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04 May 2021

dunst: a lightweight replacement for the notification-daemons

Dunst is a very customizable notification-daemon (which will show notify-send notifications as popups). Through a very simple configuration file you can customize the font, icon, timeout... but you can also go deeper by creating rules, filters, and enable actions on the notification. There is too much to say and the official github is doing it better than me.

dunst github

Here I just would like to promote this program and give you a brief overview of the features I personally use (which are very minimalist to match my system and the KISS spirit).

- Filtering

In my config file I have created different sections with custom names where I defined the layout of the notifications for different apps: summary, body, icon, category, and message urgency.

- Volume indicator

I also use dunst as a volume indicator with this script


This script uses one of dunst feature: replacing notifications. By assigning an ID to these notifications, if a notification with that ID already exists it is replaced with the new one.

Note however that implementing tags is preferred over micromanaging IDs because the latter option has many hidden pitfalls.

- Defining actions which can be invoked directly from the notification by specifying one or more --action=action,label parameters.

Dunst offers the option to invoke actions with the context menu but you can also define how mouse events invoke actions (this is what I've done in my volume indicator script cited above). This allows dunst to be used interactively. When a notification has only one action, or when an action is named "default", that action may be invoked by clicking the notification (click to be used can be defined in the dunst config file. For the middle-click for example: mouse_middle_click = do_action).

Dunst is another lightweight but extremely powerful program that I use all day long and I encourage you to give it a try.

📬 contact me: wwwgem@disroot.org

🪧 gemini://www-gem.pollux.casa/system/05-dunstus.gmi