SysTray-X is a Qt5 icon in the system tray for the Thunderbird e-mail client version 68 or higher. It shows the number of unread emails and can minimize / close Thunderbird in the status bar. It is available for Linux and Microsoft Windows.

The tool consists of two parts: the Thunderbird extension and the corresponding system. It uses the WebExtension API to manage external, system-dependent applications in the system tray.

You can set to change the appearance of the Thunderbird icon in the taskbar provided by SysTray-X, for example with a custom mail notification icon, the new color and font size for the number of mails, and more than.

You can also choose how Thunderbird behaves when you minimize or close it. In the SysTray-X Preferences you can specify that the Thunderbird window will be hidden if it is minimized to or use default behavior, and in the Preferences you can specify that it will be minimized if the Thunderbirdwindow is closed. There is also a option to run Thunderbird minimized, and depending on how you set the minimization options, this may mean that the window is minimized (hidden) in the task bar or status bar.

Although all settings on the taskbar are available when you click the icon and select options, account related settings are not available here. To select the email accounts for which you want to receive a counter of new email messages, go to the Thunderbird Increase Manager, click on the … icon to the right of the SysTray-X plug-in and select Settings. Here you will find all the icons in the system tray and an additional Mail tab from which you can select the accounts you want to use:

I would like to note that in my test the Thunderbird icon always appears on the Plank Dock after installing SysTray-X to minimize / close the drawer (bug message). However, it works correctly with Ubuntu Dock (the Thunderbird icon no longer appears on Ubuntu Dock when it closes or falls into the taskbar).

It’s also worth mentioning that if you use the GNOME shell, you’ll need to install the AppIndicator extension and KStatusNotifierItem support, otherwise you won’t see the icons in the taskbar. If you use Ubuntu, you don’t have to install it because it comes with the standard installation.

Compared to Birdtray, another Thunderbird icon in the taskbar with new email messages for Linux and Windows, SysTray-X is easier to use – just install Thunderbird, start Thunderbird and the taskbar icon will appear in the panel. You don’t have to run another application or configure anything.

On the other hand, Birdtray has more features, such as the ability to play a sound when new mail arrives, a flashing status bar icon when new mail arrives, notification of new mail while asleep for a predetermined amount of time, and much more. It is up to you to decide which one is best for you.

Download SysTray-X

The SysTray-X developer has installed repositories for openSUSE, Ubuntu and its derivatives (Pop!_OS, Linux Mint, Zorin OS, etc.), Debian and Fedora.

You can also download the DEB or RPM binaries from the GitHub project homepage. You will also find common installation scripts and executable files for Microsoft Windows. Or you can build the source code.

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