Thunderbird Email Notifications?

(Never mind...we ain't got any steenken alerts.)
Such a seemingly simple subject - email alerts...right ??

Nope, not simple a'tall.
(Please do correct me here if I am mistaken - that will be very appreciated !?!)

Of course over 90% of any blame in this gripe 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 for years & years.

Being forced to switch into the latest version of TB & Seamonkey to cover my emailing needs under Linux is a huge disappointment to me.

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 function, but those far-sighted devs also decided to remove the OS's own notifier.

Of the (small) lot, the closest to actually working is an unsupported app called Unity Mail.

It works splendidly for gmail - but if you have a 3rd party email server other than that - fuggedaboud it.

There used to be 'popper', but it went extinct, then got updated to 'mailnag', which is a complete hassle to try to use.

Is there a better & decently simple way to gain this function that I simply didn't find via searching ??
If so, please tell me ?!?

Does any of the above get me to lean towards moving backwards to some sort of windoze ??


But it sure does shine a light upon some things that would make Linux users very happy if they could have them.

on 19.10 they work fine if you are using Evolution, but I've never been able to like or use thunderbird so I have no help that way

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Yeah sure. You are not forced to do anything in linux computerguy even though it might seem like it.

What you need to do - Uninstall your present Thunderbird first and then install an older version that supports firetray.

I suggest you get thunderbird_52.9.1+build3-0ubuntu0.18.04.1_amd64.deb

You can find it here -

or here -

or even here -

You should have Synaptic package manager installed so as to lock your "new" older version and keep it from being "updated". Good luck sir.

Given that I am using 18.04, this has yet to be seen...:

I have installed it along with its notifier, and will test soon.

All I've yet seen is that it does not get along with the big G's absolute demand for oauth2 at all, which makes it useless for gmail accounts now.

And as for the dislike of TB, in the newer than ~V3 releases of it I totally agree with that opinion !!!

My assertion of 'forced' was due to my own needs in preserving extensive archived content in local storage vs. which email client(s) are actually 100% capable of importing from TB -and- also play well with OAUTH2 as now REQUIRED by the big G - which leaves very little in the ways of choices.

Relates with this other thread:

My desire was to go from TB to Claws, but that ambition was misguided for pretty much all the same reasons.

Tried Geary - and it is perfectly horrid IMO - lobotomized to look good on phones with about zero in the ways of putting brain cells into it. Meh.

Evolution may be OK for use with non-G accounts, but also seems not to play nice anymore with those absolute OAUTH2 requirements.

As far as uninstalling my present TB - doing so will nullify an entire day's work of setting up the accounts & copying in all the archived stuff - UNLESS:
Perhaps it may be possible to preserve the profile data from V68.2.2 to 52.9.1 somehow ?? (No idea if they are too radically different ??)

Yes of course I have Synaptic & would prevent updating, if the rest of this as described is somehow possible ??

Thank You for replying so helpfully & thoughtfully to my plea for help !! :

Good luck sir.

All well wishes gratefully appreciated.

Nope. You would be removing the software but not the data. Tbird's data can be found at ~/.thunderbird

If a bit paranoid about loosing your day's work, copy .thunderbird somewhere else like ~/Temp. That's Places> Home Folder> Temp (folder). Create it since you probably don't have it.

Thanks Again.
Not paranoid & had to do some pretty hairy migrations from XP to U/M lately including the whole profile migration thing, BUT:
I've never done a version downgrade before, hence my concerns.

This whole forced OAUTH2 thing is a total PITA - no idea how many times it had me visiting & authorizing accounts over & over.
Very useless & highly distasteful IMO.
Absurd pretend 'security' just 'cuz the big G says so - whereas that agency itself is the very biggest data scraper on the planet - so how 'secure' can anything handled by it ever be ??

I have already downloaded the suggested DEB file, and in making ready to move in that direction I had a look at the options in Synaptic.

Version related questions, please:

  • In Synaptic I am offered the latest version, or to force v1:52.7.0+build1-Oubuntu1 (bionic)
    Is this even earlier version in some way inferior to the suggested version ??
  • If I force that downgrade, is it likely to work to simply over-install the slightly newer version from the downloaded file afterwards ??

Thanks Again.

I frankly do not know. It is an earlier version though. Use Gdebi to install thunderbird_52.9.1+build3-0ubuntu0.18.04.1_amd64.deb then open Synaptic and lock that version.

