KAlarm - A Handy App that Gets Little Attention

by Susan Linton - May. 25, 2011Comments (5)

kalarmThere are a few applications that are so handy as to be almost indispensable and yet seem to get very little attention. Some applications are written of time and time again. But I've seen very little on KAlarm. Perhaps it's because KOrganizer Reminder Daemon is integrated into KDE PIM and seems rather full-featured. But whatever the reason, I personally use KAlarm for my reminders.

I use KAlarm quite a bit because I don't have a hard-fast 9 to 5 schedule. So when I make an appointment it can be difficult to remember. That's where KAlarm comes in.

Unlike KOrganizer it doesn't revolve around a daily calendar. Instead one just sets up reminders. I might use it to remind me of doctor or hair appointments, family get-togethers, favors I've committed to, or just anything that could get lost in my day to day routine.

The nicest feature is the choice of alarm. You can send an email reminder, run a command alarm, use a display alarm, or set an audio alarm. Email alarms can be sent to yourself or someone else, so it can be used to set up a future email to anyone. These are particularly handy. I send myself an email to remind me of upcoming appointment usually. You can set them to be sent out at a certain day and time. I like to have email set up so it will arrive the morning several hours before the appointment so I have time to get ready and get there. Sometimes I send one the night before so I can prepare.

The audio alarm is great as a more traditional alarm clock. If I need to get up earlier than I think I might, I can set up an audio alarm to go off at a particular time. The only problem I've encountered is that once you tick the Repeat box, there doesn't seem be a way to shut it up until you kill the whole app. I'm sure there is, but I just try to use a sound that's loud and long enough to wake me with one play.

The display alarm will display some text, run a command or script, or display some file contents. I'm not sure when I might ever use that, but it's probably handy for someone - someone who needs a silent alarm while using the computer. But you can set up a sound or beep to accompany the display alarms if desired.




The command alarm triggers a command. This could be used to run nightly backups among many other things. Really, the possibilities are wide open on this one (and that same component of the display alarm). I've just never used it.




There is a "Recurrence" tab on the configuration screens. There are settings for volume and fade for the sounds. The display alarm has font and color settings. You can set up templates for alarm types you might use repeatedly. You can import alarm files and birthday stores from KAddressBook.

For one of those smaller less flashy K apps, KAlarm sure is appreciated here. Thank you, David Jarvie.

Abhijit Prabhudan uses OStatic to support Open Source, ask and answer questions and stay informed. What about you?


Solution to the audio alarm cancellation issue: I use Kalarm all the time, great app as you noticed. I set my alarms up as Display Alarms with a sound to be played at the same time. When the alarm goes off, a box pops up with whatever message you set up and the option to Close (kill), Edit, or Defer is given. There is your opportunity to kill the alarm without closing the entire application. Works for me!!

0 Votes

I use KAlarm all the time too. For reminders, backups, lower the volume on my fall-a-sleep-podcasts etc.

A great and handy little tool

0 Votes

Thanks for your review - I'm glad you find KAlarm useful.

The solution to your problem of how to stop an audio alarm from playing, when it has no associated display alarm, is to right click on KAlarm's system tray icon and select the Stop Play option. Alternatively, choose Actions -> Stop Play in KAlarm's main window menu.

1 Votes

This cute little alarm has made my life simpler. I use it specially for reminders and nothing more than this as of now..its simplicity of interface is what I liked most.

1 Votes

I'm a long-time user of KAlarm and love it... simple, but sweet. I experienced a similar "issue" with the audio alarm, but got around it by setting a script alarm and have it launch my music player each morning, which automatically begins playing an album (I use foobar2000 through Wine so that I don't have to set up my usual Linux player every night).

Thanks David, for the great tool!

0 Votes
Share Your Comments

If you are a member, to have your comment attributed to you. If you are not yet a member, Join OStatic and help the Open Source community by sharing your thoughts, answering user questions and providing reviews and alternatives for projects.

Promote Open Source Knowledge by sharing your thoughts, listing Alternatives and Answering Questions!