How to get Native Unity Notifications for Twitter Direct Messages and Mentions

Twitter_logo_blueEver since I left Windows I’ve been hunting for a perfect Twitter client, and thanks to Twitters new API rules that hunt failed. I;ve resigned myself to the fact that the easiest way to use twitter nowadays is to simply use a fast browser (Qupzilla is my weapon of choice for twitter), but there is one thing that I desperately missed from the old client days, and that was Desktop Notifications whenever a DM or Mention came in. So off I went again, looking for a way to get decent native notifications through browser plugins, or the new WebApps system, but that search became fruitless and I started to feel like Captain Ahab with his obsessive hunt for the whale. But, this time Ahab has caught his whale and I’ve worked out a neat workaround to get my notifications: ¬† To achieve this entails the installation of three programs, gFeedline, Python-Central (a dependency) and AllTray, none of which make much of an impact on performance I’m happy to say.

1: First off we need to install the dependency, Python-Central, download the app from here and install as normal using GDebi.

2: Next we install gFeedline, a Microblogging client that works with twitter, it’s not to functional, but it has the function we need, Desktop Notifications. Download it here and install with GDebi again.

3: The next step is to set up your account, there is a wizard for doing this so I wont explain it here. After you have your account set up, add the two feeds we’re interested in by clicking Feeds > New and selecting the feeds you want, ie. Direct Message and Mentions. Be sure to click “Enable Notifications” for both feeds.

4: Set gFeedline to start on boot in the preferences.

That’s the feed and notifications set up, the next part is just for convenience, since we won’t be using Gfeedline for anything but notifications it’d be nice to just have it out-of-the-way and forgotten about, the only way I’ve found to achieve this is by having a little program called AllTray installed and have it start on boot. To do this first install the program by entering the following command into the Terminal:

sudo apt-get install AllTray

Then add AllTray to your startup applications by searching in the dash for “Startup Applications” and running it. Click “Add” and name the entry “alltray”,¬†then simply enter the following line into the command box:

/usr/bin/alltray

Click “Add” then reboot.

What you should have after you reboot is the gFeedline window open with an extra little window and your mouse cursor represented bu a cross:

Screenshot from 2014-04-18 17:07:35

Simply click anywhere in the gFeedline window and it’ll disappear entirely, and that’s it done. Now every time someone sends you a message or a reply through Twitter you’ll get a pop-up notification alerting you :)

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