Quick Tip: system-wide notifications with notifyutil

Image of an old-fashioned-looking telephoneI just discovered this, thus don’t know a lot about it, but notifyutil is a pretty cool command line utility in OS X. I know it exists in both Lion and Mountain Lion, not sure how long it’s been around before that.

What it does is tap into the system-wide notifyd daemon, allowing you to post and receive notifications between multiple applications/scripts. From the man page:

notifyutil is a command-line utility for interacting with the notifyd(8) notification server. It may be used to post notifications, detect and report notifications, and to examine and set the state value associated with a notification key.

For a quick idea what it can do, pop open a terminal and run this:

notifyutil -1 neato && osascript -e 'say "wow, thats pretty cool"'

Then, open another window or tab (or even a different Terminal app) and run:

notifyutil -p neato

Wow, that is pretty cool.

The -1 in the first command tells it to wait for a single notification. You can set that to any integer, or use -w to wait indefinitely. I have some grand scripting ideas for this, but they’ll have to wait a bit. Nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel and all of that.

Brett Terpstra

Brett is a writer and developer living in Minnesota, USA. You can follow him as ttscoff on Twitter, GitHub, and Mastodon. Keep up with this blog by subscribing in your favorite news reader.

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