I am trying to configure ERC to give me a desktop notification when any message is sent in particular channels.

I looked through the code of both erc-desktop-notifications.el and erc-notify.el and neither of these packages support this feature.

It seems that I could potentially edit the erc-notifications-PRIVMSG function from erc-desktop-notifications.el to add the desired feature, however I am not able to figure out how to detect the current channel name from this function.

I was wondering if anybody knows of a way that this can be done.

Here is the definition of erc-notifications-PRIVMSG:

(defun erc-notifications-PRIVMSG (_proc parsed)
  (let ((nick (car (erc-parse-user (erc-response.sender parsed))))
        (target (car (erc-response.command-args parsed)))
        (msg (erc-response.contents parsed)))
    (when (and (erc-current-nick-p target)
               (not (and (boundp 'erc-track-exclude)
                         (member nick erc-track-exclude)))
               (not (erc-is-message-ctcp-and-not-action-p msg)))
      (erc-notifications-notify nick msg t)))
  ;; Return nil to continue processing by ERC

(please note this is cross-posted from reddit)

1 Answer 1


The target is exactly what you want. It will be channel-name or username based on whether it's a direct message to you.

You can add the following line (message "%S %S" parsed (car (erc-response.command-args parsed))) to the function define-erc-response-handler (PRIVMSG NOTICE) in erc-backend.el (3rd line in the following):

(define-erc-response-handler (PRIVMSG NOTICE)
  "Handle private messages, including messages in channels." nil
  (message "%S %S" parsed (car (erc-response.command-args parsed)))
  (let ((sender-spec (erc-response.sender parsed))
        (cmd (erc-response.command parsed))
        (tgt (car (erc-response.command-args parsed)))
        (msg (erc-response.contents parsed)))
    (if (or (erc-ignored-user-p sender-spec)
            (erc-ignored-reply-p msg tgt proc))
        (when erc-minibuffer-ignored
          (message "Ignored %s from %s to %s" cmd sender-spec tgt))
      (let* ((sndr (erc-parse-user sender-spec))
             (nick (nth 0 sndr))
             (login (nth 1 sndr))
             (host (nth 2 sndr))
             (msgp (string= cmd "PRIVMSG"))
             (noticep (string= cmd "NOTICE"))
             ;; S.B. downcase *both* tgt and current nick
             (privp (erc-current-nick-p tgt))
             s buffer
        (setf (erc-response.contents parsed) msg)
        (setq buffer (erc-get-buffer (if privp nick tgt) proc))
        (when buffer
          (with-current-buffer buffer
            ;; update the chat partner info.  Add to the list if private
            ;; message.  We will accumulate private identities indefinitely
            ;; at this point.
            (erc-update-channel-member (if privp nick tgt) nick nick
                                       privp nil nil nil nil nil host login nil nil t)
            (let ((cdata (erc-get-channel-user nick)))
              (setq fnick (funcall erc-format-nick-function
                                   (car cdata) (cdr cdata))))))
         ((erc-is-message-ctcp-p msg)
          (setq s (if msgp
                      (erc-process-ctcp-query proc parsed nick login host)
                    (erc-process-ctcp-reply proc parsed nick login host
                                            (match-string 1 msg)))))
          (setcar erc-server-last-peers nick)
          (setq s (erc-format-privmessage
                   (or fnick nick) msg
                   ;; If buffer is a query buffer,
                   ;; format the nick as for a channel.
                   (and (not (and buffer
                                  (erc-query-buffer-p buffer)
        (when s
          (if (and noticep privp)
                (run-hook-with-args 'erc-echo-notice-always-hook
                                    s parsed buffer nick)
                 'erc-echo-notice-hook s parsed buffer nick))
            (erc-display-message parsed nil buffer s)))
        (when (string= cmd "PRIVMSG")
          (erc-auto-query proc parsed))))))

You will see from the message area that tgt is exactly what you want. It's exactly target in erc-notifications-PRIVMSG you post.

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