Apple - Get OS X Notification Center State From the Command Line

You actually can find out if the Do Not Disturb is currently enabled or disabled. Notification Center drops a plist in the following location that you can read the value of. Run the following to find the plist file:

ls ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/*.plist

Now, you can read the value from the plist you just found by using:

defaults read ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/

NOTE: your actual filename may be different than what I have listed above.

You will see a key called "doNotDisturb" and it will either have a value of 1 or 0 (enabled or disabled)

You can also change it's status by doing:

defaults write ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/ doNotDisturb 1


defaults write ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/ doNotDisturb 0

To make the change take effect, you'll need to restart Notification Center by typing:

killall NotificationCenter

I've actually written a very simple Automator script so now I can enable/disable the Do Not Disturb for Notification Center with a keyboard shortcut. Very handy. :)

To get the Do not disturb status in Yosemite, just enter the following in your terminal:

defaults read ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/ doNotDisturb

Probably the best way I can think of is to install terminal notifier and send it a message from the terminal.

Install Terminal Notifier

Terminal notifier can be installed through Ruby Gems


sudo gem install terminal-notifier

Send NC a message


terminal-notifier -message "The notification center is running" -title "NC Status"

If notification center is running you'll get a message that says "The notification center is running"