Change your default mail client and calendar in Ubuntu

Most of us nowadays do not use a mail client. If any of us do, then it is mainly for official work. For anyone using Gmail, I will show you how to set Gmail as the default mail client. That’s secondary though! The most important part of this blog is to set a calendar application. As all of us know, certain crazy decisions during Ubuntu development had led to setting Text Editor as the default calendar application some time ago. That has not changed, even in the latest Ubuntu 13.04 beta. This is a big inconvenience for normal users who use Ubuntu for daily activities. Somehow these nerdy developers tend to conveniently forget (read ignore) it!
Anyway, enough of dev bashing. Getting back to the point. Yes, the default calendar application can be changed to an actual calendar app. Or rather a webapp! Ubuntu’s latest offering, webapps, comes to the rescue here.  
If you are using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS , you can install webapps using the famed ppa. If you are using or Ubuntu 12.10 or Ubuntu 13.04, its in the official repository and you can skip the ppa installation. 
Easiest way to install is open gnome terminal from the dash (search for it) and paste the following commands.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webapps/preview
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install unity-webapps-preview

Now, install the following two webapps for GMail and Google Calendar by copying and pasting this code in the terminal.
sudo apt-get install unity-webapps-googlecalendar unity-webapps-gmail
Once installed, you will need to add the webapps to the defaults list. For that open the defaults file in the text editor. Press Alt+F2 and type 
gedit ~/.local/share/applications/defaults.list
Add the following two entries at the end of the file


Then save and close the editor. Log out and log back in. Open the default applications page from System Settings -> Details -> Default Applications. Change the default mail client from the dropdown menu and for the calendar, you will see Google Calendar is already selected. That’s it! You have your new default mail client and calendar.

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