By default urlwatch(1) prints out information about changes to standard output, which is your terminal if you run it interactively. If running via cron(8) or another scheduler service, it depends on how the scheduler is configured.

You can enable one or more additional reporters that are used to send change notifications. Please note that most reporters need additional dependencies installed.

See Configuration on how to edit the configuration.

To send a test notification, use the --test-reporter command-line option with the name of the reporter:

urlwatch --test-reporter stdout

This will create a test report with new, changed, unchanged and error notifications (only the ones configured in display in the Configuration will be shown in the report) and send it via the stdout reporter (if it is enabled).

To test if your e-mail reporter is configured correctly, you can use:

urlwatch --test-reporter email

Any reporter that is configured and enabled can be tested.

If the notification does not work, check your configuration and/or add the --verbose command-line option to show detailed debug logs.

Built-in reporters

The list of built-in reporters can be retrieved using:

urlwatch --features

At the moment, the following reporters are built-in:

  • discord: Send a message to a Discord channel

  • email: Send summary via e-mail / SMTP / sendmail

  • ifttt: Send summary via IFTTT

  • mailgun: Send e-mail via the Mailgun service

  • matrix: Send a message to a room using the Matrix protocol

  • mattermost: Send a message to a Mattermost channel

  • prowl: Send a detailed notification via

  • pushbullet: Send summary via

  • pushover: Send summary via

  • shell: Pipe a message to a shell command

  • slack: Send a message to a Slack channel

  • stdout: Print summary on stdout (the console)

  • telegram: Send a message using Telegram

  • xmpp: Send a message using the XMPP Protocol


You can configure urlwatch to send real time notifications about changes via Pushover. To enable this, ensure you have the chump python package installed (see Dependencies). Then edit your config (urlwatch --edit-config) and enable pushover. You will also need to add to the config your Pushover user key and a unique app key (generated by registering urlwatch as an application on your Pushover account.

You can send to a specific device by using the device name, as indicated when you add or view your list of devices in the Pushover console. For example device:  'MyPhone', or device: 'MyLaptop'. To send to all of your devices, set device: null in your config (urlwatch --edit-config) or leave out the device configuration completely.

Setting the priority is possible via the priority config option, which can be lowest, low, normal, high or emergency. Any other setting (including leaving the option unset) maps to normal.


Pushbullet notifications are configured similarly to Pushover (see above). You’ll need to add to the config your Pushbullet Access Token, which you can generate at


Telegram notifications are configured using the Telegram Bot API. For this, you’ll need a Bot API token and a chat id (see Sample configuration:

  bot_token: '999999999:3tOhy2CuZE0pTaCtszRfKpnagOG8IQbP5gf' # your bot api token
  chat_id: '88888888' # the chat id where the messages should be sent
  enabled: true

Messages can be sent silently (silent) if you prefer notifications with no sounds, and monospace formatted (monospace). By default notifications are not silent and no formatting is done.

  # ...
  silent: true # message is sent silently
  monospace: true # display message as pre-formatted code block

To set up Telegram, from your Telegram app, chat up BotFather (New Message, Search, “BotFather”), then say /newbot and follow the instructions. Eventually it will tell you the bot token (in the form seen above, <number>:<random string>) - add this to your config file.

You can then click on the link of your bot, which will send the message /start. At this point, you can use the command urlwatch --telegram-chats to list the private chats the bot is involved with. This is the chat ID that you need to put into the config file as chat_id. You may add multiple chat IDs as a YAML list:

  bot_token: '999999999:3tOhy2CuZE0pTaCtszRfKpnagOG8IQbP5gf' # your bot api token
    - '11111111'
    - '22222222'
  enabled: true

Don’t forget to also enable the reporter.


Slack notifications are configured using “Slack Incoming Webhooks”. Here is a sample configuration:

  webhook_url: ''
  enabled: true

To set up Slack, from you Slack Team, create a new app and activate “Incoming Webhooks” on a channel, you’ll get a webhook URL, copy it into the configuration as seen above.


Mattermost notifications are set up the same way as Slack notifications, the webhook URL is different:

  webhook_url: 'http://{your-mattermost-site}/hooks/XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX'
  enabled: true

See Incoming Webooks in the Mattermost documentation for details.


Discord notifications are configured using “Discord Incoming Webhooks”. Here is a sample configuration:

   webhook_url: ''
   enabled: true
   embed: true
   colored: true
   subject: '{count} changes: {jobs}'

To set up Discord, from your Discord Server settings, select Integration and then create a “New Webhook”, give the webhook a name to post under, select a channel, push “Copy Webhook URL” and paste it into the configuration as seen above.

Embedded content might be easier to read and identify individual reports. Subject precedes the embedded report and is only used when embed is true.

When colored is true reports will be embedded in code section (with diff syntax) to enable colors.


To configure IFTTT events, you need to retrieve your key from here:

The URL shown in “Account Info” has the following format:{key}

In this URL, {key} is your API key. The configuration should look like this (you can pick any event name you want):

  enabled: true
  key: aA12abC3D456efgHIjkl7m
  event: event_name_you_want

The event will contain three values in the posted JSON:

  • value1: The type of change (new, changed, unchanged or error)

  • value2: The name of the job (name key in jobs.yaml)

  • value3: The location of the job (url, command or navigate key in jobs.yaml)

These values will be passed on to the Action in your Recipe.


