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Zsh Auto-Notify

⏰ ZSH plugin that automatically sends out a notification when a long running task has completed.

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Zsh Auto-notify automatically sends out a notification when a long running command (more than 10 seconds) finishes

Useful for those commands you don\'t predict will take long to run or just plain forgot to keep track of. Leave the task running and go do something else - auto-notify will let you know when the task is done! :tada:


You don\'t need to do anything. Once it\'s installed, zsh-auto-notify will let you know if a long running task has completed its work via a notification in your desktop environment.



auto-notify officially supports zsh versions 5.1 onwards.

It is possible the plugin might work on even older versions. However they would not have been tested as part of the CI test process.

Supported desktop environments:

  • Linux X/Wayland (Requires notify-send to be installed)
  • MacOSX


Notification Threshold

By default, auto-notify will send notifications for tasks that take longer than 10 seconds. You can configure this value by setting the environment variable AUTO_NOTIFY_THRESHOLD:

# Set threshold to 20seconds

Notification Formatting

You can change the formatting of notifications by setting the values for AUTO_NOTIFY_TITLE and AUTO_NOTIFY_BODY. When writing these values, the following variables will be replaced according to the data that auto-notify has detected:

  • %command - the command that the user executed
  • %elapsed - number of seconds that elapsed
  • %exit_code - the exit code of the command that was executed

An example of how these values can be set is shown below:

export AUTO_NOTIFY_TITLE="Hey! %command has just finished"
export AUTO_NOTIFY_BODY="It completed in %elapsed seconds with exit code %exit_code"

Notification Expiration Time

You can set how long a notification sent by auto-notify will remain showing by setting the environment variable AUTO_NOTIFY_EXPIRE_TIME to a custom value in milliseconds. The default value is set to 8 seconds. NOTE: This configuration option currently only works for Linux.

# Set notification expiry to 10 seconds

Ignored Commands

A number of commands do not get notifications for long running times due to their nature (e.g. watch or man). The list of ignored commands is specified in the AUTO_NOTIFY_IGNORE environment variable. This can be modified or completely overwritten based on your use case.

# Add docker to list of ignored commands

Make sure that you append to the array above after your plugin manager has been loaded in your zshrc.

If you wish to completely redefine what is ignored and not ignored, then just set AUTO_NOTIFY_IGNORE to a new array.

# redefine what is ignored by auto-notify
export AUTO_NOTIFY_IGNORE=("docker" "man" "sleep")

Using a Whitelist to ignore commands

If you wish to use a whitelist approach instead of the default blacklist approach used by AUTO_NOTIFY_IGNORE, you can do so by defining the environment variable AUTO_NOTIFY_WHITELIST with the elements you wish to allow auto-notify to track and send notifications for. NOTE: If AUTO_NOTIFY_WHITELIST is defined, then all the values in AUTO_NOTIFY_IGNORE are not used.

export AUTO_NOTIFY_WHITELIST=("apt-get" "docker")

Temporarily Disabling Notifications

You can temporarily disable auto notify by running the command disable_auto_notify.

When you want to re-enable notifications, run the command enable_auto_notify.


Pull requests and Feedback are welcome! :tada:

I have tried to cater for as many use cases that I can think of. However, they are naturally tailored to to my own workflow and I could be missing many others.

Because of this if there is a specific use case that does not work as you would expect or if you have any suggestions to how the plugin should behave, feel free to open an issue