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See It In The Dunst

As I mentioned before I am happy using dwm as my windowmanager for every day. But dwm does not come with a systray1 by default and I felt not like patching one in, because I was wondering why I should really have one. The only things sitting in the systray back in my awesome days were the nm-applet, dropbox and sometimes the pidgin notificiation icon.

Only I few days later I noticed that that pidgin icon was the only thing I really was missing because I ignored all jabber messages from my co-workers the whole day.
But would it be a good idea to add another patch just for one icon?

No. So I have been looking for alternatives and ended up with installing dunst, a dmenu-ish notification daemon.2 The only problem was, that pidgin did not seem to like dunst at all and I haven’t been able to get any notifications from it. This was the last reason necessary to get rid of pidgin at all and move to some other client instead. For my private instant messaging pleasures I have been using bitlbee for a while now to combine it with my IRC client3.
I couldn’t use that environment though, because it’s located on a remote host and it would be a lot more difficult to get local notifications from there.

As I already know irssi I installed weechat on my workstation to check it out for this project. But it seemed that there were no scripts available that worked with libnotify4, so I wrote one myself. In Ruby, of course.

The script does nothing special, but notifies me about mentions of my nickname in a channel or a query. And it ignores everything from my nick, because first I got even noticed about everything I wrote, too.

My dunstrc hasn’t been too much changed compared to the default configuration file that comes with dunst, but I went with the dwm way for dunst, too, and build my own package with a slightly modified config.h.5
Now I am aware of what is happening in the office chat all the time and the nice thing is, that the dunst notifications follow the focussed monitor. That, and that the notification window is larger than the icon I used to have with pidgin makes it much more difficult to miss now.
I noticed that dropbox makes use of the dunst daemon by default when it is running, so I somehow replaced the systray icon for dropbox, too.

The only thing I haven’t been able to accomplish yet is to make any kind of application icons appear in dunst. I don’t really need this feature, but I have been wondering what it might look like. But maybe it’s just that libnotify does support that and dunst does not.


  2. To be honest I don’t see what is so dmenu-ish about it. If you do, please let me know. 

  3. irssi: 


  5. I haven’t uploaded it anywhere, because I did not patch dunst anyhow, but only changed some colors and the font. Maybe I will later, when I am aware of what I might tweak in the header file, to make much better use of dunst. 

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