mako - Man Page

configuration file


The config file is located at ~/.config/mako/config or at $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/mako/config. Option lines can be specified to configure mako like so:


Empty lines and lines that begin with # are ignored.

Global Configuration Options


Set maximum number of expired notifications to keep in the history buffer to n. If the buffer is full, newly expired notifications replace the oldest ones. If 0, history is disabled.

Default: 5

sort=+/-time | +/-priority

Sorts incoming notifications by time and/or priority in ascending(+) or descending(-) order.

Default: -time

Button and Touch Bindings

Specify the action to take per button or touch event. Supported values are none, dismiss, dismiss-all, dismiss-group, invoke-default-action,


Default: invoke-default-action


Default: none


Default: dismiss


Default: dismiss

Style Options


Set font to font, in Pango format.

Default: monospace 10


Set background color to color. See Colors for more information.

Default: #285577FF


Set text color to color. See Colors for more information.

Default: #FFFFFFFF


Set width of notification popups.

Default: 300


Set maximum height of notification popups. Notifications whose text takes up less space are shrunk to fit.

Default: 100


Set margin of each edge to the size specified by directional. See Directional Values for more information.

Default: 10


Set padding on each side to the size specified by directional. See Directional Values for more information.

Default: 5


Set popup border size to px pixels.

Default: 2


Set popup border color to color. See Colors for more information.

Default: #4C7899FF


Set popup corner radius to px pixels.

Default: 0

progress-color=[over|source] color

Set popup progress indicator color to color. See COLOR for more information. To draw the progress indicator on top of the background color, use the over attribute. To replace the background color, use the source attribute (this can be useful when the notification is semi-transparent).

Progress can be indicated in a notification by setting a hint, "value" to an integer between 0 and 100 inclusive.

Default: over #5588AAFF


Show icons in notifications.

Default: 1


Set maximum icon size to px pixels.

Default: 64


Paths to search for icons when a notification specifies a name instead of a full path. Colon-delimited. This approximates the search algorithm used by the XDG Icon Theme Specification, but does not support any of the theme metadata. Therefore, if you want to search parent themes, you'll need to add them to the path manually.

The path should be the root of the icon theme, the categories and resolutions will be searched for the most appropriate match.

/usr/share/icons/hicolor and /usr/share/pixmaps are always searched.

Default: ""


Position of the icon relative to the displayed text. Valid options are left, right, top and bottom.

Default: left


If 1, enable Pango markup. If 0, disable Pango markup. If enabled, Pango markup will be interpreted in your format specifier and in the body of notifications.

Default: 1


Applications may request an action to be associated with activating a notification. Disabling this will cause mako to ignore these requests.

Default: 1


If set, mako will save notifications that have reached their timeout into the history buffer instead of immediately deleting them. max-history determines the size of the history buffer.

Default: 1


Set notification format string to format. See Format Specifiers for more information. To change this for grouped notifications, set it within a grouped criteria.

Default: <b>%s</b>\n%b
Default when grouped: (%g) <b>%s</b>\n%b


Set notification text alignment.

Default: left


Set the default timeout to timeout in milliseconds. To disable the timeout, set it to zero.

Default: 0


If set, mako will ignore the expire timeout sent by notifications and use the one provided by default-timeout instead.

Default: 0


A comma-separated list of criteria fields that will be compared to other visible notifications to determine if this one should form a group with them. All listed criteria must be exactly equal for two notifications to group.

Default: none


Set maximum number of visible notifications to n. Older notifications will be hidden. If -1, all notifications are visible.

Default: 5


Show notifications on the specified output. If empty, notifications will appear on the focused output.

Requires the compositor to support the Wayland protocol xdg-output-unstable-v1 version 2.

Default: ""


Arrange mako at the specified layer, relative to normal windows. Supported values are background, bottom, top, and overlay. Using overlay will cause notifications to be displayed above fullscreen windows, though this may also occur at top depending on your compositor.

Default: top


Show notifications at the specified position on the output. Supported values are top-right, top-center, top-left, bottom-right, bottom-center, bottom-left, and center.

