Surprisingly I found out that there are a lack of alarm clocks in Linux. I’ve tried a few but really was impressed with none. So I decided to go with what the Linux uses for some of it’s timed events: Cron. Cron can be a good alarm and its easy to use.
crontab is used to create and edit cron jobs and the cron daemon checks for cronjobs a the top of every minute. A command line mp3 player can be used here but I like use Audacious. Crong will need to be told what X display to play Audacious on to discover the current display:
env | grep DISPLAY
Then as regular user edit crontab:
Here’s the cronjob layout representation:
# minute (0-59), # | hour (0-23), # | | day of the month (1-31), # | | | month of the year (1-12), # | | | | day of the week (0-6 with 0=Sunday). # | | | | | commands
Enter the time (multiple times, days need to be separated with commas) and the script to execute for the alarm. The asterik can be used (*) to satisfy all variables. Here’s mine for audacious:
07 21 * * 1,2,3,4,5 env DISPLAY=:0.0 audacious /home/user/My\ Music/Other/Alarms/301gq.mp3
I found some good alarm tracks at this site the were perfect for the task.
To list the crontab do:
- Gentoo Cron Guide
- Ubuntu Wiki on Cron
- gnome-schedule is a GUI utility for Gnome – in sunrise overlay.
- A Gnome/python alarm clock
- Timer Applet – is a Gnome applet that shows a timer on the panel. [ebuild]
Wmtimer works well for Gnome users (KDE has kalarm) it leaves a small window on the screen which can’t be hidden but it is able use the system beep or execute a command on an alarm/timer event. Starting it from the command line is pretty easy:
wmtimer -a -t 18:39:00 -e "mpg321 ~/Music/Other/Alarms/301gq.wav"
Audacious also has alarm ability but it’s buried DeeeEEep in it’s preferences ( Preferences > Plugins > General ).
Thats actually its name. Despite the unexciting name, Alarm Clock is a very nice addition. Its a python script for the Gnome desktop that has the ability to run an application, display a message, and to use as a tray icon. Its a good application and easy to install.
Zenity is Gnome’s notification program. This won’t get a person out of bed but it can be good for reminders. In crontab enter:
23 15 * * * env DISPLAY=:0:0 notify-send -i gtk-info "libnotify example" "An example of libnotify notification thingy."
- Thanks 2 keyboard cowboy.