Flashing taskbar with PuTTY + irssi + screen

As quite many people do, I use to IRC using screen + irssi on my server, which I connect to using PuTTY. A little while ago I went out to find a way to make PuTTY’s taskbar flash when I was hilighted. It wasn’t trivial to find the information on how to do it (it took me some time), so I though I could share it:

In irssi:
/set bell_beeps on

And in putty:
Go to Terminal -> Bell in the settings, and set “Taskbar/caption indication on bell” to Flashing or Steady (whichever you prefer).

That should be it, and don’t forget to save the session settings in PuTTY so you don’t have to change them every time you connect ;) .

9 thoughts on “Flashing taskbar with PuTTY + irssi + screen”

  1. If you’re using xterm you can put

    XTerm*bellIsUrgent: true

    in your ~/.Xdefaults file and the taskbar will flash when you receive a bell (should work with most window managers).

  2. This is nice! Been looking for easy instructions for something like this. I tried this and it works as expected when you have irssi shown as the window on screen. I set this up to have a sound play as well. So when I get hilighted, I hear a sound, even when putty is minimized. Pretty cool.

    However, if you have another window open in screen, other than irssi, then you will only see “Window in bell 0” and no flashing in putty (and therefore no sound). Is this something you can confirm? Is there a way around this other than keeping irssi as the open window in screen?

  3. If you want screen to beep when a bell character is sent in one of its background windows you can add
    bell_msg 'Bell in window %n ^G'
    to your screenrc. The important part here is ^G which tells screen to send the bell character, and %n will be replaced by the number of the window that sent the bell.

    To apply it it to a screen session that is already running, do:
    ^A :bell_msg 'Bell in window %n ^G'

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