Kubuntu Notification Helper 0.4.85 (0.5 beta1)

I’m glad to be able to announce the release of Kubuntu Notification Helper 0.4.85, the first beta release for the 0.5 release! We would very much appreciate testing, though I must admit we don’t have anywhere for bug reports to go yet. It should enter Ubuntu soon enough, though, so we’ll be able to track bugs there in the quite near future.

For a general overview on what Kubuntu Notification Helper is, see my previous blog post. There have been new developments since then, though, which I will touch upon in this blog post. But first, let’s get to the release stuff.

Getting it

I have packages available for both Kubuntu 9.10 and Kubuntu 10.04 at my PPA. To get them, go to the “Settings” view of KPackageKit and hit “Edit Software Sources”. Go to the “Other Software” tab and click “Add”. Paste the following into the dialog:


Once you close the dialog, it will offer to update your package lists. Allow it to do so, and install the kubuntu-notification-helper package.

Using it

After installing it, you have two options to start using it. You can:

  • Just reboot the computer


  • kquitapp kded; sleep 2; kded4
  • kquitapp knotify; sleep 2; knotify
  • kbuildsycoca4
  • kcmshell4 kcmkded
  • On the bottom list of KDED modules, click “Notification Helper” and hit the “start” button.

It should now function just as Update Notifier KDE did, only better! (More efficient, more integrated with Plasma)

What’s new

Since my last blog, quite a bit has gone on development-wise. Primarily, Kubuntu Notification Helper now notifies of restricted package availability:

Clicking “Details” will bring up a dialog identical to the one in Kubuntu 9.04 and 9.10. With Kubuntu Notification Helper you can finally permanently ignore all restricted package notifications if you so choose. Oh, and before anybody asks, that’s the Oxywin Plasma theme, which I quite like. πŸ™‚

On the subject of permanently ignoring things, we realized that, aside from editing configuration files, there was no way to get Kubuntu Notification Helper to watch/notify for permanently ignored things. To remedy this we added a child module to the “Notification” configuration module in System Settings:

Other than those two features, we have spent a fair amount of time making the code is as clean as it can be. We have all the features that we want for 0.5 done, so all we need now is a bunch of bug testing between now and April. Enjoy!


24 Responses to Kubuntu Notification Helper 0.4.85 (0.5 beta1)

  1. Sandsmark says:

    Restrictively licensed? It’s GPL, isn’t it?

    • echidnaman says:

      Oh, I suppose libxine1-ffmpeg is more of a patent issue than a licensing issue. Suggestions for string changes? In essence we want to say that there are extra packages available for Dragon player that will make it able to play MPEG videos, while still being generic enough to use the same text with the application name swapped out to allow for e.g. Konqueror to be able to ask for the Flash plugin.

      • martinsandsmark says:

        Legally restricted packages, maybe? (It sounds a bit scare, but it better be, since it might be illegal. πŸ™‚

        And nice work, btw. I’ve been pondering about how to make something generic for all phonon applications, this might be something we should discuss during the multimedia sprint. πŸ™‚

      • echidnaman says:

        I know Harald Sitter (apachelogger) had an idea or two about he would implement such a generic system. Might be worth bringing him along for the ride too. πŸ˜‰

      • martinsandsmark says:

        Yup, he’s already signed up for the sprint. πŸ™‚

  2. […] Jonathan Thomas: Kubuntu Notification Helper 0.4.85 (0.5 beta1) Share and […]

  3. Diederik van der Boor says:

    I love where this is going towards. πŸ™‚

    I would like to see a little change in the text
    “Extra, restrictively-licensed packages are available for …. … to enhance functionality”.

    It seams to be there is a lot of crowdy wording in front of the thing you’re actually trying to tell.

    Like: “Dragon player can be enhanced with extra packages. [details] [ignore] [ignore forever]”

    And in the details, mention that the packages have license restrictions which prevents Kubuntu to include them by default.

  4. Naproxeno says:

    Installing it right now. Thanks for your work!

  5. Burup says:

    “Oh, and before anybody asks, that’s the Oxywin Plasma theme”

    Aha, and, what’s the font? πŸ˜€

  6. allee says:

    Great work!

    About strings (just brainstorming and trying to keep kubuntu target user in mind)

    s/apport crash/application crash/
    s/packages/software packages/
    s/dragon player/$genericname[lang] software, $name[lang],/

    Control panel: every item starts with show and ends with
    notifications, IMHO distracts the eye form easily spot
    the notification class. Also there are too many ‘helper’ strings scattered around ;). For the user it’s important that it’s a notification, not which program in the background throws the notification.

    So maybe something more like:

    Show notifications for:

    o reboot required
    o application crashed
    o software updates available
    o not opensource codecs needed

    Low prio: I’m also not sure that a submodule in notification systemsettings is the better than handling it like ‘kde system notification’ just named ‘kubuntu helper notifications’ in ‘system notification’ settings.

    Keep on the good work!!!!

  7. Karthik says:

    What about having some text that ordinary users can understand:

    1. Install suitable codecs to play this file

    2. Install required packages to play this content

    3. Extra, restrictively-licensed packages needs to be installed to play this content

  8. idyllictux says:

    Hi, thank you for develop a wonderful piece of software. But it doesn’t notify me of new updates at all D: Follow the steps and checked the service is started. Did I missed out anything?


    • echidnaman says:

      Nope, you didn’t miss out on anything. It just doesn’t notify for package updates. KPackageKit does that. πŸ™‚
      If it’s not for you, that’s a bug with (K)PackageKit.

  9. Emralegna says:


    Which fonts (and anti-aliasing settings, if enable) are you using in those screenshots please ? They are very pretty.

  10. Klondyke says:

    I seem to get the notifications, but I don’t get any buttons like “Details”, “Ignore”, … What am I missing?

    • echidnaman says:

      You are either using the Ayatana-style notifications or getting the notification from update-notifier-kde. At least in the case of codec install, only one app can register the dbus service for codec install.

  11. Klondyke says:

    I see. Ayatana notifications are the problem πŸ˜‰
    Thanks for your quick response.

  12. […] replacement for update-notifier-kde, kubuntu-notification-helper, is now included with Kubuntu 10.04 as of alpha 2. It completely implements all of what […]

  13. Chris M. says:

    I have a few questions related to kubuntu-notification-helper now in Kubuntu, as I don’t get any messages when software updates are available (and I’ve reviewed all settings in the control panel related to this).

    – I have seen references to being able to change configuration of notification helper, but how do I do this? Where does this helper ‘run’?
    – Is this supposed to fix the bug where many of us in Kubuntu 10.04 do not get software and/or security update notices on our taskbar and/or through system notification?

    Again, I’m using Kubuntu 10.04, recently upgraded to KDE 4.5 from 4.4.x.

    • – It is run as a KDE Daemon module, which is the kded4 process. A bunch of KDE daemons share this process.
      – Nope, that is handled entirely by KPackageKit.

      • Chris M. says:

        Thanks for the reply, Jonathan.

        I have used the control panel under System Notification Configuration, and I’m modifying the event source called “System Notification Helper”. I enable the four events called ‘Apport Crash’, ‘Reboot Required’, ‘Upgrade Hook’, and ‘Restricted Install’. I have never gotten any notifications that software upgrades are available, even though I check every so often manually through the ‘software updates’/kpackagekit tool and there are both software updates and security updates. It never tells me of them via notifications.

        This is a bug (perhaps on the kpackagekit side) that is quite common on Lucid when you read the forums.


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