Growl for Windows - How to set up forwarding

Forward to another Windows machine

On the receiving machine

On the Security tab, you must make sure 'Allow network notifications' is checked. Also, at least one password must be added to the Password Manager.

On the forwarding machine

On the Network tab, you must make sure 'Forward notifications to other computers' is checked. Click the green + icon to bring up the 'Forward Notifications' dialog window. If the machine you want to forward to is detected by Bonjour, it will be listed and you can click on it. Otherwise, click the 'Click here to manually add a computer that is not in this list' option.

Enter a friendly name for the computer that you want to forward to - this is just for your reference and does not need to be the actual computer name. Then enter the computer name or IP address of the computer you wish to forward to - this value must be reachable from the forwarding machine. The Port value should be set to 23053, which is the standard GNTP port. The Format value should be set to 'GNTP'. You must enter a value for the Password, and it match the value that you set up in the Password Manager on the receiving computer. Note that if the computer you are forwarding to was detected by Bonjour, some options will already be set properly for you.

Click the Save button and the computer should show up in the list of forward destinations. Make sure the checkbox next to the item is checked so that it is enabled.

At this point, any notifications received will be forwarded to the receiving machine. To only forward specific notifications or to only forward to a subset of the destinations listed, see Limit Forwarding by Application or Notification Type.

Note: Notifications forwarded in this manner use TCP port 23053, so if you have firewall software installed (including the built-in Windows Firewall), you must make sure this port is allowed on the receiving machine. Also, if you are forwarding beyond your local network, you need to make sure any routers are configured to allow traffic on that port.

Forward to Growl on a Mac

On the receiving Mac

On the Network tab, make sure 'Listen for incoming notifications' is checked. Make sure 'Allow remote application registrations' is also checked. You do not have to set a password, but if you do, you will have to specify on the sending machine as well.

On the forwarding machine

On the Network tab, you must make sure 'Forward notifications to other computers' is checked. Click the green + icon to bring up the 'Forward Notifications' dialog window. Click the 'Click here to manually add a computer that is not in this list' option.

Enter a friendly name for the computer that you want to forward to - this is just for your reference and does not need to be the actual computer name. Then enter the computer name or IP address of the computer you wish to forward to - this value must be reachable from the forwarding machine. The Port value should be set to 9887, which is the Growl network protocol's UDP port. The Format value should be set to 'UDP'. If you set a password on the Mac side, you must enter the same value for the Password here, otherwise, leave the Password field empty.

Click the Save button and the computer should show up in the list of forward destinations. Make sure the checkbox next to the item is checked so that it is enabled.

At this point, any notifications received will be forwarded to the receiving Mac. To only forward specific notifications or to only forward to a subset of the destinations listed, see Limit Forwarding by Application or Notification Type

Note: Notifications forwarded in this manner use UDP port 9887, so you must make sure this port is open on your Mac. Also, if you are forwarding beyond your local network, you need to make sure any routers are configured to allow traffic on that port.

Forward from Growl on a Mac to Growl for Windows

At this time, Growl for the Mac does not support forwarding to non-Mac clients. Growl/Mac uses Cocoa's Distributed Objects to handle its forwarding, which is a Mac-only technology. A new version of Growl/Mac is in development that uses the same GNTP protocol as Growl for Windows, so notifications will be able to be forwarded in either direction.

Forward to iPhone (Prowl)

On the Prowl website

Create an account on the Prowl website (https://prowl.weks.net/register.php). Go to the Settings page and copy your API Key - if you have not yet done so, you may first have to generate the key.

On the iPhone

Purchase and install the Prowl application on your iPhone or iPod Touch. The first time Prowl is run, it will ask you to enter your Prowl username and password - these are the same values you used to create your account on the Prowl website.

If you enter your credentials properly, the Prowl app will open. If you check back on the Prowl website under the Devices tab, your device should now be registered. (If it is not, then you must fix this issue before continuing.)

In Growl for Windows

On the Network tab, you must make sure 'Forward notifications to other computers' is checked. Click the green + icon to bring up the 'Forward Notifications' dialog window. Click the 'Click here to forward notifications to an iPhone' option.

Enter a friendly name for the device that you want to forward to - this is just for your reference and does not need to be the actual device name. Enter your Prowl API Key that you got from the Prowl website. You can optionally set the preferences regarding priority and idle time as well.

Click the Save button and the device should show up in the list of forward destinations. Make sure the checkbox next to the item is checked so that it is enabled.

If you have everything configured properly, you will get a confirmation alert on your device

Note: Notifications forwarded in this manner are posted to the Prowl servers using SSL. If you are behind a proxy server, you must make sure that web-based SSL traffic on port 443 is allowed. (Growl for Windows will automatically use your IE proxy settings by default - if you need to use custom proxy settings, check the Growl Proxy Support page.)

