Notification through libnotify seems to work under icewm, as the different notifications from applications like konversation show. But I can't get it to work from the command line using the notify-send command. When I try it, the notification doesn't appear on my screen at all.

How can I get it to work under icewm?

Edit 1: I've now tried dbus-monitor. It seems there's a problem with notify-send: it isn't specifying any destination, whereas konversation for example specifies knotify as destination. Maybe this is what's causing the problem?

Edit 2: I've also tried d-feet to reproduce the query :(see http://dropcanvas.com/521xc/97), still nothing.

The query I tried to reproduce was this one:

method call sender=:1.14 -> dest=org.kde.knotify serial=1024 path=/Notify; interface=org.kde.KNotify; member=event  
   string "queryMessage"  
   string "konversation"  
   array [  
   string ""  
   string "<html>&lt;ychaouche|ghost&gt; hello</html>"  
   array [  
   array [  
   int32 -1  
   int64 33554870  
method return sender=:1.8 -> dest=:1.14 reply_serial=1024  
   int32 1072  

It was captured using dbus-monitor, sent from konversation when receiving a PM from myself to myself (using xchat, konversation and two nicks).

  • What was your command line? And what does “not work” mean? Did you get an error message, a kernel panic, did the notification not appear? What about the return value of notify-send?
    – Marco
    Nov 5, 2012 at 14:57
  • A got the BSOD... more seriously, not work means nothing happened.
    – ychaouche
    Nov 5, 2012 at 16:13
  • the command line was notify-send "halp" "hahaha"
    – ychaouche
    Nov 5, 2012 at 16:16
  • 1
    This works for me. Can you start dbus-monitor and run the command again? Check if you can see the notification request.
    – Marco
    Nov 5, 2012 at 16:26
  • Oh thanks for the dbus-monitor tip, appearantly there's a problem with notify-send : it's putting no destination somewhere, whereas konversation for example puts knotify as destination. Maybe the problem comes from here ? pastie.org/5190564
    – ychaouche
    Nov 5, 2012 at 16:48

2 Answers 2


This should work from the command line.

notify-send -u normal -t 60 -a cli "test notification" "This is simply a notification"

I built this string reading directly from the notify-send --help information.

Of course, the man page gives more detailed information.

  • It Didn't. (stupid character limitation text).
    – ychaouche
    Nov 5, 2012 at 16:15
  • 4
    @ychaouche The "stupid character limitation text" is because it's helpful if you include details like what went wrong Nov 6, 2012 at 0:08
  • So what exactly did it do?
    – vgoff
    Nov 6, 2012 at 0:12
  • Nothing. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo
    – ychaouche
    Nov 6, 2012 at 9:06
  • It can't really do nothing, it either terminated successfully or it terminated with an error, or it is still running.
    – vgoff
    Nov 6, 2012 at 16:13

You can maybe try the solution via dbus-send proposed there :

dbus-send --session --type=method_call --reply-timeout=10000 \
  --dest=org.freedesktop.Notifications \
  /org/freedesktop/Notifications  org.freedesktop.Notifications.Notify \
  string:"app_name" \
  uint32:0 \
  string:'app_icon' \
  string:"summary" \
  string:"body" \
  array:string:"" \

notify-send is actually a wrapper around this command.

  • Thanks, but that didn't work. However, using dbus-monitor, I could capture this message : pastie.org/5190800. Do you know how to translate this into that ?
    – ychaouche
    Nov 5, 2012 at 17:22
  • This works for me as well as the notify-send command you proposed. I believe your problem is not in the request. Nov 5, 2012 at 18:04
  • 1
    from this page they propose to set the environment variable DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS before running notify-send. Maybe you could try their solution. Nov 5, 2012 at 18:30
  • Thanks vincent, but still nothing pastie.org/5194703 :(
    – ychaouche
    Nov 6, 2012 at 11:06

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