There are heaps of How I Customized Natty
posts out there, and I can see why. The urge to write a list of everything I did to make it as comfortable to use as possible is a strong one.
I'm going to stick to one issue though, so you may benefit from my experience.
What I set out to do was find a way to have a persistent, on-screen notifier for my legal name email. I had recently set it up in a second Gmail account, and I was using the simple trick of having it open in another browser as the current window so that no matter what else I was doing, new mail was indicated by the text in the window picker on the panel.
Natty with the Unity interface has neither a window picker or that sort of panel. What it does have is the Indicator Applets in what almost everyone seems to be calling the systray, and one of those is for email. The indicator applet is defaulted to be hooked to Evolution, but there are ways to have it linked to Thunderbird or other applications, which is a topic for another day. I'll just stick with Evolution and Gmail today. You can set up evolution to use Gmail and I thought this would get me exactly what I wanted.
Setting up Evolution to Work with Gmail
This is a two step process--you have to configure the Gmail settings and the Evolution settings--but it is not difficult. This Ubuntu documentation page
gives good instructions including screencaps. It shows a slightly out of date Gmail interface. To access settings you click the gear icon in the upper right corner.
That went swimmingly. And for a lot of people, this works well and the mail indicator will turn blue when you have new mail, and the drop down list will show the count in your inbox. The problem is, that for some people, this just doesn't work. It's a bug, doesn't seem to be limited to Gmail users, or to Pop mail users, and hopefully it will get fixed.Close Evolution to the Systray
If the indicator applet does
work for you, you should be aware that Evolution has to be running for it to function. For many people this is annoying, and what they want is a close to the systray
functionality. That is they can close Evolution, but it stays running in the background enough for the indicator applet to still do it's job. You can have this!Minimize Evolution To Ubuntu System Tray With Patched Evolution Indicator
shows you how (and includes a tantalizing screenshot of someone who got it all working with Gmail!). This patch comes in a 10.10 version as well, so if you haven't updated, you can still get this functionality. This involves installing via the Terminal.Customizing the Indicator Applets - adding gm-notify
If you want to make changes to which indicator applets are in your systray, or if you want to add things to their menus, you can do some of this via Synaptic Package Manager. One of the options is a Gmail notifier that shares the mail indicator applet with Evolution.
To instal this, open Synaptic Package Manager and type indicator into the search box. Down the list, you will find gm-notify. Mark this to be installed. (I took the opportunity to remove indicator-me, the applet that shows your username and contains a bunch of chat settings in the menu. There are some other useful indicators on the list you might like to try.)
Installing this adds a line to the mail indicator menu called Google Mail. Clicking on that heading opens the preferences window, and you can set up your Gmail address and how you want the applet to behave. Once you've done that the indicator should turn blue when you have new email. This time it worked! No bugs at all. Now I have no excuse for not having read my emails.