I usually use systemd user services to get some simple tasks done on my workstations like backups of my homefolder or changing my wallpaper any hour. For some of them I want to get some notifications if they succeed or fail and since I don’t use some kind of Desktop Environment like GNOME I had to choose the components myself. Right now I glued together X.org, LightDM and i3 windowmanager under ArchLinux and I wanted something that shows me some kind of a noticeable popup and not just a line of text somewhere. Also a Logo or Picture would be nice to have.

First I realized that notify-send is a standard tool to generate notifications from a shell script and pass them to some running daemon which shows the messages. I quickly looked through the usage text and tried the basic functionality:

 notify-send --urgency normal --icon wheather-storm "Backup failed" "Could not connect to backup host."

The first text is the title, the second the actual message. Sadly nothing happened cause I didn’t have any notification daemon ready yet. Therefore I search the ArchLinux Wiki and tried a few of the listed ones. My requirements where:

  • useable out-of-the-box
  • simple to config
  • somehow pretty graphical popup

Finally I decided to use mate-notification-daemon, a fork of the notification-daemon from the GNOME Project. It is available on ArchLinux repositorys and comes with a small tool (mate-notification-properties) to configure the /usr/share/mate-notification-daemon/mate-notification-properties.ui XML File. I found a list of the available icons one can use on freedesktop.org

Example Notification

Links: Mirror of freedesktop.org/icon-naming-spec/icon-naming-spec-latest.html