Troubleshooting & How-Tos 📡 🔍 Linux

Geary With Gmail, Without GNOME

Geary is a lightweight email client for GNOME, but it can run on other desktop environments. Most modern desktops, as long as you have some app for contacts and some keystore (KWallet seems to work as well as gnome-keyring), will handle most of the issues in the Geary FAQ. I’m running Geary and GNOME Contacts quite happily on LXQt.

Some email providers require OAuth login, and Geary uses GNOME Online Accounts for that. You can install gnome-online-accounts without a full GNOME desktop (at least on some distributions – I’ve used it with Alpine Linux and Arch. And it works fine in the background…but you can’t configure it without a full GNOME environment. Even if you install the Gnome Control Center by itself, it refuses to run under other desktops!

So the roundabout solution:

  1. Install and start GNOME.
  2. Configure Gmail (and any other accounts you want to connect for GNOME Apps – like Nextcloud for syncing contacts and/or calendar, or an Exchange server, etc.*) using Gnome Settings->Online Accounts.**
  3. Switch back to your preferred desktop.
  4. (Optional): Uninstall GNOME except for gnome-online-accounts.

I’ve got this running perfectly on two desktops. The only GNOME packages I have on them are geary, gnome-contacts, and gnome-online-accounts, plus one uses gnome-keyring and the other uses KWallet.