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Karmic’s Notification Changes

Notice: This post is more than a year old. It may be outdated.

Ubuntu’s notification system will see several improvements and changes for it’s inclusion in Karmic.

The most notable and obvious of these is will be its appearance. The large rectangular pop-up’s of Jaunty are replaced with a sleeker smaller bubble.

Hovering or edging your mouse closer to a pop-up results in a new “blurry” effect (if you’re using compositing).

Like so; as i edge my mouse towards the pop-up, it blurs and fades: –



When my mouse is actually on the notification it fades almost completely until i edge away again. This is great because it lets me see any application underneath the bubble with no issues.

Hovering your mouse over an notification also pauses the ‘time out’ period in which a bubble fades – handy if it’s an important update that you don’t want to miss!

Better Than Ever

The new Karmic Notify-Osd will also see reduced CPU usage, speedier rendering and the bubbles look much nicer on non-composited desktops.

Another great addition is the suppression of “non-critical” announcements when using an application in full-screen. No more Gwibber updates interrupting the latest episode of True Blood! Woo!

Of course, system-critical updates WILL still show ” low battery, app crash, etc

Spam protection has been implemented into Notify-OSD so as not to “flood” the user with  bubble-after-bubble from the same applications.

Updates from the same application (or window) ‘merge’ together in an expanding bubble.

notify-osd-default-icon-set [Notify OSD Default Icons]

You can see most of these improvements in this short YouTube clip: –

In summary: –

  • Better CPU usage
  • Faster rendering
  • Nicer looking notification bubbles for composited and non-composited desktops
  • KDE Integration
  • New ‘mouse over’ effects
  • Time out delay
  • Spam/flood protection
  • Notifications that adapt to the user

Try It Out!

If you fancy hosing your system and trying out the latest version of notify-osd, Micro Mueller maintains a PPA playground for his developments and hacks on Notify-OSD which you can find @

Or for more information on the development and progress of Notify-OSD, be sure to check out his informative (and sometime irreverent!) blog @