For Karmic Koala (Ubuntu 9.10) we want to enhance the capabilities and user-experience of the notify-osd server and further its integration into the Ubuntu and Kubuntu desktops. Changes are mostly internal to the notify-osd service, but there will still be updates to patches applied to packages like gnome-settings-daemon or nm-applet.

See the Kubuntu integration specification for details on this specific version:

Release Note

The release notes will be refined as the implementation goes. However here is a first version of it:

The new included version of notify-osd x.y.z now provides increased rendering performance (and reduced CPU-usage) in general, notification-bubbles look nicer on non-composited desktops, non-critial notifications are now suppressed when using an application in fullscreen-mode or the screensaver is active (but e.g. notifications like "battery-low" still show up), on-screen time of notification now adapts to user behaviour (e.g. timing out is paused when a user hovers the mouse-pointer over a notification-bubble), notifications better adjust their positioning to users with multi-screen setups, old notifications (of exited or crashed applications) get removed from the notification queue, feedback-notifications for multi-media keys on keyboards are introduced again (e.g. Play/Pause, Stop, Forward, Backward).


The first implementation of the notify-osd service has been released for Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope). The full specification designed to improve the notifications used in Ubuntu contains more features and refinements that haven't been implemented in the initial release. The Karmic version should cover the remaining missing elements, as well as integrate all the user feedback gathered after the Jaunty release.

User stories

The user experience for the new notification system is described more thoroughly at (they are really user stories, though the link says "use cases").

(User Interface) Design

This section lists UI changes planned for this release. For a general description of the user interface design, please refer to

Interaction enhancements

Presentation enhancements

Audio application enhancements

Context awareness


This section lists mostly internal changes. The current development version of notify-osd is at:

Rendering / performance aspects



Code Changes

Mainly notify-osd has to be modified for the required enhancements. But there are also external applications which need patches in order to meet

Mandatory (applications in main):

"Nice to have" (applications in universe):


Application developers need to be aware of NotificationDevelopmentGuidelines and NotificationDesignGuidelines if they want to make sure their applications notifications seamlessly integrate with notify-osd on the Ubuntu desktop.

Test/Demo Plan

There is a manual test plan for the notification system at:

The test plan will be complemented with new test cases related to the new features or changes in this future release.


DesktopExperienceTeam/KarmicNotifyOSD (last edited 2009-06-26 10:45:56 by dbarth)