Notify-osd notifications appear unthemed in top-left corner


I recently upgraded from 13.04 to 13.10, and suddenly notification bubbles don’t appear themed as usual in the upper right corner, but they appear as white text on blue background in the upper-left corner. It looks like this:

Badly themed notification in the top-left corner.

Unsuccesful attempts to fix it

  • I tried reinstalling unity, notify-osd, ubuntu-desktop removed notification-daemon which was installed, none of that fixes it.

  • In fact running ps aux | grep notify-osd shows that notify-osd isn’t even running. But when I try to start it manually by running /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/notify-osd I get:

    ** (notify-osd:4618): WARNING **: Another instance has already registered org.freedesktop.Notifications
    ** (notify-osd:4618): WARNING **: Could not register instance
  • If I understand well, the instance is registered by the /usr/share/dbus-1/services/org.freedesktop.Notifications.service file, which right now contains:

    [D-BUS Service]

    Renaming or deleting that file (and rebooting) has no effect whatsoever (and it is not recreated automatically).

  • This is not a duplicate of No notifications from notify-osd on 13.10 (and by the way I purged gnome-flashback-session along with notification-daemon)


How can I debug this? How can I get notifications to come back to normal?

If additional debug information is needed, I’ll be happy to add it (just that I can’t find any more).

Here is Solutions:

We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first solution because it is tested & true solution that will 100% work for you.

Solution 1

i3 is using “dunst” notification daemon, so you have to remove it in order to re-enable ubuntu notify-osd.

Execute following from terminal:

sudo apt-get purge dunst
killall dunst
notify-send "Hello"

Solution 2

I had the same problem because of i3. Purging all packages that were installed with i3 helped me:

sudo apt-get purge i3 i3-wm i3lock suckless-tools i3status dunst

I think (but I’m not sure) that the problem was with dunst package – according to it’s description it is notification daemon too.

Solution 3

This question is a bit old, but I believe I can add to it. The problem is not with i3, nor with dunst, but with D-Bus actually. Apparently it’s bad at handling multiple notification providers. See the note here. I ran into the same issue with the XFCE notification daemon while running Arch.

Note: Use and implement solution 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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