picture of Josh Dzielak in 2016

Hi! I'm Josh Dzielak, writing here about technology and culture. Find me also on Twitter, Medium, Speakerdeck and Github.

Clickable Growl Notifications for Pivotal Tracker

When your team is greasing through the Pivotal Tracker backlog - adding/updating/finishing multiple stories a minute leading up to that big release - you get a sense for the value that Tracker's real-time web interface offers.

The real-time component affords the conversations that need to take place to avoid all manner of confusion, story duplication, double-starts (a.k.a. 2 Developers 1 Story), priority mix-ups, etc.

However, in my workflow, I'm not always in front of the Tracker web client. So to stay in the loop, I've been using kilt to get Growl notifications about Tracker activities.

kilt pulls your Pivotal Tracker activity feed every 30s or so, and notifies you about new items using Growl, Snarl, or libnotify depending on your platform.

I recently took the time to fork kilt and add a few new features to streamline my workflow.

My Fork

This is my fork of kilt. The features added in this fork:

  • On OSX, clicking the Growl bubble before 10s will open the related Tracker story in the browser. I've found this greatly improves the workflow when you need to respond to a notification.
  • A Pivotal Tracker story 'author' can be specified at installation to skip notifications from - namely you. Specify your exact Pivotal Tracker name (not username). Without this, you get all the notifications of actions that YOU did - very tedious.

To install, download this pre-built gem I created and

gem install /path/to/kilt-0.5.1.gem

After you've installed, run the initialization script and then the process itself:

kilt-install MYPIVOTALTRACKERAPITOKEN "My Tracker Profile Name"

Make sure to substitute your values for the token and the name. Find further instructions at the original README.


Right now, due to a bug in growlnotify, you have to click the notification within 10s to actually have a browser window open for the story. Thankfully, it looks like this bug will be fixed when Growl 1.4 drops.

I tried hard to get this to work using GNTP (including with ruby_gntp and groem). However, on OSX I could not get the handling of the click of the notification to actually trigger, despite many attempts. If you have GNTP w/ callbacks working somewhere, I'd love to see the code!

A big thanks to Diego Carrion for making kilt!