Wakeup: An Alarm Clock That Tells You What’s Going On [Linux]

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alarm clock in linuxWake up to your computer telling you what’s going on. Whether you want to know the weather or how many emails you need to respond to, Linux application Wakeup can start up your powered-off computer and announce a variety of things.

We’ve profiled a few alarm programs before, but Wakeup is unique. First, it can read a variety of information to you, pulled straight from the web, in a computerized voice. Second, it can, depending on your BIOS, boot your computer in order to do so, meaning you don’t need to leave your computer on all night just to hear your alarm. Keeping your computer off at night saves energy and keeps your computer working longer.

With the ability to recite everything from your incoming emails to your task list to the latest headlines on any website, Wakeup is an efficient, if somewhat disconcerting, way to wake up each morning.

Set Up Wakeup

Start Wakeup for the first time and you’ll see the main interface. Basically, you have the chance to write a sentence:

alarm clock in linux

You can write whatever you want. For example: you could just have it say “Good morning, you splendid specimen of a human being. Continue being awesome!” But that’s not very useful.

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What is useful however, are the various words you see preceded by dollar signs in the screenshot above. These are essentially commands, allowing Wakeup to find a bit of information it can read to you. For example: “$gmail” tells you how many unread email messages are waiting for you, and “$temperature” lets you know the current temperature. “$todo” and “$schedule” pulls your task list and calendar from Evolution.

String together a sentence, then click the “Play” button to hear how it will sound. You might want to play with this in order to build the right sentence, but that’s half the fun!

Configure Sources

In order to use these various plugins, of course, you will need to do some configuration. Head to the preferences for that:

linux alarm clock

Enter your email address and password to configure Gmail, for example. Add whatever RSS feed you’d like to hear headlines read to you from. Explore the options and you’ll get the idea quickly.

Set A Time

Naturally, for this to function as an alarm clock, you’ll need to set what time you want to wake up. Head to the main tab of the preferences page for that:

alarm clock in linux

Need to wake up at different times on different days? No problem; you can configure this at the bottom of the main screen. Add multiple alarms and you’re good to go.

Install Wakeup

Ready to install and try WakeUp? Ubuntu users can simply click here to install Wakeup. Users of other Linux distributions should check their package manager.

Can’t find anything? Find Wakeup’s official page here, complete with source code which you can compile on other systems, if you’re talented enough. Sadly this program is almost impossible to Google.

How do you like Wakeup? I’ll be hanging around in the comments below, so feel free to join me and talk about it.

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