Turn Your Linux Desktop into an Alarm Clock

Several months ago, I posted here a rather geeky tip on how to turn your Linux box into an alarm clock using a Python script. This time, I’ll keep it simple by showing to you some free and open-source programs that you can easily install and use to make your Linux desktop as an alternative or shall I say an improvised alarm clock.

KAlarm is more than just a personal desktop alarm clock application as it can also be used as a notifier, email scheduler, and it can run commands at a specified time. It supports the scheduling of multiple alarm-times and alarm-dates. KAlarm is really easy to use and it has both graphical and command line interface. It is probably available in most Linux distro repositories so there’s no trouble getting and installing it. Here are some screenshots of KAlarm installed on my Ubuntu desktop:

Setting it up

Custom alarm sound

Alarm Clock
Alarm Clock is like KAlarm minus the email scheduler. With it, you can schedule commands, shell scripts, and tasks like locking the screen and shutting the computer down. But since we’re talking about desktop alarm clocks, I would say that "Alarm Clock" is really cool as you can simply use or set any audio files as your alarm sound with it.

Yes, I’m talking about the famous Linux audio player. XMMS has an alarm plugin that could come in handy if you are in need of an easy-to-use desktop alarm clock. See screenshot below to know what I mean:

There are probably other Linux desktop alarm clock applications and utilities that I haven’t heard of, so if you know some, please share it with us via comment.


  1. these worth nothing if my computer is turned off while i'm sleeping :(

  2. Don't forget the 'at' command - you can do something like...
    echo 'xmessage "Hello"'|at 19:00

  3. Don't forget the 'at' command - you can do something like...
    echo 'notify-send "Hello"'|at 19:00

  4. and the mother of all -> CRON

    you can schedule commands and scripts on many fancy ways from a single text file

  5. None of these will do any good if your power saving setting turn off your sound card.

  6. Nice... I have posted 2 alternatives. Both using cron jobs.

  7. And I love to use this one, bit more streamlined, especially with awesomewm and archlinux: