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While YouTube gives you an uninterrupted flow of distraction, mailltube gives you a continuous stream of focus.

The xnotify and herbe projects give a sane approach to desktop notifications using a FIFO or just a command line for communication, and lets the integration up to the user, as easy as echo "message" >$XNOTIFY_FIFO or herbe "message" from a shell.

How it works

The mailtube suite generates xnotify or herbe notifications from a remote Maildir on a server, through SSH for instance, or from a local Maildir directly.

The mailtube-server binary needs to be present on the same machine where the Maildirs are, and an mailtube-$client binary present on the local machine.

Complete example with xnotify

Start xnotify with a FIFO, and then run the mail notification daemon streaming messages to it.

export XNOTIFY_FIFO="$HOME/.cache/xnotify.fifo"
mkfifo "$XNOTIFY_FIFO"
xnotify <>$XNOTIFY_FIFO &

mailtube-xnotify ssh mailtube-server Maildir &

Straight after this, each new mail received on the server will generate a local desktop notification.

Complete example with herbe

Run the mail notification daemon and spawn herbe on each incoming notification:

mailtube-herbe ssh mailtube-server Maildir &

Complete example in a terminal

Only show the notifications on-screen in the terminal:

ssh mailtube-server Maildir &

Notification history

If mailtube is killed or the local computer powered off, the notification will not be lost, and when running mailtube again, the pending notifications will be displayed again.

All thanks to Maildir having separate new and cur directory.

If notifications are missed, their content can of course be seen again by opening the list of email with the mail client.