drop-in replacement for notify-send with more features
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Latest commit 9a0d598 Jun 12, 2018



notify-send.sh is a drop-in replacement for notify-send (from libnotify) with ability to update and close existing notifications.

The dependencies are bash, gdbus (shipped with glib2) and dbus-monitor (shipped with dbus).

In Debian and Ubuntu you can ensure all dependencies are installed with the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install bash dbus libglib2.0-bin

For Arch Linux users notify-send.sh is available in AUR.


notify-send.sh has all command line options of notify-send with a few additional ones:

  notify-send.sh [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.
  -a, --app-name=APP_NAME           Specifies the app name for the icon
  -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.
  -o, --action=NAME:ACTION          Specifies action button which should be integrated to the notification. NAME will be dispayed, ACTION is the comman to run.
  -p, --print-id                    Print the notification ID to the standard output.
  -r, --replace=ID                  Replace existing notification.
  -R, --replace-file=FILE           Store and load notification replace ID to/from this file.
  -s, --close=ID                    Close notification.
  -v, --version                     Version of the package.

So, for example, to notify a user of a new email we can run:

$ notify-send.sh --icon=mail-unread --app-name=mail --hint=string:sound-name:message-new-email Subject Message

To replace or close existing message first we should know its id. To get id we have to run notify-send.sh with --print-id:

$ notify-send.sh --print-id Subject Message

Now we can update this notification using --replace option:

$ notify-send.sh --replace=10 --print-id "New Subject" "New Message"

Now we may want to close the notification:

$ notify-send.sh --close=10

To enforce only one open notification of a kind use --replace-file option. For example, to increase volume by 5% and show the current volume value you can run:

$ notify-send.sh --replace-file=/tmp/volumenotification "Increase Volume" "$(amixer sset Master 5%+ | awk '/[0-9]+%/ {print $2,$5}')"

To add a button action on the notification you can run:

$ notify-send.sh "Subject" "Message" -o "display other notification:notify-send.sh 'new Subject' 'New Message'"

You can specify multiple actions:

$ notify-send.sh "Subject" "Message" -o "display first button:notify-send.sh 'new Subject' 'New Message'" -o "display second button:notify-send.sh 'new Subject' 'New Message'"