You can have notifications sent to you through the Matrix protocol.

To achieve this, you first need to register a Matrix account for the bot on any homeserver.

You then need to acquire an access token and room ID, using the following instructions adapted from this guide:

  1. Open in a private browsing window

  2. Register/Log in as your bot, using its user ID and password.

  3. Set the display name and avatar, if desired.

  4. In the settings page, select the “Help & About” tab, scroll down to the bottom and click Access Token: <click to reveal>.

  5. Copy the highlighted text to your configuration.

  6. Join the room that you wish to send notifications to.

  7. Go to the Room Settings (gear icon) and copy the Internal Room ID from the bottom.

  8. Close the private browsing window but do not log out, as this invalidates the Access Token.

Here is a sample configuration:

  access_token: "YOUR_TOKEN_HERE"
  room_id: "!"
  enabled: true

You will probably want to use the following configuration for the markdown reporter, if you intend to post change notifications to a public Matrix room, as the messages quickly become noisy:

  details: false
  footer: false
  minimal: true
  enabled: true

E-Mail via sendmail

You can send email via the system’s sendmail command provided by the MTA. You need to set method: sendmail in the config file:

    enabled: true
    from: ''
    to: ''
    method: sendmail

E-Mail via GMail SMTP

You need to configure your GMail account to allow for “less secure” (password-based) apps to login:

  1. Go to

  2. Click on “Sign-in & security”

  3. Scroll all the way down to “Allow less secure apps” and enable it

You do not want to do this with your primary GMail account, but rather on a separate account that you create just for sending mails via urlwatch. Allowing less secure apps and storing the password (even if it’s in the keychain) is not good security practice for your primary account.

Now, start the configuration editor:

urlwatch --edit-config

These are the keys you need to configure:

    enabled: true
    method: smtp
      auth: true
      port: 587
      starttls: true

The password is best stored in your keychain, and not in the config file. To store the password, run:

urlwatch --smtp-login

This will query your password, check the login, and store it in your keychain. Subsequent runs will use this password for logging in.

E-Mail via Amazon Simple E-Mail Service (SES)

Same as the GMail configuration above, but use e.g. as the SMTP host, and username and port settings according to SES’s login page.

SMTP login without keyring

If for whatever reason you cannot use a keyring to store your password (for example, when using it from a cron job) you can also set the insecure_password option in the SMTP config:

      auth: true
      insecure_password: secret123

The insecure_password key will be preferred over the data stored in the keyring. Please note that as the name says, storing the password as plaintext in the configuration is insecure and bad practice, but for an e-mail account that’s only dedicated for sending mails this might be a way. Never ever use this with your primary e-mail account! Seriously! Create a throw-away GMail (or other) account just for sending out those e-mails or use local sendmail with a mail server configured instead of relying on SMTP and password auth.

Note that this makes it really easy for your password to be picked up by software running on your machine, by other users logged into the system and/or for the password to appear in log files accidentally.


You can have notifications sent to you through the XMPP protocol.

To achieve this, you should register a new XMPP account that is just used for urlwatch.

Here is a sample configuration:

  enabled: true
  sender: "BOT_ACCOUNT_NAME"
  recipient: "YOUR_ACCOUNT_NAME"

The password is not stored in the config file, but in your keychain. To store the password, run: urlwatch --xmpp-login and enter your password.

If for whatever reason you cannot use a keyring to store your password you can also set the insecure_password option in the XMPP config. For more information about the security implications, see SMTP login without keyring.


You can have notifications sent to you through the Prowl push notification service, to receive the notification on iOS.

To achieve this, you should register a new Prowl account, and have the Prowl application installed on your iOS device.

To create an API key for urlwatch:

  1. Log into the Prowl website at

  2. Navigate to the “API Keys” tab.

  3. Scroll to the “Generate a new API key” section.

  4. Give the key a note that will remind you you’ve used it for urlwatch.

  5. Press “Generate Key”

  6. Copy the resulting key.

Here is a sample configuration:

  enabled: true
  api_key: '<your api key here>'
  priority: 2
  application: 'urlwatch example'
  subject: '{count} changes: {jobs}'

The “subject” field is similar to the subject field in the email, and will be used as the name of the Prowl event. The application is prepended to the event and shown as the source of the event in the Prowl App.


This is a simple reporter that pipes the text report notification to a command of your choice. The command is run using Python’s subprocess.Popen() with shell=False (to avoid possibly-unwanted shell expansion). Of course, you can create your own shell script that does shell expansion and other things, and call that from the command.

The key ignore_stdout (defaults to true) can be used to ignore any output the program writes on stdout. The key ignore_stderr (defaults to false) can be used to ignore any output the program writes on stderr.

If stdout/stderr are not ignored, urlwatch will log any possible output in its --verbose log.

The report written to stdin of the process is based on the output of the text reporter, configuring the text reporter will adjust the data sent to the shell reporter.

For example, to simply append reports to a file, configure it like this:

  enabled: true
  command: ['tee', '-a', '/path/to/log.txt']
  ignore_stdout: true