I am on Linux Mint 18.1, MATE.

I am using the notify-send command to visualize the name of keys (such as <enter>), while sending them to the current window via a python script.For about two weeks, notify-send has shown a weird behavior. I know the basic syntax in bash is notify-send [OPTIONS] <summary> [body].

Basic problem

When executing notify-send -t 0 '<enter>' 'text body', everything looks fine: enter image description here

However, when trying to print the key name in the message body with notify-send -t 0 'Summary' '<enter>', I get:

enter image description here

The same happens with notify-send -t 0 'Summary' '<', notify-send -t 0 'Summary' '>' or notify-send -t 0 'Summary' \<

Any ideas why the body text is printed blank if it contains < or > ?

Workaround (fails)

I have tried to use a python module istead:

from gi.repository import Notify
Notify.init("App Name")

But the result is the same as in picture 2 above.

Additional info:

When trying zenity --info --title='Summary' --text='<enter>' in bash, I get an error message:

(zenity:4952): Gtk-WARNING **: Failed to set text '<enter>' from markup due to error parsing markup: Error on line 1 char 24: Element 'markup' was closed, but the currently open element is 'enter'

And instead of the text <enter>, the opening info dialog has the surprising text: All updates are complete.

  • 2
    For the zenity issue, try adding --no-markup – steeldriver Jun 11 '17 at 23:44

The notification spec says that body can include simple markup, so any tags inside "<...>" will be removed and interpreted if possible. For example, "<b>hello</b>" will show the word in bold.

You can use the standard html entity mechanism and show a < with &lt; and > with &gt; giving, for example,

notify-send 'Summary' '&lt;enter&gt;'

If you prefer you can just use a multiline summary, eg:

notify-send 'Summary
| improve this answer | |
  • dynamically: notify-send 'Summary' "$(recode ascii..html <<< "$body")" – phil294 Oct 9 '17 at 19:58

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