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dunst(1) Dunst Reference dunst(1)

dunst - A customizable and lightweight notification-daemon

dunst [-conf file] [-verbosity v] [-print] [--startup-notification]

Dunst is a highly configurable and lightweight notification daemon.

On most installations dunst should be able to automatically be started by D-Bus when a notification is sent. This is not recommended when multiple notification deamons are installed, because D-Bus will not know which one to start. Other ways of autostarting dunst include starting dunst with your desktop environment or window manager's autostart functionality or via the provided systemd service.

List all command line flags
-conf/-config file
Use alternative config file. This disables the search for other config files. If it cannot be opened Dunst will issue a warning and fall back on its internal defaults. (Hint: `dunst -conf - </dev/null` can be used to enforce the defaults, i.e. for testing)
Print version information.
-verbosity (values: 'crit', 'warn', 'mesg', 'info', 'debug' default 'mesg')
Do not display log messages, which have lower precedence than specified verbosity. This won't affect printing notifications on the terminal. Use the '-print' option for this.
Print notifications to stdout. This might be useful for logging, setting up rules or using the output in other scripts.
--startup_notification (values: [true/false], default: false)
Display a notification on startup.

A default configuration file is included (usually /usr/local/etc/dunst/dunstrc) and serves as the least important configuration file. Note: this was previously /usr/local/share/dunst/dunstrc. You can edit this file to change the system-wide defaults or copy it to a more important location to override its settings. See the FILES section for more details on where dunst searches for its configuration files and how settings get applied.

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 can be paused via the `dunstctl set-paused true` command. To unpause dunst use `dunstctl set-paused false`. Another way is to send SIGUSR1 and SIGUSR2 to pause and unpause respectively. Pausing using dunstctl is recommended over using signals, because the meaning of the signals is not be stable and might change in the future.

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 base directories dunst searches for configuration files in descending order of imortance:

$XDG_CONFIG_HOME ($HOME/.config if unset or empty)

$XDG_CONFIG_DIRS (:-separated list of base directories in descending order of importance; /usr/local/etc if unset or empty)

Dunst will search these directories for the following relative path:


All settings from all files get applied. Settings in more important files override those in less important ones. Settings not present in more imortant files are taken from a less important one or from the internal defaults if they are not found in any file.

This is where the default (least important) config file is located:

Written by Sascha Kruse <>

Bugs and suggestions should be reported on GitHub at

Copyright 2013 Sascha Kruse and contributors (see LICENSE for licensing information)

If you feel that copyrights are violated, please send me an email.

dunst(5), dunstctl(1), dmenu(1), notify-send(1)
2022-06-07 1.7.3 (2021-12-08)

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