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I have the following in my ~/.gnus:

(gnus-demon-add-handler, 'gnus-demon-scan-mail 5 t)
(gnus-demon-init)

I expect that gnus will be checking for new emails every 5 min, however this doesn't happen. What am I doing wrong?

  • 5
    you should remove the comma after gnus-demon-add-handler – DJJ Dec 9 '16 at 21:48
  • 1
    Have you tried gnus-demon-scan-news instead of gnus-demon-scan-mail? At first glance the latter does not seem to cover all backends, e.g. nnimap, which is what I use. – Basil May 9 '17 at 0:40
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Are you using nnmaildir or nnml? It seems to me that the daemon does not work for nnmaildir. Can someone confirm please.

Here is the code for gnus-demon-scan-mail

(defun gnus-demon-scan-mail ()
  (save-window-excursion
(let ((servers gnus-opened-servers)
  server
  (nnmail-fetched-sources (list t)))
  (while (setq server (car (pop servers)))
(and (gnus-check-backend-function 'request-scan (car server))
     (or (gnus-server-opened server)
     (gnus-open-server server))
     (gnus-request-scan nil server))))))

Edit I have found these two functions on the gnus mailing list. They are really helpful to understand how things work.

;;; * check new mail
;;; ** function def
(defun gnus-demon-scan-mail-or-news-and-update (level)
"Scan for new mail, updating the *Group* buffer."
  (let ((win (current-window-configuration)))
    (unwind-protect
        (save-window-excursion
          (save-excursion
            (when (gnus-alive-p)
              (save-excursion
                (set-buffer gnus-group-buffer)
                (gnus-group-get-new-news level)))))
      (message "scanning for new mail done")
      (set-window-configuration win))))

(defun gnus-demon-scan-news-and-update ()
"Scan for new mail, updating the *Group* buffer."
  (gnus-demon-scan-mail-or-news-and-update 3))

;;; ** command
(gnus-demon-add-handler 'gnus-demon-scan-news-and-update 10 nil)
(gnus-demon-add-handler 'gnus-demon-scan-mail 10 nil)
(gnus-demon-init)

And I'm using nnml as my mail back-end with procmail and fetchmail

(setq gnus-select-method '(nnml ""))
(setq mail-sources  '((file :path "~/.mail/inbox.spool")
          ))

For mail notification you can use this https://stackoverflow.com/a/9611516/2081427 The you get notified in the mode-line each time a mail new mail comes.

Note I couldn't make gnus-notify.el work for more than one group. So as far as I know if you use nnmail-split-methods and want gnus-notify.el for more than one group it won't work.

  • 1
    I use multiple nnimap backends as gnus-secondary-select-methods with no gnus-select-metho and gnus-demon-scan-mail does not work OOTB for me. Instead, I rescan for mail with gnus-demon-scan-news. – Basil May 9 '17 at 1:11
  • Thanks for the feed-back. I've updated my post wiht my current knowledge on the matter. cheers – DJJ May 9 '17 at 18:53
  • Just to be clear - gnus-demon-scan-news and gnus-demon-scan-mail are built-in functions of gnus-demon.el. Also the built-in gnus-notify.el is a different package than the third-party gnus-desktop-notify.el package which you linked. – Basil May 9 '17 at 19:05
  • Apologies, I mixed up the third-party gnus-notify.el with the built-in gnus-notifications.el, which you may be interested in. – Basil May 9 '17 at 19:06

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