I have a bunch of single-use Gmail accounts for the usual things, like account registrations, site administration, newsletter subscriptions and the like. If you have this same situation, you know that (unless you possess unusual patience) it’s not easy to serially open up multiple Gmail accounts if you have saved the login information for an auto-login. Oh, and forget trying to have multiple parallel Gmail accounts signed in, it’s one-by-one or nothing. Well, until now, that is.

I recently found Gmail Manager for FireFox, an extension that displays your Gmail accounts names, unread message count and various other items in a single right-click interface window at the bottom right status bar of your Firefox browser window. Once you install it and restart FireFox (sigh, it’s just like Windows sometimes…) you get something like the below icon on your statusbar:


Now, just right-click the icon to begin to configure accounts, I have 5 already and more are possible, you can have each, all or none of the accounts be logged into my default. Of course you’ll want to have it remember your password, it’s a single-click to get that account open if you do.


With your various accounts configured, you now right-click the icon to select which account will be the one displayed in the status bar, where it’ll show like mine below:


Left-clicking on that account’s name in the status bar will open up a new tab for that Gmail account, signed in an ready to read email. I find myself never visiting Gmail.com unless I’m on some other machine that doesn’t have this tool installed. Go ahead and select another account and open a tab for it, and another, it’s a blessing to have multiple tabbed Gmail accounts open and usable.


By right-clicking on the status bar icon you get the ability to configure general and per-account settings. There are a wealth of different options for each account, including notification sounds, how often to check mail for that account, how it’s displayed and such.


Another great feature that makes me like this extension is the ability to export and import account and preference settings, so I can quickly get the same accounts setup and configured properly on either a new machine or between accounts on the same machine. This also works cross-platform, such as between Windows, Linux and OS X, say.

I’m sure there are others out there, but since MailPlane only runs on OS X so far, this and other extensions like it are the best hope for multiple Gmail accounts on Linux. Be sure to contribute any that you have found or like in the comments, I’ll credit you and add it to the mix.