Growl is an extremely flexible user notification system for Mac OS X. It allows graphics and text to be displayed for a user-specified period of time somewhere on the screen. Its abilities include, but are not limited to, notification of: Growl is highly extensible. An API is available to allow developers to build Growl support into their applications. Growl can also be easily invoked by scripts, as it includes a command-line utility that accepts plaintext input. Growl can also be used by plugins to applications; for instance, both Firefox and Thunderbird have plugins (Growl Download Notification and yamb, respectively) which can be used to call Growl. Finally, as Growl's popularity has grown, many third-party software products now come with Growl integration out of the box.

Themes are available to change the appearance of the notification windows, which can be made to appear for whatever length of time is desired by the user. Also, preset actions can be performed when the user clicks on the notification window. The user can also set the desired transparency level of the notification windows.

The Growl package comes with several helpful applets which exemplify Growl functionality. These include:

  • GrowlDict, an OS X Service that displays Dictionary definitions in Growl notifications.
  • GrowlMail, a mail notification applet that integrates with the Apple iLife application.
  • GrowlTunes, a tool which notifies you when the current track playing in iTunes changes
  • HardwareGrowler, a tool which notifies you when hardware devices or network interfaces are connected and disconnected.
  • growlnotify, the command-line interface for Growl
The official Growl website is at


The official Growl website and my own experience as a happy Growl user.

Growl (?), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Growled (?); p. pr. & vb. e. Growling.] [D. grollen to grunt, murmur, be angry; akin to G. grollen to be angry.]

To utter a deep guttural sound, sa an angry dog; to give forth an angry, grumbling sound.



© Webster 1913.

Growl, v. t.

To express by growling.



© Webster 1913.

Growl, n.

The deep, threatening sound made by a surly dog; a grumbling sound.


© Webster 1913.

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