Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source


Fire notifications when new emails appear in your offline mailboxes. Needs a notification service such as dunst to be usable.

Dependencies: inotify-tools(inotifywait), libnotify(notify-send)

Should be POSIX compliant and work in most shells (tested in dash, bash and zsh)


Copy or symlink all sh scripts to bin directory of your choice (names must be kept the same).

When using the systemd unit file, the choice of bin directory matters. See section Systemd unit for further instructions.


mailnotify [OPTION]... [DIR_TO_WATCH]

      -e, --exclude-dir       Directory to exclude from watching. Mail files
                              created in this directory will not trigger a
                              notification. May be applied multiple times for
                              multiple directories.

Directory that should be watched for new emails may hold multiple email accounts. Specify one additional argument per subdirectory that should be excluded, e.g. for Trash, Sent, Read Later, [Gmail]/Sent Items etc.


mailnotify \
    -e Trash \ 
    -e Sent \
    -e 'Read Later' \
    -e '[Gmail]/Sent Items' \

Systemd unit

To run mailnotify as a systemd service, the executable mailnotify-run is used. This script is a wrapper for mailnotify and should be run it with the desired options.

First create a shell script named mailnotify-run. The unit file's ExecStart expects the script to sit at ~/.local/bin/mailnotify-run, so change the path accordingly if necessary. Also, if the path to the binaries is not in the unit file's Environment option, the path must be added there as well.

Copy or symlink mailnotify.service to ~/.config/systemd/user/ and run systemctl --user enable mailnotify.service && systemctl --user start mailnotify.service.


  • Multiple recipients can not be included in the notification. The string may be malformed in this case.
  • HTML content will be rendered as-is and may result in unreadable notifications.

Ideas and/or PRs to address these limitations are always welcome.

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