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Installing Ubuntu 9.04's New Notifications in Ubuntu 8.10

Well, I don't really know how many of you have heard about the new notification system that was already implemented in the upcoming Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), but because the current state of Jaunty is Alpha, I thought it would be a good idea to teach you guys how to install these very nice notifications in your Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) operating system.

The new notification framework was named "Notify-OSD" and it can handle both keyboard actions, such as volume and brightness, and application notifications. What does this mean? Well... for example, when you change the volume or the brightness of your monitor, when new software updates are available, when a network connection has been established... a very nice and stylish notification will be displayed for a few seconds in the top right corner of the screen.

How do they look? Take a look at the screenshot below :

OK, so... are you ready to install these eye-candy notifications in your Ubuntu 8.10? Good, I thought so... Then follow the instructions below carefully!

ATTENTION: The following guide will NOT install the notification framework on your system! It will only be downloaded and compiled, but not installed. So you don't need to worry that it will break your current installation! Moreover, be aware that the new notifications will not work for Pidgin, in Ubuntu 8.10, even if you install the "pidgin-libnotify" package! If we find a workaround for this, we will let you know. Besides that, the notifications will appear for software updates, network connections, etc.

Step 1 - Installing the Requirements:

You need to install some required packages before you can grab, compile and install the notification framework. Therefore, open a terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and paste the following command:

sudo apt-get install bzr gnome-common automake autoconf libgtk2.0-dev libgconf2-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libx11-dev libnotify-dev libnotify1 build-essential libnotify-bin

Editor's note :
After you pasted the command above and hit the Enter key, you should see something like "Need to get 21.MB/27.2MB of archives. After this operation, 95.8MB of additional disk space will be used. Do you want to continue [Y/n]?". There will be 77 packages that need to be installed!

The numbers may not be the same for your system, because it is possible that some of the packages are already installed. Whatever the case is, type Y and hit Enter to install the requirements.

This will take a few minutes, depending on your Internet connection. The installation will be over when the command prompt will be available again and above it you will see something like "Processing triggers for python-support ...".

Step 2 - Download, Compile and Install Notify-OSD

Now that we grabbed the required packages, it's time to fetch the notification framework. Paste the following command in a terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal):

bzr branch lp:notify-osd

Wait a few seconds for the download to finish! When it's over you can type (or paste) the following commands, one by one (hit Enter after each one):

mv notify-osd .notify-osd
cd ~/.notify-osd
sh autogen.sh

This will take some time (a few minutes) and you will see a lot of scrolling text. When it says "Now type 'make' to compile notify-osd"... type:


Once again, you will see a lot of text scrolling... Wait until it stops and continue with the next step!

Step 3 - Final Touches

There is one more step that keeps you away from those very nice notifications... you need to add the notification framework to autostart programs. Follow the next instructions:

1. Download the notify-osd.sh script and Save it on your desktop!
2. Right click on the notify-osd.sh script, go to Properties, then to the Permissions tab and check the "Allow executing file as program" box.

3. Move the script in your home folder, then go to System -> Preferences -> Sessions...

...click on the "Add" button and type the following:

- In the Name field type: Notify-OSD
- In the Command field type: /home/YOURUSERNAME/notify-osd.sh

Note: Replace "YOURUSERNAME" in the above command with your username (e.g. /home/User/notify-osd.sh)

Click the "Add" button to add the entry to the startup program list. That's it! Now log out and log back in and you will see the new notifications...

Have fun! Ohh... and if you don't like them, uncheck the Notify-OSD entry in the Sessions window (System -> Preferences -> Sessions), log out and log back it. Your old notifications will be restored.

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