irssi, screen, and growl… Nerdy goodness.

At $dayjob, we use IRC a lot. Most everyone runs irssi in screen, so they can re-attach whenever and whereever and not miss out on important info. Today I thought to myself “Surely SOMEONE is doing irssi in screen and wants growl notifications”. As ridiculous as it sounds, someone was. I took their approach, briefly outlined below, and customized it a little to make me happy. For this to work, you need Growl and GrowlNotify installed on the Mac. Jabba, if you read this, I didn’t figure you’d mind the rewrite here :)

  1. On both: Cut a hole in the box. By this I mean “Set up ssh keys to access the box.” If you aren’t running with passwordless ssh keys, make sure you are using something like “ssh-agent bash” as your default terminal window
  2. On remote: Download Justins script from . Install it in ~/.irssi/scripts/ , then symlink it into ~/.irssi/scripts/autorun/ :
    mkdir -p ~/.irssi/scripts/autorun && cd ~/.irssi/scripts/ && wget && unzip && ln -s autorun/
    If you don’t want to quit irssi for this procedure, do this:
    /script load
  3. On local(Mac): Make a local script named “” in ~/bin/ . Put this in it and chmod 755that bad boy:
    # $argv = %r %h

    # Kill all current fnotify sessions
    ps | awk '{if($0 ~ /fnotify/ && $1 ~ /[0-9]+/ && $4 !~ /awk/) print $1}' |
    while read id; do
    kill $id

    # SSH to host, clear file and listen for notifications
    (ssh -q $1@$2 -o PermitLocalCommand=no "> .irssi/fnotify; tail -f .irssi/fnotify" |
    while read heading message; do
    growlnotify -t "${heading}" -m "${message}";

  4. On local put something like this in ~/.ssh/config:
    Host remotehost
    PermitLocalCommand yes
    LocalCommand ~/bin/ %r %h

Next time you ssh to the box, this second ssh session will start silently in the background, reading the ~/.irssi/fnotify file and outputting new lines to Growl.  Pretty cool!

April 17, 2012 • Posted in: FOSS, How-To, Linux, OSX, Technology

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