Probably this question has already been answered somewhere, but I could not find it.

The situation: I am on Ubuntu 15.10, on a laptop.
I have a secondary bluetooth speakers system, on which I redirect some output (mainly the music).

I can control the volume with pactl with

pactl -- set-sink-volume bluez_sink.00_18_91_65_D8_6D +5%
pactl -- set-sink-volume bluez_sink.00_18_91_65_D8_6D -5%

and having associated this to some keyboard shortcuts I can increase and decrease it like if it'd be local.

This works fine but, unlike for the main output (the internal audio card), using this command does not produce a notification with the actual volume level.

So, how can I produce the notification with the changing icon and the bar for the volume, like Ubuntu does?

Should I use notify-send? With which parameters?
It should not be a "normal" notification, because it has to "stick" there when the volume changes and just adapt the bar...

  • No help anybody? :(
    – dadexix86
    Nov 16, 2015 at 12:46
  • I can write you something to create a notification bubble with one of the 4 icons (volume high/medium/low/muted) and a textual representation of the volume level. But the bar is beyond my powers. Shall I write an answer with that or is this not acceptable for you yet?
    – Byte Commander
    Nov 17, 2015 at 17:51
  • Does it change by just changing the text inside without issuing another notification when you change multiple times in a row the volume? In this case yes. But if it changes by creating another notification than not, because I can do it myself :)
    – dadexix86
    Nov 17, 2015 at 19:09

1 Answer 1


Yep, it should be special notification:

gdbus call --session --dest org.freedesktop.Notifications \
  --object-path /org/freedesktop/Notifications \
  --method org.freedesktop.Notifications.Notify \
    'gnome-settings-daemon' \
    0 \
    'notification-audio-volume-medium' \
    ' ' \
    '' \
    [] \
    "{'x-canonical-private-synchronous': <'volume'>, 'value': <24>}" \
  1. Found by watching dbus-monitor:

    method call time=1447796042.858910 sender=:1.11 -> destination=:1.96 serial=216 path=/org/freedesktop/Notifications; interface=org.freedesktop.Notifications; member=Notify
       string "gnome-settings-daemon"
       uint32 0
       string "notification-audio-volume-medium"
       string " "
       string ""
       array [
       array [
          dict entry(
             string "x-canonical-private-synchronous"
             variant             string "volume"
          dict entry(
             string "value"
             variant             int32 48
       int32 -1
  2. Then write my own call using:

  3. Icons available are:

    find /usr/share/notify-osd/icons/hicolor/scalable/status/ -name "notification-audio-volume-*" -exec basename {} .svg \;

  • 2
    This is just a WOW and +1 from me. I'm impressed that you came up with a working solution that fast despite the crappy quality of official documentations for all this stuff. I'm planning to maybe write my own implementation of Python pynotify directly on dbus just to avoid this documentation lack and for the fun of it. I'm planning to write a better indicator interface for Python as well. You seem to have a great knowledge in this topic, may I contact you if I need help and how should I best do this?
    – Byte Commander
    Nov 18, 2015 at 9:14
  • 2
    That's it! This is just great! :D I managed to do my script and integrate it into the shortcuts, thank you very much! :D
    – dadexix86
    Nov 18, 2015 at 9:16
  • @ByteCommander thank you all, Actually not much but I followed dbus tag for few months in AU to learn it. As it is quiet related that, explore portions of gnome-settings-daemon & indicator-sound source code in few occasions in AU too. gnome-settings-daemon has a plugin that processes sound accelerator keys. Those icons are part of notify-osd package then it's source & doc should be helpful too. You are welcome, you may ping me in AU, SO, or UL on any related post/chat or even gmail with the same emanresu :D.
    – user.dz
    Nov 18, 2015 at 10:09
  • 1
    Thanks, I will remember you when I start with the project. Currently I'm still busy with a Python wrapper around appindicator. After that I might start with the notification stuff.
    – Byte Commander
    Nov 18, 2015 at 10:14
  • 1
    Because I simply don't like the API and doc for both appindicator as well as gi.repository.AppIndicator3. I'm also adding some functionality.
    – Byte Commander
    Nov 18, 2015 at 10:27

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