Default: top-right


In addition to the set of options at the top of the file, the config file may contain zero or more sections, each containing any combination of the Style Options. The sections, called criteria, are defined with an INI-like square bracket syntax. The brackets may contain any number of fields, like so:

[field=value field2=value2 ...]

When a notification is received, it will be compared to the fields defined in each criteria. If all of the fields match, the style options within will be applied to the notification. Fields not included in the criteria are not considered during the match. A notification may match any number of criteria. This matching occurs in the order the criteria are defined in the config file, meaning that if multiple criteria match a notification, the last occurrence of any given style option will "win".

The following fields are available in criteria:

  • app-name (string)
  • app-icon (string)
  • summary (string)

    • An exact match on the summary of the notification.
    • This field conflicts with summary~.
  • summary~ (string)

    • A POSIX extended regular expression match on the summary of the notification.
    • This field conflicts with summary.
  • body (string)

    • An exact match on the body of the notification.
    • This field conflicts with body~.
  • body~ (string)

    • A POSIX extended regular expression match on the body of the
  • This field conflicts with body.
  • urgency (one of "low", "normal", "critical")
  • category (string)
  • desktop-entry (string)
  • actionable (boolean)
  • expiring (boolean)

The following fields are also available to match on a second pass based on where previous style options decided to place each notification:

  • grouped (boolean)

    • Whether the notification is grouped with any others (its group-index is not -1).
  • group-index (int)

    • The notification's index within its group, or -1 if it is not grouped.
  • hidden (boolean)

    • hidden is special, it defines the style for the placeholder shown when the number of notifications or groups exceeds max-visible.
  • output (string)
     - Which output the notification was sorted onto. See the output style
    option for possible values.
  • anchor (string)

    • Which position on the output the notification was assigned to. See the

       anchor style option for possible values.

There are only two passes performed on each notification, so the second-pass critera are not allowed to reposition the notification.

If a field's value contains special characters, they may be escaped with a backslash, or quoted:

[app-name="Google Chrome"]

[app-name=Google\ Chrome]

Quotes within quotes may also be escaped, and a literal backslash may be specified as \\. No spaces are allowed around the equal sign. Escaping equal signs within values is unnecessary.

Additionally, boolean values may be specified using any of true/false, 0/1, or as bare words:

[actionable=true] [actionable=1] [actionable]

[actionable=false] [actionable=0] [!actionable]

There are three criteria always present at the front of the list:

  • An empty criteria which matches all notifications and contains the defaults for all style options, overwritten with any configured in the global section.
  • [grouped], which sets the default format for grouped notifications and sets them invisible.
  • [group-index=0], which makes the first member of each group visible again.

These options can be overridden by simply defining the criteria yourself and overriding them.

There are some rules restricting what can be configured depending on what is being matched by a given criteria:

Criteria-Only Style Options

Some style options are not useful in the global context and therefore have no associated command-line option.


Whether this notification should be invisible even if it is above the max-visible cutoff. This is used primarily for hiding members of groups. If you want to make more than the first group member visible, turn this option off within a group-index criteria.

Default: 0


Colors can be specified as #RRGGBB or #RRGGBBAA.

Directional Values

Some options set values that affect all four edges of a notification. These options can be specified in several different ways, depending on how much control over each edge is desired:

  • A single value will apply to all four edges.
  • Two values will set vertical and horizontal edges separately.
  • Three will set top, horizontal, and bottom edges separately.
  • Four will give each edge a separate value.

When specifying multiple values, they should be comma-separated. For example, this would set the top margin to 10, left and right to 20, and bottom to five:

  margin = 10,20,5

Format Specifiers

Format specification works similarly to printf(3), but with a different set of specifiers.

%% Literal "%"

\\ Literal "\"

\n New Line

For notifications

%a Application name

%s Notification summary

%b Notification body

%g Number of notifications in the current group

For the hidden notifications placeholder

%h Number of hidden notifications

%t Total number of notifications


Maintained by Simon Ser <>, who is assisted by other open-source contributors. For more information about mako development, see

See Also

mako(1) makoctl(1)

Referenced By