How to show a message box from a bash script in linux


I'm writing a few little bash scripts under Ubuntu linux. I want to be able to run them from the GUI without needing a terminal window to enter any input or view any output.

So far the only input required is a password for sudo - and gksudo handles that fine. But I haven't found an easy way to show a message box yet. Is there some kind of 'gkmessage' command available? I'd prefer something present in a default Ubuntu install, but I don't mind installing a new package if necessary.


How about Ubuntu's alert. It can be used after any operation to alert it finished and even show red cross icon if operaton was finnished with errors

ls -la; alert
By : mulya

Everyone mentions zenity, there seem to be many others. A mixed up but interesting list is at

First, an example of zenity featuring text formatting markup, window title, button label.

zenity \
--info \
--text="<span size=\"xx-large\">Time is $(date +%Hh%M).</span>\n\nGet your <b>coffee</b>." \
--title="Coffee time" \


gxmessage "my text"


xmessage is very old so it is stable and probably available in all distributions that use X (since it's distributed with X). It is customizable through X resources, for those that have been using Linux or Unix for long enough to know what it means (.Xdefaults, anyone ?).

xmessage -buttons Ok:0,"Not sure":1,Cancel:2 -default Ok -nearmouse "Is xmessage enough for the job ?" -timeout 10


(not tested)

In a PPA

YAD: Zenity On Steroids [Display Graphical Dialogs From Shell Scripts] ~ Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog. Does not seem to auto-size dialogs.

echo My text | yad \
--text-info \
--width=400 \

An bigger example

yad \
--title="Desktop entry editor" \
--text="Simple desktop entry editor" \
--form \
--field="Type:CB" \
--field="Name" \
--field="Generic name" \
--field="Comment" \
--field="Command:FL" \
--field="Icon" \
--field="In terminal:CHK" \
--field="Startup notify:CHK" "Application" "Name" "Generic name" "This is the comment" "/usr/bin/yad" "yad" FALSE TRUE \
--button="WebUpd8:2" \
--button="gtk-ok:0" \

Others not in Ubuntu standard repositories

  • shellgui
  • xdialog
  • gtkdialog

Off-topic (for terminal)

whiptail --msgbox "my text" 10 20
dialog --msgbox "my text" 10 20

Feel free to edit.

If you are using Ubuntu many distros the notify-send command will throw one of those nice perishable notifications in the top right corner. Like so:

notify-send "My name is bash and I rock da house"


By : chmac

This video can help you solving your question :)
By: admin