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Specto – Growl like system notification for Linux

If you remember, just days ago I wrote about a software called Snarl inspired by the much famous Growl application for Mac OSX. Growl allowed users to receive alerts from installed software and other system alerts through a universal notification system. Specto is a similar tool but for Linux.

Specto is a desktop application that watches events and alerts and then trigger notifications. But Specto does more than just display alerts from other application. It’s completely configurable allowing the users to create new watches such as website updates, emails, file and folder changes, system processes, etc. For example, Specto can watch a website for updates like RSS feed, or an image, etc, and notify you when there is activity. For most part, Specto stays out of your way and only shows up when there are new events or alerts.



Specto can watch the following type of events:

  • Email: checks any POP email account for unread mail
  • Facebook: notifies you of private messages, wall posts, notifications and requests in your Facebook account
  • Google Reader: checks for unread items in your Google Reader account
  • Website or RSS feed: watch a web page or web feed, and notify you when it has been updated
  • Folders: notifies when the contents inside the watched folders are changed
  • File: notifies when the file is modified
  • Port: notifies when an application starts/stop using a socket
  • Process: notifies when the process with a matching name starts or stop

Users can adjust the refresh interval which can be as small as a few seconds and as far apart as days.

Specto requires the Python libraries to compile and run.


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