How do you execute a shell script whenever a Growl notification is shown? And make it application specific. For instance, run a the shell script say "You have new mail" whenever a growlMail notification is shown?

2 Answers 2


To play a custom sound in response to a Growl notification:

  • Create a sound file and make it available to the system:

    say -o YouHaveMail "You have Mail"

    creates the sound file, "YouHaveMail.aiff". Sudo cp the file to /System/Library/Sounds/.

  • Configure Growl to use that sound for the particular app and notification:

    Growl preference pane | Applications
    In the Application list, select your application.

    Configure | Notifications
    In the Notifications: dropdown, select a notification.
    In the Play Sound: dropdown, select YouHaveMail.

  • I could just cd into the /System/Library/Sounds/ Folder and then run the command, right?
    – Wuffers
    May 3, 2010 at 12:26
  • Yes, though you'll still need to sudo the command to get permission to write in there (assuming you're not root).
    – JRobert
    May 3, 2010 at 13:43

I know you can forward growl notifications to other computers. Perhaps you could forward them to a port on localhost. If you had something listening to that port it could do something every time the notification was forwarded on that port. maybe..?

  • I don't think it's possible to forward to localhost. Thanks for the answer though!
    – Wuffers
    Apr 29, 2010 at 22:40
  • what about forwarding it to the ip address of the computer? Just grasping at straws here.
    – stib
    May 1, 2010 at 11:28
  • You can't add forwarding on the computer you are forwarding from. You have to set it up on the computer that you are forwarding to. So it isn't possible. Thanks though!
    – Wuffers
    May 2, 2010 at 12:25

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