2 Ways to Make Ubuntu Notification More User Friendly

The Ubuntu notification bubble (aka NotifyOSD) is one thing that I love and hate at the same time. I love how it is able to show notification in a nice and elegant way, yet I hate that it didn’t come with any configuration options for me to customize it. There’s no way I can close the bubble (when it appears), nor the timing or location of its appearance.

To be able to customize the NotifyOSD, there are 2 ways to go about doing it: using the patched NotifyOSD or use AWN.

1. Patched NotifyOSD

The patched NotifyOSD is a simple script that patches the existing notify-osd to provide some configuration options for the users. We have previously mentioned this for Ubuntu Lucid, but the updated version for Natty comes with more features such as click to close the bubble and prevent fade when mouseover.

To install the patched notifyosd, open a terminal and type the following:

Next, open a text editor and paste the following code:

Save the file as .notify-osd in your Home folder.

Alternatively, you can download this notify-osd file, rename it as .notify-osd and place it in your home folder.

Update: Webupd8 has a PPA for notifyosd config.

Each line in the file represents one configuration option for the NotifyOSD. You can change the value to your liking.

To change the position of the notification bubble, use the command

where is [number]:
1 – top-right corner
2 – middle-right
3 – bottom-right corner
4 – bottom-left corner
5 – middle-left
6 – top-left corner

Lastly, restart NotifyOSD

Note: You can also use the NotifyOSD Config GUI to configure the notify-osd options, but it is not updated for Natty and it doesn’t include the prevent fade and click to close functions.

2. Using the AWN Notification Daemon

If you are already using the Avant Windows Navigator (AWN) dock, you can install the notification daemon applet and it will replace the existing NotifyOSD as the default notification bubble. This notification daemon applet comes with a “Click to close” function and you can position it in the location you like.

If you have not installed AWN:

Open the AWN Preferences and go to the “Applets” tab. Add the Notification Daemon to the Active Applets list.



To configure the notification bubble, you will have to go to the gconf-editor to make the changes. Press Alt + F2 and type gconf-editor. On the left, navigate to Apps -> AWN-applet-notification-daemon


That’s it. Which way do you use to customize your notification bubble?

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