I want to write scripts on Ubuntu that will notify the user through a tool analogous to Growl on OS X (specifically, the growlnotify command-line tool). What's the equivalent tool on Linux called?

3 Answers 3


Ubuntu can show notifications, which seem to be equivalent to Growl. It is accessible through DBus (for programs) and through the notify-send command (for shell scripts).

  • 1
    And how does it work, what's the growlnotify equivalent?
    – Daniel Beck
    Jan 19, 2011 at 22:06
  • I think it's possible to send notifications from the command line, but I can't seem to find the exact command.
    – Manu
    Jan 19, 2011 at 22:07
  • I believe the command is notify-send : ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=642997
    – Manu
    Jan 19, 2011 at 22:10
  • 2
    Now it's a useful answer ;-) Try editing your answer to incorporate that information. Also the zenity and knotify mentions on the forum are probably worth looking into.
    – Daniel Beck
    Jan 19, 2011 at 22:12
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    I would like to add that notify-osd in Ubuntu (which displays notify-send notifications) has a couple of -horrible- bugs (called "features", seriously) including being unable to set the timeout (even though the -t parameter is documented in notify-send) on bubbles and not being able to show multiple bubbles at once. For me, this renders notify-osd unusable and while there are patches available, I'm looking for an alternative. This is currently the best fit for me: omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/03/… Jan 17, 2014 at 14:46

There is a Growl port for Linux. Found here: Growl-for-linux

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    This is only the growl daemon, it doesn't include the growlnotify command. What is a growl client for linux that can send growl messages? Nov 6, 2013 at 12:34
  • The linux equivalent of growlnotify is gntp-send. You can grab the source here and build it yourself. I have a question here that covers the process of using this, but more or less the command reads as gntp-send -a "App Name" -s host-ip-address -p "password" "title" "test" where the host ip address is the ip address for the system you want to send the notifications to.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Feb 25, 2018 at 6:59

if you are using KDE, it is real easy! just use the kdialog command that is built-in to KDE, as in the example below:

kdialog --passivepopup "Example text"

if you happen to be using plain ubuntu, then you need to install the libnotify-bin package by issuing the following command:

sudo apt-get install libnotify-bin

and then you can send messages with like this:

notify-send "Example text"

the kdialog is a bit more interesting because it does way more than just send notifications from the command-line. you can actually build an interactive gui for your bash programs with it!

anyway, i hope this helps.

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