NotifyOSD – Customize Your Desktop’s Notification Bubbles in Ubuntu

How many times have you wanted to change how your desktop notifications are displayed and how they stand? Today, we bring you a tool with which you can tweak your notifications to an extent. And because it doesn’t have a GUI, we will also tell you about a GUI extension you can use with it. It’s called NotifyOSD.

NotifyOSD is a utility tool that adds customization features like “close notifications on click” and the ability to edit notification colors, background, and text to Ubuntu’s NotifyOSD notifications.

It was developed by Sukochev Roman (Leolik) without a GUI but thanks to another developer, Amandeep Grewal, for creating NotifyOSD Config; a GUI can be used to change NotifyOSD’s settings.

Features in NotifyOSD:

  • Close notifications on click.
  • Enable/disable fading notification bubbles on hover.
  • Save and restore custom notifications.
  • Customization: set notification bubble position to top-right, middle-right, bottom-right, bottom-left, middle-left or top-left.
  • Customization: change font size, weight, opacity, margin, etc.
  • Customization: change notification background color, opacity, and text.
  • Restore to default settings.

Apart from the above mentioned, you can also edit the size of several NotifyOSD notification elements including the icon size, notifications vertical and horizontal gap, bubble corner radius, notification bubble width, etc.

Install NotifyOSD and Notify OSD Config in Ubuntu

I’m not sure of Ubuntu 16.10 and later but the following instructions work with Ubuntu 14.04 up to 16.04.

1. Add Leolik’s patched NotifyOSD PPA, update notify-osd, install libnotify-bin (for testing the notifications) and restart notify-osd:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:leolik/leolik
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt upgrade
$ sudo apt install libnotify-bin
$ pkill notify-osd

2. Install NotifyOSD Config by using the WebUpd8 PPA:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install notifyosdconfig

When the installation is complete, launch NotifyOSD Configuration from Dash to choose your configuration and when you click “Apply” a test notification which uses the new settings should be displayed.

By default, the notifications will use a dark gray color instead of using the Unity Dash color. If you want the patched NotifyOSd to use the Unity Dash color then enable “Use Unity Dash Colour” from the Bubble tab in NotifyOSD’s Configuration UI.

What’s your take on NotifyOSD? Do you have a more efficient alternative for tweaking your notification alerts? Add your comments in the section below.

Divine Okoi is a cybersecurity postgrad with a passion for the open-source community. With 700+ articles covering different topics in IT, you can always trust him to inform you about the coolest tech.

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