Telegram notifications with unRAID and Docker applications

Telegram notifications with unRAID and Docker applications

Telegram has been a dream come true. I recently discovered the simplicity of setting up a Telegram bot for getting notifications from my server. One of the grievances I’ve had since starting my server journey was the fact that I needed to constantly monitor things like available storage, cache disk usage, new downloads, etc.. I often found out too late when something was going wrong and had to spend some time restoring functionality to the server. I’ve finally found a super simple solution to this problem; A Telegram Bot to send automated notifications.

I’m not going to talk too much about creating or setting up a Telegram bot because I really didn’t spend any time playing with that functionality. What I am going to cover in this post is more about using the Telegram bot API for receiving notifications from unRAID and the various applications I have running like Sonarr, Radarr, and Ombi as well as some general system level stuff like available storage space.


Telegram Setup

There are a few things you need to do with Telegram before you get started with setting up notifications:

  1. Create a Telegram bot
  2. Optional: Create a channel where you’d like to have these notifications sent to. I say this is optional because you can have the messages sent directly to you instead.
  3. Get your channel ID

Create a Telegram bot

To create a bot you’ll need to start a conversation with @BotFather on Telegram. When you start a conversation with this bot you’ll be given a number of options, one of which is /newbot. You just send this command to the bot, follow the prompts on screen, and you’re done! It’s literally that easy to get started with your first Telegram bot. As proof here’s a screenshot of my conversation:

The end of the last message (which I’ve hidden) will provide you with your private bot API token. You will need to record this long string of characters for use later on.

Create your Telegram channel

As mentioned above this step is optional, but I would recommend it if you want to add additional users for notifications, or additional bots for other purposes. In my scenario I created a private channel and created separate bots for each application, then added them all to one channel. The reason I have separate bots for each application is because you can enable the “Sign Messages” option in Telegram. This option asks the bot to sign the messages so I know which bot sent which message. This allows me to know what application the message came from.

Get your Telegram channel chat ID

This part was less than obvious at first, but I discovered a super simple solution after some brief research. You can add the bot @get_id_bot to your channel. When the bot receives a message in this channel it will output the channel chat ID. If you want to be directly messaged instead of creating a new channel, you can just message the bot directly to get your personal chat ID. If you have added @get_id_bot to your channel you should remove it once you have your ID as it will continuously respond to every new message.

That’s it!

You’re now ready to get started! Below I’ll run through some simple notifications I have from Sonarr, Radarr and Ombi.


Sonarr & Radarr

I’ve used Sonarr as the example here, but this also applies to Radarr as they are basically the same application. You can find Telegram as one of the options found under Settings > Connect. Sonarr will allow you to send notifications whenever a new episode is grabbed, downloaded, upgraded or renamed. You just need to provide your Bot Token and Chat ID that we already recorded in the previous steps:

Options when setting up Telegram notifications in Sonarr

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any (obvious) way of customising the notifications that are sent. I don’t have any problems with these notifications, but it would be nice to have the ability to customise the notification content.



Ombi on the other hand does allow plenty of notification customisation using the list of defined variables, and various categories that can be enabled or disabled. You also have the option of using complete Telegram markdown or raw HTML formatting for each notification content:

There are links within this page in Ombi that explains the Telegram markdown, and possible variables that can be used. As an example I customised the issue notification to provide more detail:

{Alias} has reported a new issue for the title {Title}
*Category:* {IssueCategory}

*Subject*: {IssueSubject}

*Description:* {IssueDescription}


This gives me a nice overview of the problem without needing to log into Ombi to view the details.


System level unRAID alerts

The last area that I wanted to monitor was available storage space. From my last post I addressed hard links in Sonarr not working for me and storage being filled up due to duplicate files. While that issue was ongoing my server kept crashing because the storage kept being filled with hundreds of GBs of useless duplicates. I want to avoid something like that happening again and Telegram seems like an obvious choice here as it’s instantaneous so I can be proactive rather than reactive. However, unRAID doesn’t have any capabilities for defining notifications like this.. Until I discovered the “CA User Scripts” application. This incredibly flexible application allows you to write your own bash scripts and schedule them for execution.

I wrote a bash script that will calculate the amount of free space on the array and cache disk, and send a notification to my Telegram channel using the Telegram API:


#Checks how much space% is consumed on the array
ARRAY_USED_PERCENT=`df -h /mnt/user | awk '{print $5}' | sed -ne 2p | cut -d'%' -f1`
#Checks how much available space there is in GB
ARRAY_AVAIL_SPACE=`df -h /mnt/user | awk '{print $4}' | sed -ne 2p`
#Checks how much space% is consumed on the cache drive
CACHE_USED=`df -h /mnt/cache | awk '{print $5}' | sed -ne 2p | cut -d'%' -f1`
#Checks how much available space there is in GB
CACHE_AVAIL_SPACE=`df -h /mnt/cache | awk '{print $4}' | sed -ne 2p`

    MESSAGE="WARNING: Free Array Space is at `expr 100 - $ARRAY_USED_PERCENT`%. There is $ARRAY_AVAIL_SPACE available."
    curl -s -X POST $URL -d chat_id=$CHAT_ID -d text="$MESSAGE"

    MESSAGE="WARNING: Free Cache space has fallen below `expr 100 - $CACHE_USED`%. There is $CACHE_AVAIL_SPACE available."
    curl -s -X POST $URL -d chat_id=$CHAT_ID -d text="$MESSAGE"

This script is scheduled to run every hour using the “CA User Scripts” app.

I definitely plan on making more use of these notifications.. but this been such an awesome ease-of-life improvement for me.

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