OS X system notifications from terminal tasks with fish
This blog entry shows how to get OS X system notifications from terminal tasks. Its really great idea is to trigger notifications only when terminal is no longer the frontmost application.
The fish shell
The detailed instructions give the commands for zsh which is like bash on steroids. I, however, use fish that does most things differently (and better). I record here how I modified the scripts for fish.
The crucial thing with fish shell in OS X is not to declare it as your login shell. It is not POSIX compliant and things will not work as expected.
The sane way to do it is to install fish from homebrew (
brew install fish) and not make it the default shell, but set it in the terminal preferences. In iTerm2, go to
Preferences/Profiles/Generaland set the command for the default profile to
Installation of scripts
The osascript determines if the system notification is needed and does
the call. Put the code as it is on the web page into a file named
notifyme, set execute permissions (e.g.
chmod 755 notifyme) and place
somewhere which is on your path (e.g.
The fish code needs to be placed in your main fish configuration file.
The default fish configuration file is
~/.config/fish/config.fish, but I use fish with a framework called oh-my-fish that stores its configuration in
Here is the function
f_notifyme rewritten using fish syntax that
collects the information from shell and calls the osascript:
function f_notifyme -d "OS X system nofication" set LAST_EXIT_CODE $status set CMD (history|head -1) # No point in waiting for the command to complete notifyme $CMD $LAST_EXIT_CODE end
The function f_notifyme needs to called every time a command finishes.
The means that the shell prompt needs to be modified. In fish, this is
done using functions
fish_right_prompt. It depends on
your setup which one you want to modify. This example assumes that you
are not using the right prompt for anything else:
function fish_right_prompt -d "create system nofication at prompt" f_notifyme end
Save the file and start a new fish shell to start receiving notifications.
If you want to tweek the setup further, you'll find debugging easier
if you temporarily change reverse the logic in the
by setting line 6 to =if frontApp is "iTerm2"=. You can then call it
from the command prompt and see the notification to come up (e.g
notifyme test status).