Mac OS X User Notifications for Guard
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TerminalNotifier - Guard Style

A simple Ruby wrapper around the terminal-notifier command-line tool, which allows you to send User Notifications to the Notification Center on Mac OS X 10.8, or higher.

This version has 4 different icons included for each status that Guard supports:

  1. Failed
  2. Notify
  3. Pending
  4. Success


This version depends on the official terminal-notifier. Install it with Homebrew or see the official Installation instructions.

$ brew install terminal-notifier

Then, install the gem

$ gem install terminal-notifier-guard

Or add it to your Gemfile:

gem 'terminal-notifier-guard', '~> 1.6.1'


Add the notifier to your Guardfile:

# Guardfile
notification :terminal_notifier if `uname` =~ /Darwin/

Note: The uname check is necessary if you have contributors to your project who are not on OSX.

You can pass in options if you like, e.g. for the app name (used in the title) and what app to activate when you click the notification (defaults to

# Guardfile
notification :terminal_notifier, app_name: "MyApp ::", activate: 'com.googlecode.iTerm2' if `uname` =~ /Darwin/

Configure Binary Path

You can override the binary path detection with an environment variable. This solves a problem where the default binary found by which is the Ruby gem version of terminal-notifier. This version is slow, especially in a Bundler environment.

In this scenario we would much rather use the version installed by Homebrew at /usr/local/bin/terminal-notifier which is noticeably faster.

This gem allows you to set an environment variable to explicitly specify the binary to use, like this:

export TERMINAL_NOTIFIER_BIN=/usr/local/bin/terminal-notifier

When using guard to monitor test results in TDD, speed is of the essence. Using the right binary can save a half second or more during each test run, which doesn't seem like much but makes a big difference in productivity.

OSX 10.8 users

As of version 1.6.1, we no longer bundle notifier binaries in this gem. Please revert to version 1.5.3 for OSX 10.8 support.

Stand-alone Usage

You could also use the notifier directly.

Examples are:

TerminalNotifier::Guard.notify('Hello World')
TerminalNotifier::Guard.notify('Hello World', :title => 'Ruby', :subtitle => 'Programming Language')
TerminalNotifier::Guard.notify('Hello World', :activate => '')
TerminalNotifier::Guard.notify('Hello World', :open => '')
TerminalNotifier::Guard.notify('Hello World', :execute => 'say "OMG"')
TerminalNotifier::Guard.notify('Hello World', :group =>



TerminalNotifier::Guard.failed('This did not go well.')
TerminalNotifier::Guard.success('This did not go bad.')
TerminalNotifier::Guard.pending('This needs some work still')


It has been reported that Terminal Notifier fails when run from Tmux without reattach-to-user-namespace installed. See this comment for details.


All the works are available under the MIT license.

See LICENSE for details.

Contributors & Thanks to

  • @alloy (For the terminal-notifier)
  • @railsme (For a clean way to test for OSX version #15)
  • @jamilbx (For support for local terminal-notifier command #8)
  • @mattbrictson (For adding support for the TERMINAL_NOTIFIER_BIN env var)
  • @goronfreeman (For the lovely icon set!)
  • @bbonamin (For fixing the license issue)
  • @croeck (For fixing the binary detection)