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I am looking for a simple utility that lets me display ephemeral balloons (like the kind that are built into Thunderbird, or certain GNOME system notifications in Ubuntu, say) in a corner of my screen for a few seconds. Ideally, they'd also have a fade-out effect.

I am running Debian and FVWM2 as a window manager, so I'm not looking for something generic, rather than an element of GNOME or KDE.

The purpose is that I have key bindings bound to XMMS2 that control MP3 playback, including keys for advancing forward or backward in the playlist. It'd be nice to be able to see a little box for a few seconds somewhere on my screen that tells me what song I just switched to. I'd like to wire up my shortcut to a script that does that and invokes 'xmms2 next' or 'xmms2 prev'.

Your help is appreciated in advance!

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You could use libnotify. It's in the libnotify1 package on Debian and Ubuntu. It even has a command line interface (contained in the package libnotify-bin). It's the standard way Ubuntu displays notifications as of Ubuntu 9.04 (at least).


notify-send 'Hello World!'


$ /usr/bin/notify-send --help
  /usr/bin/notify-send [OPTION...] <SUMMARY> [BODY] - create a notification

Help Options:
  -?, --help                        Show help options

Application Options:
  -u, --urgency=LEVEL               Specifies the urgency level (low, normal, critical).
  -t, --expire-time=TIME            Specifies the timeout in milliseconds at which to expire the notification.
  -i, --icon=ICON[,ICON...]         Specifies an icon filename or stock icon to display.
  -c, --category=TYPE[,TYPE...]     Specifies the notification category.
  -h, --hint=TYPE:NAME:VALUE        Specifies basic extra data to pass. Valid types are int, double, string and byte.
  -v, --version                     Version of the package.
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That did it. Thanks!! – Alex Balashov Sep 18 '09 at 19:01

Maybe osd_cat of XOSD?

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