dunst - Man Page

A customizable and lightweight notification-daemon


dunst [-conf file] [-font font] [-geometry geom] [-format fmt] [-follow mode] [-monitor n] [-history_length n] ...


Dunst is a highly configurable and lightweight notification daemon.

Command Line Options


List all command line flags

-conf/-config file

Use alternative config file.


Print version information.


Print notifications to stdout. This might be useful for logging, setting up rules or using the output in other scripts.

-SETTING [value]

Where SETTING can be any setting that's available in the global section of the configuration file. See dunst(5) for possible settings.

Each configuration option in the global section can be overridden from the command line by adding a single dash in front of it's name. For example the font option can be overridden by running

    $ dunst -font "LiberationSans Mono 4"

Configuration options that take boolean values can only currently be set to “true” through the command line via the same method. e.g.

    $ dunst -shrink

This is a known limitation of the way command line parameters are parsed and will be changed in the future.


An example configuration file is included (usually /etc/dunst/dunstrc). Note: this was previously /usr/share/dunst/dunstrc. Before using dunst, copy this file to ~/.config/dunst/dunstrc and edit it accordingly. See dunst(5) for all possible settings.


dunst is able to get different colors for a message via notify-send. In order to do that you have to add a hint via the -h option. The progress value can be set with a hint, too.

notify-send -h string:fgcolor:#ff4444

notify-send -h string:bgcolor:#4444ff -h string:fgcolor:#ff4444 -h string:frcolor:#44ff44

notify-send -h int:value:42 “Working ...”


Dunst allows notifiers (i.e.: programs that send the notifications) to specify actions. Dunst has support for both displaying indicators for these, and interacting with these actions.

If “show_indicators” is true and a notification has an action, an “(A)” will be prepended to the notification format. Likewise, an “(U)” is prepended to notifications with URLs. It is possible to interact with notifications that have actions regardless of this setting, though it may not be obvious which notifications HAVE actions.

The “context” keybinding is used to interact with these actions, by showing a menu of possible actions. This feature requires “dmenu” or a dmenu drop-in replacement present. It is preferred to set this keybinding with your window manager or desktop envirorment and let it execute dunsctl context. Another option is to set this keybinding in your dunstrc, but this is soon to be deprecated (and doesn't work on Wayland).

Alternatively, you can invoke an action with a middle click on the notification. If there is exactly one associated action, or one is marked as default, that one is invoked. If there are multiple, the context menu is shown. The same applies to URLs when there are no actions. You can change the mouse button to right click by setting mouse_right_click = close_all in your dunstrc.


Dunst can be paused via the `dunstctl set-paused true` command. To unpause dunst use `dunstctl set-paused false`. Alternatively you can send SIGUSR1 and SIGUSR2 to pause and unpause respectively. For Example:

killall -SIGUSR1 dunst # pause

killall -SIGUSR2 dunst # resume

When paused dunst will not display any notifications but keep all notifications in a queue.  This can for example be wrapped around a screen locker (i3lock, slock) to prevent flickering of notifications through the lock and to read all missed notifications after returning to the computer.


These are the places where dunst will look for a configuration file. They are listed here in order and if dunst finds one of them, it will stop looking for more.







This is where the default config file is located


Written by Sascha Kruse <>

Reporting Bugs

Bugs and suggestions should be reported on GitHub at

See Also

dunst(5), dunstctl(1), dwm(1), dmenu(1), twmn(1), notify-send(1)


2021-02-27 1.6.1 Dunst Reference