I am on Ubuntu 12.04 using Thunderbird as email client. Both are up to date in terms of updates.

I have bunch of nightly jobs that do the work and send a status mail. It gets tedious if you keep getting same/similar mails every day so I ended up writing a mail filter rule which causes emails to end up in their respective folders automatically. If things are going ok, I really don't need to read emails. Failure emails are sent to different alias - if the job runs.

We recently discovered that one of the job had not run for few days as someone accidentally disabled it. In order to avoid such problems in future, I would like to setup thunderbird in such a way that if I don't get email from given address within given duration, it should alert me. My dream solution is to set up frequency - some jobs do run every 4 hours.

Is this possible? Can I setup Thunderbird (preferred) or other email client for reminding me when expected email does not show up.

Based on comments and answer I received, here are the reasons why I would like to use Thunderbird.

  • We are already using Thunderbird. It has calender support via plugin, so I suppose someone is already watching time to remind us about the event. May be this another type of event.
  • Additional job is one more failure point, may complicate life if it has to monitor multiple hosts.
  • Additional tools - same thing, one more failure point.
  • Thunderbird can be run across all the platforms we are using - Windows and Ubuntu. It sort of becomes platform independent solution.
  • 2
    I would do this the other way around - if the job completes successfully, it writes a success log somewhere. Then you have another job that checks the success log, and emails if any of the jobs haven't completed in the expected time. – Paul Aug 19 '13 at 0:56
  • Agreed with @paul, handle this on server side. You can change email client (or use Gmail), and your service still getting monitored properly. – Sharuzzaman Ahmat Raslan Aug 19 '13 at 6:46
  • @Paul,Raslan, I see where you are coming from. However from maintenance perspective its one more job. If the jobs are running from different hosts, it adds some more complexity. From my perspective, I am already using thunderbird, its running most of the times I am logged on to the box. If I can do it in thunderbird, I don't have additional complexity of extra tools or jobs. – user871199 Aug 19 '13 at 18:54

Why do you insist on implementing it in email client/Thunderbird?

It may be simpler to join:

a) procmail for processing mail coming to your mailbox.
It should set "last notification date" on per notification class basis. Procmail may use perl helper script for the task.

b) periodic cron job to inform you about "too old" recorded notification dates

c) cgi script to show you "real time" notification status


If you want to use Thunderbird only, a similar solution like Andrzej can be used. If you are filtering the notifications to one particular Thunderbird folder (and no other messages go to this folder), then the last updated time of this folder file can be used by the cron job.

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