OK, I can now say that I have tried all of the stuff mentioned with both disappointing & amazing results after some hours beating my head against this...

The disappointing:
Neither of these older versions works with OAUTH2 - at least not after downgrading with the existing profile intact - they cannot get, send or even authenticate after the 'downgrade'.
Every single try of anything brought the demand to do the OAUTH2 thing again - and it never worked even once.

The amazing:
Finally gave up & let Synaptic re-install 68.2.2 and bang, zoom - it logged in with zero delay & just started working again as it did before.

Conclusion of this diversion:
Not a solution, sadly - still no notification solution, though I do have Unity mail installed & likely will remove that quite soon as it is more of an annoyance than anything else as it doesn't actually work for anything aside of gmail from what I've seen & there is no support for it.

My gmail forwards to thunderbird just fine. No oauth2 hoops for me. Really can't help with that one.

Uncertain about your last reply - but will add that there was a notice from the big G that very soon 'less secure apps' would be disabled & that OAUTH2 would be required.
It came into every gmail account & carefully examining it showed it came from the big G, and besides, it would not benefit some cybercriminal type unless it was a phishing email - which it was not.

Of course I made note of it & deleted it - so I cannot give exact info - but this has been my motivation in making use of OAUTH2 now.

Anyhow, what I was after in posting this thread was some sort of truly functional email notification thingy - and that part of this adventure remains totally unsolved.

Evolution works with OAUTH2 on all my setups 18.04 and 19.10, but it sounds like thunderbird is sort of working for you (Evolution does occasionally give me errors about my Google accounts but seems to work anyways?)

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When I previously used Thunderbird, I signed in using an App Password, which you could use instead of OAuth2:

Google will try to convince you it's insecure, but it's not bad. Two factor authentication is required on the account.

Sign in using App Passwords

When I was using Thunderbird, I also locked mine to an old version (so I could use the FireTray add-on), and this worked no problem. So, you could try downgrading again, and login with IMAP using your e-mail address and an "app" password you create.

Check Gmail through other email platforms

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My destination in all this is in sight - but I need to avoid falling into the big fissures in this road which have been the openings for the time & effort gobbling abyss hiding just beneath them !!

My original idea of moving from the old TB to Claws was mainly scrapped due to its usage of a storage format which I could not easily & directly get ALL of my content imported to;
Yes - there may be ways to do it either folder by folder and/or via CLI, but that is not happening for me.

Considered Evolution - but the same sorts of differences & efforts for my main email uses also applied to it.

Then add in the outrageous crashiness of TB post-downgrade, thus preventing me from ever even seeing Firetray's functions...

A perfect recipe for frustration - that ate up too many hours of that day.

Whatever it was in my profile from the newer version clearly gave the older version a terrible tummyache and made it barf rather than digesting the new emails that it could not even reach out to get.

Again - ultimately - ignoring the severe differences in storage formats with zero easy paths between them - here I sit with a perfectly functional PC now running Seamonkey and TB 68.2.2 and the ONLY ways I know if either of them gets any new email(s) is being nearby enough to hear the tiny sound alert, or looking at the screen when a small banner appears for a short time.

Given that I have more things to do in this life than to be that close or that attentive to such things - a lingering notification for either/both would be immensely helpful for me.

Getting that functionality under windoze was child's play - but under my preferred OS this has thus far shown itself to be sort of an impossible dream UNLESS it is done by changing GBs of content magically to yet another email client to see if it does this any better.

OK, back to driving my small truck into OS Changing Land now...

Thanks Again for the replies here Folks !!!

It is quite shocking to me that there is no real & current solution for having some sorts of persistent email notifications at the desktop.

Given that most folks depend upon emails nowadays, having to open any & each email client to check counts & hopefully not miss any new emails is soooo 1980 !!

Have you tried birdtray?

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Yep, sure did, thanks for suggesting it.

Oddly - with Birdtray running there was endless HDD thrashing which I'd never seen before whilst having TB & Seamonkey left open all day long.
Stopped Birdtray - and the thrashing also stopped.
Totally NOT impressed.
Another one for the bitbucket, sadly.

As of now - no good & working solution has come around.

I'm having to check both clients when I've been away from my desk - vs. just a glance in that direction before that would either reveal a flashing taskbar entry and/or tray icon...or not.

It is very easy to imagine busy office folks getting terminally annoyed with having to do this same thing all day long after being windoze users for years before with everything visually in their faces.