic and periodic email notification updates.
How To Easily Check Hotmail, Gmail and Ymail
You may have arrived here on this page after searching for an easy way to get Hotmail, Gmail or Ymail (Yahoo Mail) notification in Ubuntu Linux, and all this without using a full featured PIM and email application like Evolution or Microsoft's Outlook (on the Windows platform).
If you have searched the "Ubuntu Software Center" from within Ubuntu, you would have noticed that there are plenty of Gmail notifiers but none for Hotmail.
But that's beside the point. What I want is something to do them all. Why have 2 apps when I can have one that can do both?
Following this, you will find 2 email notifiers that I had found in the internet which will do the job well, and without much fuss.
1. Use Pidgin instead of Empathy:
In the past, prior to version 9.10, Ubuntu bundled in Pidgin instead of Empathy as the default IM client. Pidgin might have its faults but it can at least check emails (unlike Empathy), something that decent IM clients do. If you don't care much for Empathy, and also don't care that Pidgin stores your password in plain text, you can get Pidgin from the "Applications > Ubuntu Software Center".
1. Get it from the software center as above or run the following command direct from a Terminal:
sudo apt-get install pidgin
2. Go to "Applications > Internet" and click on "Pidgin Internet Messenger".
3. Follow the instructions on the setup window and choose your IM accordingly.
If you want to set up Gmail, choose Google Talk.
4. Do that for all your IMs and you're done!
2. Use WebMail Notifier for Firefox:
This is my preferred way currently, it's easy to setup and work out-of-the-box. Also, it can check multiple mail accounts simultaneously, which is a big plus, ie, one button to check them all if you wish, or let it auto check for you; no need to switch accounts.
1. To set this up, first, from within Firefox, go to:
2. Click on the "+Add to Firefox" button.
3. After it is installed, restart Firefox as per setup instructions.
4. Right-click on the new mail icon on the bottom right status bar of Firefox, select "Options" and configure it. Done!
There are other ways, of course, which I may have missed. If you know of any that work out-of-the-box as the 2 solutions above, feel free to comment below. Please don't highlight any that promised Hotmail checking but requires the end user to get a couple of 3rd party scripts to do so. I am aware of that one and am not going to mention it here for the afore mentioned reasons. I am really interested in any that doesn't require me to memorize specific steps should I need to reinstall my Ubuntu and start all over again. :)