dunst man page

dunst — A customizable and lightweight notification-daemon


dunst [-geometry geom] [-shrink shrink] [-fn font] [-nf/nb/lf/lb/cf/cb color] [-to/nto/lto/cto secs] [-format fmt] [-key key] [-mod mod] [-mon n] [-t/title title] [-c/class class] [-v]


Dunst is a highly configurable and lightweight notification daemon.



display help message.

-fn font

defines the font or font set used.

-lb/nb/cb color

defines the background color of low/normal/critical messages.

-lf/nf/cf color

defines the foreground color of low/normal/critical messages.

-to secs

defines the default timeout. Can be (partially) overridden by the following options.

-lto/nto/cto secs

timeouts for low/normal/critical messages.

-key key

remove notification by pressing key.

-all_key key

remove all notifications by pressing key.

-history_key key

redisplay last notification by pressing key.

-format fmt

defines the format of the message. See Format.

-mon n

show the notification on monitor n.

-follow mode

display notifications on focused monitor. Possible options are "mouse" to follow the mouse cursor, "keyboard" to follow the window with the keyboard focus and "none" to disable focus following. "mouse" and "keyboard" overwrite the -mon option.


sort messages by urgency.


don't sort messages by urgency.

-geometry [{width}]x{height}][+/-{x}+/-{y}]

The geometry of the message window. The height is measured in lines everything else in pixels. If the width is omitted but the height is given ("-geometry x2"), the message window expands over  the  whole  screen (dmenu-like). If  width  is  0,  the  window  expands  to  the longest message displayed. A positive x is measured from the left, a negative from the right side of the screen. Y is measured from the top and down respectevly. see also EXAMPLES show the notification on monitor n.

-t/-title title

Define the title of notification windows spawned by dunst.

-t/-class class

Define the class of notification windows spawned by dunst.


Shrink window if it's smaller than the width. Will be ignored if width is 0.

-lh/-line_height height

The height of a single line in pixel. If the height is smaller than the font height, it will get raised to the font height.


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


print version information.

-config file

use alternative config file.


fmt is a string containing placeholders. The placeholders will be replaced with the corresponding text, or if the text is not present, nothing. Possible placeholders are:

%a  appname

%s  summary

%b  body

%i  iconname (including its path)

%I  iconname (without its path)

%p  progress value ([  0%] to [100%])


Every option that needs a color as argument accepts #RGB, #RRGGBB and X color names.


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

notify-send -h int:value:42 "Working ..."


Dunst can be paused by sending a notification with a summary of "DUNST_COMMAND_PAUSE" and resumed with a summary of "DUNST_COMMAND_RESUME". Alternatively you can send SIGUSR1 and SIGUSR2 to pause and unpause respectivly. 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.


An example configuration file is included (usually /usr/share/dunst/dunstrc). To change the configuration, copy this file to ~/.config/dunst/dunstrc and edit it accordingly.


written by Sascha Kruse <>

See Also

dwm(1), dmenu(1), twmn(1), notify-send(1)


2014-07-29 1.1.0 Dunst Reference