Ubuntu – Making Google Calendar and Gmail the “Default Applications” for calendar and mail


I wish to integrate the Gmail and Google Calendar web interfaces with Unity. This means several things.

  1. In System Info > Default Applications set firefox 'https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#inbox' as the mail command. This would obviously require me to somehow add a custom command to the list of Gnome3's default applications for Mail.
  2. In System Info > Default Applications set firefox 'https://calendar.google.com' as the calendar command.
  3. When clicking on the date in the upper right, and selecting "Add Event…" run firefox 'https://calendar.google.com'.
  4. When clicking a mailto link somewhere open it in Gmail with the "To:" field set correctly. Perhaps something like firefox 'https://mail.google.com/mail/?extsrc=mailto'url=%s. Bonus points for also doing this when trying to mail a file from nautilus.


  • I assume that (1) and (2) are achievable through setting some kind of .desktop files in ~.local/share/applications/ but the things I tried haven't worked.
  • I also guess that (3) and (4) might require some editing of /desktop/gnome/url-handlers in gconf-editor.

EDIT: It seems that an elegant solution will finally be possible in 12.10 with integration of web apps.

Best Answer

1) It is the "MimeType" line in the Desktop file, containing "x-scheme-handler/mailto;" which causes the application to show up as a preferred email handler.

The Preferred Applications "Default Applications" capability is fairly well hidden in GNOME 3, as the "Default Applications" tab in the "System Info" utility.

Consider using the GNOME Gmail package. It will take care of this for you, integrating your default browser as the desktop (Gmail) mail handler. It does not handle the calendar link - that would require an additional Desktop file.

4) You won't find better mailto URL handling for Gmail than GNOME Gmail (http://gnome-gmail.sf.net). It will properly work with Naultilus "Send To...", and even supports Libre Office 'Send -> Document as Email...".

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