Forward to Twitter

In Growl for Windows

On the Network tab, you must make sure 'Forward notifications to other computers' is checked. Click the green + icon to bring up the 'Forward Notifications' dialog window. Click the 'Click here to forward notifications to Twitter' option.

Enter your Twitter username and password. You can optionally set the preferences regarding priority and idle time as well. To change what notification information is posted to Twitter, see Twitter Message Formats

Click the Save button and your Twitter account should show up in the list of forward destinations. Make sure the checkbox next to the item is checked so that it is enabled.

Nothing needs to be done on the Twitter side to enable receiving forwarded tweets.

Note: Notifications forwarded in this manner are posted to the Twitter servers using HTTP. If you are behind a proxy server, you must make sure that web-based HTTP traffic on port 80 is allowed. (Growl for Windows will automatically use your IE proxy settings by default. - if you need to use custom proxy settings, check the Growl Proxy Support page.)

Note: There is a possibility to create an endless loop using this method. If you are using Witty, Trowl, or or another Growl-compatible Twitter program to alert you of new tweets, and then you also set up forwarding to that Twitter account, notifications will come in and get forwarded to Twitter, which will send a Growl alert, which will get forwarded to Twitter, which will send a Growl alert, which will...you get the picture. One solution would be to disable forwarding for specific types of notifications so that your Twitter notifications are not forwarded to Twitter.

Twitter Message Formats

You can use the Format field to control what information is sent to Twitter. The following special placeholders can be used; anything not inside curly brackets is treated as a literal:

{APPNAME} - the name of the application that sent the notification
{TITLE} - the notification title
{TEXT} - the notification text
{PRIORITY} - the priority of the notification
{SENDER} - the name of the machine where the notification originated

Examples:

Application: System Monitor
Title: Ping failed
Text: The host 'my server' was not reachable. The response was: TimedOut
Priority: High
Sender: Superman

{APPNAME}: {TITLE} - {TEXT}
System Monitor: Ping failed - The host 'my server' was not reachable. The response was: TimedOut

{APPNAME} says "{TITLE}" - Sent from: {SENDER}
System Monitor says "Ping failed" - Sent from: Superman

Growl : {TEXT} ({PRIORITY})
Growl : The host 'my server' was not reachable. The response was: TimedOut (High)

To send a direct message (DM) to an account, use a format like:
d @username {APPNAME}: {TITLE} - {TEXT}

Forward to Email

In Growl for Windows

On the Network tab, you must make sure 'Forward notifications to other computers' is checked. Click the green + icon to bring up the 'Forward Notifications' dialog window. Click the 'Click here to forward notifications to an email account' option.

Enter a friendly description for the email account. Enter the email address you want to forward to; if you want to forward to multiple email addresses, separate them with a semi-colon. You can optionally set the preferences regarding priority and idle time as well.

In order to forward messages via email, Growl needs to know about your outgoing (SMTP) mail server. To configure your SMTP settings, click the 'edit' link. Your SMTP settings should usually be configured with the same values that your desktop email client uses (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc). If you dont use a desktop email client (ex: use Gmail only) or don't know your SMTP settings, you will have to get them from your ISP.

Click the Save button and your Email account should show up in the list of forward destinations. Make sure the checkbox next to the item is checked so that it is enabled.

Nothing needs to be done in your email client to enable receiving forwarded notifications.

Note: There is a possibility to create an endless loop using this method. If you are using Outlook, Thunderbird, Gmail, or another Growl-compatible email program to alert you of new email, and then you also set up forwarding to that email address, notifications will come in and get forwarded to your email client, which will send a Growl alert, which will get forwarded to your email client, which will send a Growl alert, which will...you get the picture. One solution would be to disable forwarding for specific types of notifications so that your email notifications are not forwarded back to your email account.

Limit Forwarding by Application or Notification Type

When the 'Forward notifications to other computers' option is checked, the default behavior is to forward all notifications that are received. If you would rather only forward notifications for certain applications or notification types, you have two options:

Disable forwarding for specific types of notifications

For any application or notification types that you do not want to ever forward, you can disable forwarding completely. On the Applications tab, select the application and then the notification type you want to disable. (Tip: After selecting an application, select the [All Notifications] notification type to have the settings apply to all notifications associated with that application). Then set the Forwarding preference to Don't Forward.

If you set the Don't Forward preference for the [All Notifications] type, you can still override it for specific notifications types if you desire.

