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Dunst is a lightweight replacement for the notification daemons provided by most desktop environments. It’s very customizable, and isn’t dependent on any toolkits.


Review the USE flags

USE flags for x11-misc/dunst Customizable and lightweight notification-daemon

test Enable dependencies and/or preparations necessary to run tests (usually controlled by FEATURES=test but can be toggled independently)
wayland Enable dev-libs/wayland backend

Emerge dunst

root #emerge --ask --verbose x11-misc/dunst

Unmerge other notification daemons

In order to avoid confusion other notification daemons could be removed, e.g. x11-misc/notification-daemon:

root #emerge --ask --verbose --depclean x11-misc/notification-daemon

Start dunst

D-BUS should start a notification daemon automatically, but if multiple are installed then it may just pick one. Starting dunst before any other notification daemons are fired up will make sure that dunst will handle your notifications. Review the used desktop setup on how to autostart programs.


After the installation there is a working configuration file /etc/dunst/dunstrc. Edit this file to customize the settings for all users, or copy it to ~/.config/dunst/dunstrc for setting for a single user.

Note that versions of dunst prior to 1.6.0 installed a sample, non-working sample file in /usr/share/dunst/dunstrc.


Test your notifications with notify-send:

user $notify-send "Summary" "Notification text."

Do not forget to kill dunst when you have changed your configuration file.

user $killall dunst