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

Justin Pot 17-11-2011

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.


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.

Related topics: Digital Alarm Clock, Time Management.

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  1. aaronfranke
    May 4, 2016 at 4:51 am

    Is it possible to insert the output of a command into the text field? I want to have the output of the "fortune" command read to me in the morning!

  2. digital alarm clocks
    May 11, 2012 at 4:26 am

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  3. Garybo
    January 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I am new to Linux and Ubuntu.  Only had installed a couple of weeks.
    I have installed Wake up and everything seems to work fine when I test it with the play button.  Problem is it doesn't turn on my computer in the mornings.  What do I need here?  Any help would be appreciated.  I would really like for this to work.

    • jhpot
      January 25, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      It won't necessarily work with every computer; it depends on the BIOS. For me it worked on a desktop but not a laptop.

  4. Carlos Oliva Wong
    November 25, 2011 at 3:08 am

    Hello, this can be installed on Fedora 16?

    • jhpot
      November 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm

      There's no easy-to-install package, but the source code is linked to above. Sorry I can't do more!

  5. BSK_1
    November 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I've been using Audacious alarm plugin till now but this is so far the best alarm app I ever used!!!Thnx for recomendation...

    • jhpot
      November 18, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      Glad you like it. What information do you have it reading to you?

  6. Anonymous
    November 18, 2011 at 2:53 am

    clicking on the install link I get "Package not found" Synaptic and Ubuntu Software center can not find it either.

  7. Macfan95
    November 17, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Running Ubuntu 11.04, doesn't seem to be in software center. Any help? 

    • Frank C 60
      November 17, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      same, where is the package, to install ?

      • jhpot
        November 18, 2011 at 7:07 pm

        Looks like it was added to the repos with Ubuntu 11.10; I didn't realize this. I can't find a package for older versions either, so you'll need to upgrade to 11.10 or compile yourself to get this working. Sorry!

  8. Mokikia3
    November 17, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    is there one for win7? thx

    • jhpot
      November 18, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      I don't know of anything like this for Windows 7, but you could ask on MakeUseOf Answers. I bet someone there does!