I am trying to get the following shortcut to work:

notify-send -i rhythmbox "RhythmBox Is Playing" "$(rhythmbox-client --print-playing)"

It works fine If I run it from the command line, but when I set it as a keyboard shortcut I just get the text printed out and the program (rhythmbox-client) doesn't run.

What am I doing wrong?

  • I got your method working without issue. What version of Ubuntu are you on? run unname -a . regardless you should try my answer below.
    – Jeff
    May 8, 2018 at 12:17
  • 1
    Strange. I'm using ubuntu 18.04 (uname -a Linux chud37 4.15.0-20-generic #21-Ubuntu SMP Tue Apr 24 06:16:15 UTC 2018 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux )
    – Chud37
    May 8, 2018 at 12:26
  • Have you tried setting another custom shortcut? I would suggest trying something simple just to see if you can get that to work. Then let us know the result.
    – Jeff
    May 8, 2018 at 12:33
  • 1
    @Jeff yes I have other custom shortcuts (all for the rhythmbox-client such as --play-pause) and they work fine.
    – Chud37
    May 9, 2018 at 10:26
  • It would probably be a good idea to update your question with the information of a working shortcut and an example. And that you have tried the full path without that working.
    – Jeff
    May 9, 2018 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


Try using the full paths

find your paths:

$ which rhythmbox

$which rhythmbox-client

Then sub the results in instead of just the commands

notify-send -i /usr/bin/rhythmbox "RhythmBox Is Playing" "$(/usr/bin/rhythmbox-client --print-playing)"

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. Did you try it? Because it's just producing the same results for me :(
    – Chud37
    May 8, 2018 at 12:24
  • I did try it and it worked, but your method was also working for me. However, I'm on ubuntu 16.04.
    – Jeff
    May 8, 2018 at 12:27

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