How to get multiple clickable desktop notifications on Ubuntu Lucid

This blog post explains how to get multiple clickable desktop notifications (i.e. those that were present on Ubuntu Hardy) on the default GNOME desktop of Ubuntu Lucid.

Desktop notifications are short messages displayed by programs for a short time in one of the corners of the screen. In Ubuntu Lucid, by default, they are displayed in the top right corner, their background is black, they are not clickable (i.e. it's not possible to click them away), they disappear while the mouse is over them, and at least 1 of them is visible at the same time. In Ubuntu Hardy, they are displayed in the bottom right corner of the screen, their background is similar to light grey, they are clickable (i.e. they disappear for good if the user clicks on them), they don't disappear while the mouse is over them, and if more than one of them can be on screen without overlap.

Ubuntu Lucid uses the notify-osd backend for displaying notifications. It's not possible to configure the notify-osd backend to make it work like Ubuntu Hardy. However, it's possible to install notification-daemon, which was the default backend in Ubuntu Hardy to for displaying notifications. Here is how to make it work in Ubuntu Lucid:

$ sudo apt-get install notification-daemon
$ sudo perl -pi -e 's@^Exec=.*@Exec=/usr/lib/notification-daemon/notification-daemon@' /usr/share/dbus-1/services/org.freedesktop.Notifications.service
$ sudo killall notify-osd

Try it with:

$ notify-send foo; notify-send bar

Optional change to disable notify-osd completely: (It may screw up volume notifications etc., so don't use it unless it doesn't work without it.)

$ sudo rm -f /usr/share/dbus-1/services/org.freedesktop.Notifications.service.*

See this discussion with some links for other notify-osd improvements and alternatives.

1 comment:

Shawn said...

I recognize the Adobe Illustrator 1.2d on OpenWindows. This would have been created (or at least saved) with the short-lived version of Adobe Illustrator that ran on SunOS/Solaris. Imagine an early version of Adobe Illustrator that was ported to Motif. It was difficult to work with, needless to say. Perhaps somebody was hiding the original PS version by saving it in this obscure version of Illustrator?