In Ubuntu/Gnome under the mail icon in the tray, there are chat, mail, and broadcast. opening the chat logs into your IM accounts and keeps you logged in when closing the main window. But it appears that for the mail (ie evolution), when you open it it logs in and checks mail, but stops checking mail as soon as you close the window. I cannot find the setting to keep checking mail even when the main window is closed. This seems like a basic function and I can't figure out why it isn't the default behavior. How do I keep checking mail when the main window is closed?

Running Ubuntu 10.4 Lucid X64.

3 Answers 3


This is a known bug/missing feature in Evolution.

If you don't mind installing software from a PPA, you can install Geoff Goehle's patched evolution/evolution-indicator. This should give you an option in Evolution's plugin configuration to "hide it in the applet" if it is closed:


To add the PPA to your software sources, go to System > Administration > Software Sources > Other Software and click Add, then enter ppa:goehle/goehle-ppa as a source. Or you can use the command sudo add-apt-repository ppa:goehle/goehle-ppa in a terminal.

The PPA works in 10.04 and 10.10 at the moment.

  • Now that's the way it should work. I managed to get it installed by downloading the packages, but am having trouble adding the it to the software sources. isn't it "deb launchpad.net/~goehle/+archive/goehle-ppa/+packages lucid main" or is it something else? Oct 8, 2010 at 16:37
  • It's actually simpler than that, I added the info to my answer. Oct 9, 2010 at 8:13

Although the feature doesn't yet exist in the mail icon that's used in Ubuntu, there is another program you can install called "mail notification". You can find it in the software center pretty easily, the project's webpage is http://www.nongnu.org/mailnotify/. It is a panel applet that will watch your mail accounts and let you know when something comes in. Clicking on the icon will launch the mail reader for you.

If you set this up, it has several options for types of accounts to setup, including Evolution - don't use the Evolution option because it will only be able to watch those accounts while Evolution is open. Choose IMAP, Gmail, POP, etc. instead.


The feature does not yet exist. What I do is send the window to another workspace. You can do this a couple of ways. The easiest is to right-click on either Evolution's title-bar or its entry in the task bar and pick "Move to Another Workspace" then choose the one to move it to (I always use 4 for mail). You can switch to that workspace by using the workspace switcher in the bottom-right or by using the key combos alt+ctrl+left and alt+ctrl+right.

I actually find this more convenient than closing and opening the window.

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