I am trying to instate a more graphically minimal notification system in Arch Linux. Specifically, I've taken interest with programs such as dzen2 or conky that allow for more text-based status bars.

Is it possible to pipe notifications (as in the libnotify, notify-send ones) to a status bar made from programs like dzen2 and conky? Is there an easier or more documented approach I could try?

I currently use Openbox, but like to switch WM's once in a while, so WM-agnostic advice would be greatly appreciated.


I think you would be better off just removing libnotify and notify-send from the equation, given your stated requirements they do not provide any additional flexibility of functionality.

If you are looking for a minimal status bar, conky has a comprehensive amount of functionality, all of which can be updated in real time (depending upon how resource intensive you are prepared to accept it being).

If you wanted to tailor something specific to your setup, you could also use simple scripting and dzen.

You could also combine the two and pipe conky to dzen for your status bar; which also means that you can display icons in the bar, if that is what you are after.

There is a long conky thread on the Arch boards that has a myriad of different configurations and approaches to provide some inspiration.

For simple notifications, you could combine dzen and inotifywait (from the inotify-tools package) to achieve this. For example, I use this script to notify me when my nick is highlighted in IRC:


while inotifywait -qqre attrib "$dir" >/dev/null 2>&1; do
    echo "IRC:" "You have been pinged..." | dzen2 -p 5 
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  • Thanks! This sounds exactly like what I want to do. And I very much appreciate the thoroughness! Ill ditch notify-send and try out inotify. – deleted Oct 2 '12 at 14:17

See my dotfiles for a bar kinda based on notifications and inotifywait (lemonbar): https://github.com/quirinpa/d-dotfiles

Files of interest are:

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