Pop-up reminders in Linux using "Cron"

18 July, 2005
Issue following commands from the shell (Linux commands are shown in quotes, and comments are shown between %)

"crontab -e" %this command will open your cron entry in vim editor%

press i % you will enter insert mode in vim%

cut and paste the following:

# Lunch reminder every 10 minutes between 1 to 1.55PM
00-55/10 13 * * 1-5 DISPLAY=:0.0 /usr/bin/Xdialog --rc-file ybox.rc --title "Reminder" --backtitle "Lunch time ..." --clear --under-mouse --no-button --right --infobox "GO and get some energy man..." 10 45 60000

press "Esc"
type ":x" and hit "Enter"

you will get following comment:
crontab: installing new crontab

% above lines will get you pop-up reminder for lunch, as comment says, with with cron entry you will get pop-ups every 10 minutes between 1.00PM to 1.55PM on Monday through Friday. pop up will stay for 60seconds and dissappear automatically. Xdialog is used for the pop up message display.%


I like cron reminder as I dont have to start any program to get reminder. If the system is on, I get reminders automatically.

However, I like a program called 'remind'
check out: http://www.roaringpenguin.com/penguin/open_source_remind.php

also a nice article: Remind: The ultimate personal calendar at


"remind" with "tkremind" will form a nice linux reminder.

You can get your remind output in to your mail box with following "cron" entry

45 5 * * 1-7 remind your_remind_calendar_file | mail your_ID@domain.com -s "Reminder"

So, every day at 5.45AM remind will be executed and the out put will be sent to your e-mail account. This way you can get reminders even while you are travelling!

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