Limit to specific destinations

By default, all notifications that are forwarded are forwarded to all destinations that are enabled. Sometimes it is desirable to forward some notifications to one destination, but forward other notifications to another destination. To handle this scenario, you must perform the following steps:

  1. On the Network tab, uncheck 'Forward notifications to other computers' - this will disable all forwarding for all notifications that are not explicitly configured using the steps below
  2. On the Applications tab, select the application and notification type that you would like to selectively forward. In the Forwarding preference dropdown, pick the 'Choose...' option
  3. Check the boxes next to the specific destinations that you would like to forward to and then click the Save button
  4. Repeat the process for each notification type that you would like to forward to specific destinations

Troubleshooting

If you have properly set up forwarding, but it does not appear to be working, the problem can always be narrowed down to two causes:

  1. The notifications are not being properly sent by the sender, or...
  2. The notifications are not being received by the receiver
It is helpful to determine where the root cause is in order to arrive at the solution.

Determining if notifications are being properly sent

To determine if Growl for Windows is properly sending forwarded notifications, you can enable some diagnostic logging.

These instructions require (a small bit of) technical know-how. If you do not like poking around in log files or launching programs from the command line, you should skip these steps.

By default, logging and debug output are disabled and since it is more of a developer-oriented setting, there there is no UI to turn them on. If you want to enable logging and debug output, you must launch Growl with the following command line parameters:
Growl.exe /log:true /debug:true

Once Growl is running, do some tests to see if the forwarding is working. As you do the tests, Growl will log some information about what it is doing internally that may be helpful in determing what is going on. Once your tests are complete, close Growl completely.

To view the log files, go to '%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Growl\2.0.0.0' (on XP; the path on Vista is similar but slightly different). Inside of the Log folder, there will be a single text file for each notification that was processed by Growl. Open up each one and note any information at the top:

Timestamp: 7/29/2009 12:40:41 AM
Displayed using '[Default]' (iPhone Style)
Not forwarded to Work Email (user@email.com;account@domain.net - ([Any Priority]/Always)) - (disabled)
Not forwarded to My Laptop (GNTP 192.168.1.123:23053 ) - (disabled)
Forwarding to My iPhone (([Any Priority]/Idle Only) - abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz)
Forwarding to Prowl (My iPhone) cancelled - Currently only configured to forward when idle
    

In this case, the notification was not forwarded to either 'My Laptop' or 'Work Email' because they were disabled via user preference. The notification attempted to be forwarded to 'My iPhone', but the forwarding was cancelled since the Prowl forwarding was set to only forward when idle (and the user was not idle during this test).

If the log file shows that the forwarding was disabled or cancelled, it can easily be fixed by adjusting your settings in Growl. However, if the log file shows that the forwarding did in fact take place, there is one more place to check for clues. In the same '%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Growl\2.0.0.0' location, there should be a file called 'debug.txt'. This file will contain any information that was gathered after the notification was passed off to the forwarded destination. For example, when forwarding to Prowl or Twitter, it contains the response from their servers.

7/28/2009 11:14:12 PM Prowl forwarding response: <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><prowl><success code="200" remaining="999" resetdate="1248851702" /></prowl>
7/29/2009 12:01:09 AM Prowl forwarding failed: The remote server returned an error: (401) Unauthorized.
    

In the first case, the Prowl forwarding succeeded; the Prowl server returned a 'success' response. That means that Prowl accepted the notification and if it did not arrive on your device, the problem is downstream of the Prowl servers (device not registered, device has no connectivity, Prowl app not configured properly, iPhone push notifications disabled or misconfigured, etc). In the second case, the Prowl forwarding failed after it was sent to the Prowl servers. In this particular case, the response was a '401 - Unauthorized', which usually means that the API Key was incorrect (and thus Prowl was unable to authorize the request since it didn't know which user was connecting).

Other types of forwarding will have different output, but in any case, it can help determine how far the notification got in the forwarding process. If the debug log indicates a success, then the failure is downstream from Growl and it is time to shift gears from 'why was the notification not sent' to 'why was the notification not received'.

Determining if notifications are being properly received

If the log files show that Growl for Windows is properly sending the forwarded notifications, then the problem lays downstream from there. You can start to work forward toward the destination until you find the source of the problem:

  • Are your settings correct? Double check any IP addresses, your Prowl API Key, your Twitter username and password, or your SMTP settings.
  • Are the necessary ports for the specific forwarding type open to outgoing communication?
  • Are the necessary ports on the receiving side open to allow incoming communication?
  • Are any proxy settings required and are they configured properly?
  • Is any firewall software configured to allow the required traffic?
  • Are all intermediate destinations configured properly? For example, is your device properly registered with the Prowl website?
  • Is the receiving app getting the notification? If available, try enabling any logging options on the receiving end.

Determing how to check each of these and outlining how to fix any issues is beyond the scope of this document and Growl in general. It is usually advisable to try to isolate each piece and test it individually to rule it out as a culprit. Once each piece has been ruled out, the simple process of elimination will lead you to the root cause.