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notification history

This is quick tutorial for those who want to view the desktop notifications history in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

It can be done by either enabling logging notifications for Notify-OSD, or using Recent Notifications, a simple system panel applet.

View recent notifications via an indicator applet:

There’s a GNOME applet that displays a list of recent notifications on system panel.

list of notifications

To install the applet, go to:

Download indicator-notifications GTK 3

Select install the latest version of:

  • indicator-notifications_x.x.x~xenial_amd64.deb for 64-bit Ubuntu 16.04
  • indicator-notifications_x.x.x~xenial_i386.deb for 32-bit Ubuntu 16.04

There’s also a GTK2 version available for download at this page.

Once installed, log out and log in back to see the applet on panel.


1. The applet displays up to 5 messages, to change the number of visible items, edit the config file: ‘usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/net.launchpad.indicator.notifications.gschema.xml’

2. To remove the applet, use Synaptic Package Manager or run command sudo apt remove indicator-notifications in terminal

Enable Logging notifications:

Another way is to log notifications history into a file. Here’s how to do it for single user in Ubuntu 16.04:

1. Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T), run command to open (or create if not exist) a user-local script:

gedit ~/.pam_environment

When the file opens, paste the line below and save it.


Enable Logging Notifications

2. After restart your computer, a new file “notify-osd.log” will be created in user’s Home -> .cache folder that logs notifications history.


Want to display a history of notifications on your Ubuntu desktop? Well, it’s easy to do it with an indicator called recent notifitions.

Recent Notifications is a GNOME applet that collects recent messages sent with libnotify to a notification daemon and display as an indicator applet on your panel.


This indicator works on Ubuntu 13.04, Ubuntu 12.10, Ubuntu 12.04, but not in Elementary OS because it uses Pantheon-notify.

Install Recent Notifications

Press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run below command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:jconti/recent-notifications

After that, update and install the applet:

sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install indicator-notifications

You can download and install the .DEB package from launchpad page if you don’t want to add the ppa.

Once installed, log out and back in. You’ll see the icon on panel.