Sometimes we need to send a message to a remote user. We can display messages on our local desktop using Notify OSD, but we are unable to send a message to the remote user's desktop.

We tried the following:

ssh user@remote   
notify-send message

-> Sends message to the local display but not to the remote.

ssh admin@remote
sudo -u user "notify-send message"
sudo: notify-send user: command not found

-> There was a command not found error.

ssh -X user@remote "DISPLAY=:0 notify-send message"

-> Again sends the message to my local box only.

Is there any way to send a message to the remote desktop?


1 Answer 1


Have you tried

ssh user@host 'DISPLAY=:0 notify-send "TEST MESSAGE."'

Answer taken from ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1240828 (without the -X option as suggested by jjmontes)

  • 2
    -X is not needed since we are not forwarding the X protocol, but instead enforcing DISPLAY=:0 which is local to the remote host.
    – jjmontes
    Jul 28, 2015 at 9:33
  • 1
    @jjmontes I tested it and you're right. Fixed.
    – hytromo
    Aug 21, 2015 at 11:16

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