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notify-osd compliance If you want to monitor a blog for new article update, a great way is to subscribe to its RSS feed and get notified instantly when it updates its content. What if you want to monitor more than just a blog, such as a static website, your email account, a file and you are a Linux user? In that case, Specto could come in handy.

Specto is a Linux-based desktop application that allows you to watch for configurable events and get notified instantly when updates are available. Things that you can monitor include websites, emails, files/folders, system processes and connection ports.

The way Specto works is very easy. If you are monitoring a particular website, like your Facebook account for new messages on your wall, Specto grabs the file size of that site at regular interval and compares it with the previous version. If there are any changes, it will notify you via an unobtrusive popup at the corner of the system taskbar. You can define an error margin so that Specto won’t notify you for small changes to the site (such as rotating ads).

Specto is available as a package in the software repository of most Linux distro, so Linux users shouldn’t have much difficulty in installing it in your system.

After you have installed it, you can easily add events via its interface window. There are only several simple configurations so anyone, even if you have no technical knowledge, can use it easily.

To monitor a website, you just have to enter the name of the event, the update interval and the website’s URL. As mentioned above, you can set the error margin at the bottom of the window.



Specto comes with native support for Gmail, which means you can simply enter your username and password and have it notify you when new mails arrived. If you are using other email accounts, you will have to configure the POP3 or IMAP account accordingly.


If you want to monitor a particular file/folder, system processes or ports, the configuration process is the same as the above steps.

Whenever there is an update to the event that you are watching, Specto will popup a notification message just below its icon at the task bar. If you are using Ubuntu Jaunty, it also support the NotifyOSD feature.

Import/Export feature

What if you are using multiple computers but want to maintain the same setting and watch the same events throughout every computer? Specto comes with the import/export feature where you can easily and quickly export your configuration file in one machine and import it in another machine.


This may not be the “˜must-have‘ application in your Linux machine, but if you are currently spending a lot of time monitoring some mundane but important stuff on the Web or your network files, you can be sure that Specto is going to make your life much easier.

What do you currently have Specto or any other applications monitoring? Let us know how you did it, in the comments.

  1. chanklor
    June 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    thanks, problem solved.

  2. Vadim
    June 1, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    You need to install the latest version from their PPA:

    And I use it too. Great thing.

  3. chanklor
    May 28, 2009 at 12:47 am

    same problem
    i can't get it to use the new jaunty notifications... :(
    does anyone knows how to?

  4. Dim
    May 27, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    does anyone see those new cool notifications on Jaunty using this app? I get alerts only.

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