Fixing the (too low) position of notifications in Ubuntu Karmic


One of the first things I noticed on upgrading to Karmic was that notifications were lower than they were in Jaunty.

Like most people, at first, I thought this was a bug. The short answer is — it isn’t. The devs, in their infinite wisdom, think its better this way — the “top slot” for notifications is reserved for synchronous notifications, such as brightness and volume.

Karmic notification position

Karmic notification position

Again, like most people, I completely disagree with the change — I think notifications hovering in the upper third of my screen are annoying, get in my way, and look sloppy. If they are worried about synchronous notifications moving around, they should centre them on the screen, like on a Mac — not move everything else around.

Anyway, Julien Lavergne has cooked up a quick patch for notify-osd that reverts back to the old behaviour. What’s more, he’s compiled notify-osd with the patch incorporated, so we can automatically use it.

To make use of his patch, and have it automatically kept up-to-date, you’ll need to add a new software source. You can do that with this one-liner in a terminal: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gilir/updates

Then do an update through Update Manager, or through sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade.

And — there you go:

That's much better

That's much better

3 thoughts on “Fixing the (too low) position of notifications in Ubuntu Karmic

  1. Thanks for posting this! I agree, the default location of the notifications is pretty annoying. Can’t say I’m a huge fan of the hover/blur behavior either – I keep wanting to click on a notification bubble to make it disappear :P

  2. Thanks for posting! I agree with you on this; the notifications should either be consistently in the same location or synchronous notifications should be somewhere else. I like how Compiz handled synchronous notifications a while back… they would briefly show up in a semi-transparent rounded square box on the bottom-center of the screen.

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