96

Most of the application can show nicely formatted notification on events that appear on top right corner of the screen. I'm about to write a bash script that will do fairy long processing in the background and I really want to know when it is finished. How can I show that nice notification from a bash script?

111

If you're using the new notification system in Jaunty, you want the notify-send command

notify-send - a program to send desktop notifications

SYNOPSIS

With notify-send you can sends desktop notifications to the user via
a notification daemon from the command line.  These notifications can be
used to inform the user about an event or display some form of information
without getting in the user's way.

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.
  • 4
    Thanks, just found it myself :) apt-get install libnotify-bin have to be run before to get it. – vava Aug 29 '09 at 10:39
  • How does the root user send a message from crons, init.d, etc? – Lance Caraccioli Nov 22 '13 at 4:38
  • 6
    Eg: notify-send Test "Hello World" – Thaha kp Jun 4 '14 at 8:26
  • 3
    The --expire-time parameter does not work on Ubuntu thanks to this "feature" (bug). bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/notify-osd/+bug/390508 – axiopisty Apr 18 '16 at 15:43
  • I found that notify-send is inhibited during video/audio playback. While this is a valid use case, if you still want to see them then --urgency=critical must be added. – ccpizza Feb 20 '17 at 7:36
25

Found another way, through Zenity

echo 'message:hi' | zenity --notification --listen

(This also has the benefit of already being installed on Ubuntu.)

  • I like Zenity in that it supports user interactions for dialogs (unlike notify-send) – Waffle's Crazy Peanut Jan 21 '18 at 13:32
12

There's also xmessage that will pop-up a window, so it should work on any X11 system.

Pro: It also allows interactively prompting the user with buttons.

Con: Like any pop-up alert, it typically receives focus, so if you're in the middle of typing it can disappear before you read the message.

  • 4
    Con: It looks ugly as hell, and also is a super tiny window which is not always obvious to the user. Anyways, it is universal though. :) – Nik Reiman May 6 '13 at 11:37
  • xmessage doesn't work in Fedora though. Its not installed by default. – Abhay Mittal Jun 3 '14 at 16:47
  • It's not available in the default Xorg installation of Arch Linux either. – friederbluemle Jan 22 '18 at 8:06
  • You can also get a popup window with an "OK" and "Cancel" button via notify-send --expire-time=0 "Hello World" or notify-send -t 0 "Hello world". Otherwise, however, the -t option is ignored due to some stupid "design decisions": askubuntu.com/questions/110969/notify-send-ignores-timeout – Gabriel Staples Apr 2 '18 at 18:04
  • I couldn't take it; I had to write my own answer :) superuser.com/a/1310142/425838 – Gabriel Staples Apr 2 '18 at 18:15
10

For KDE users:

$ kdialog --title "Long process completed!" --passivepopup "This popup will disappear in 5 seconds" 5 &
  • Is it possible to set an icon for the notification? – Malabarba May 14 '12 at 4:18
3

There exists a cross-platform solution called Yfiton:

$ yfiton -n desktop -Pmessage="Lunch time!" -Pposition=TOP_RIGHT
2

Popup notification that auto-closes after 10 seconds:

notify-send "Hello world"

Source: https://superuser.com/a/31919/425838

Popup window with buttons to click:

[window does not get auto-focus]

notify-send -t 0 "Hello world"

Source: myself; note: -t is ignored for all values except 0--how stupid. :(


OR
[window gets auto-focus]

zenity --info --title "Hello" --text "World"

Source: https://askubuntu.com/a/804475/327339


OR

[MY FAVORITE, since the window auto-closes after the specified --timeout in seconds]

zenity --info --title "Hello" --text "World" --timeout=2

Source: myself reading the man pages: man zenity


OR
[super ugly-looking]

xmessage 'hello world'

Source: http://www.linux-commands-examples.com/xmessage

1

In a shell script, you can also call the osd_cat utility from libxosd.

  • 1
    This is a little bit different as it doesn't use ubuntu desktop notifications. – vava Aug 29 '09 at 13:43
  • Yes, this is an alternative that you can use with any Linux distribution and any WM/DE. – geek Aug 30 '09 at 13:39

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.