Linux distributions are widely used as server operating systems due to their security and reliability. Being in general not really popular for desktops, various Linux flavors are still used by freelancers and office employees on their personal computers.
To control personal or team’s time expenses and measure productivity, various Linux compatible timekeeping solutions are available. Many of them are free and open-source, which is a plus. The bad thing about Linux-based time-trackers is that mostly they are buggy and require additional effort when installing and configuring them. But we did some research and found time-tracking software for Linux operating systems that is easy to install and use.
For: Teams, Individuals
actiTIME is an intuitive and robust time-tracking and work management system. It runs as a web application in the cloud or on the company’s internal server. The cloud solution is accessible from any device that is able to connect to the Internet. As for the self-hosted option, it is compatible with both Windows and Linux platforms.
The functionality of this tool includes recording time spent on specific tasks (with comments), running reports on the collected data, calculating billable amounts, invoicing, managing projects, and keeping track of employees’ absences.
actiTIME is a useful tool for project managers, accountants, HRs, and all office employees and freelancers who need to keep track of their time. It helps companies of any size and self-employed individuals organize their workflow and have a better control over their individual productivity, team performance, and profitability of specific projects.
2. Project Hamster
Hamster is a popular Linux-specific time-tracker. Its functionality is quite simple: it includes tracking time spent on tasks throughout the day, calculating totals, and exporting time-track data into an HTML report.
To track time expenses in Hamster, change your activity in the program when switching from one task to another. The program counts time totals and shows them in the interface.
To simplify search through your historical data and categorize the time-track results, tag your activities. The results will be split by tags and shown in the Statistics section. Adding descriptions to the activities helps keep track of specific parts of work in the overall progress.
For: Teams, Individuals
Kimai is an open-source time-tracking application that works as a web service. The program allows to configure regular worker, admin and customer accounts with different data access levels.
The app provides basic timesheet and invoicing functionality. Users can track their time expenses with a timer and then, if necessary, edit their entries. As for cost and billing features, Kimai supports user rates, entry of project budgets and expenses, as well as invoice export.
Rachota is a portable time-tracking software for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. It can run everywhere, as it allows to keep time-tracking data on a USB drive.
Alongside with collecting time-track data, the app analyzes it and suggests hints on how to use time more efficiently. What’s more, it has reporting and invoicing functionality.
Rachota is an open-source solution, so it’s totally free. Unlike many other apps, it is localized into 10 languages which simplifies time tracking for those who are not proficient in English.
This app is a time-tracking part of Kontact, the personal information manager for KDE desktop environment. It provides basic to-do management and timekeeping features, allowing users to create task lists and record time spent on the tasks. The data is summarized and stored in a journal where the user can review the results.
Time expenses are calculated automatically; the user only needs to start and stop the timer. The application also allows to edit already recorded time, if necessary.
KTimeTracker’s configuration options are quite simple: they include idle time detection, time saving frequency, and displayed details. So it’s a good choice for those who don’t need more than just keep track of daily time expenses.
This Gnome time tracker is distributed under the GNU GLP license, so it’s a free tool. It is designed for Unix systems (so it runs not only on Linux, but also on Mac OS X). it offers simple interfaces and basic time-tracking and billing functionality.
Like in many other time-trackers for Linux, a timer is provided for recording time expenses. The specific feature of this app is auto-merging short time intervals recorded for one task. The length of the intervals to be merged is defined by user.
Each entry has a “billing status” parameter: it can be flagged as billable or non-billable, and billing rates can be set up. Urgency and completion statuses are also provided.
Recorded information is collected in the application and then can be displayed in various HTML reports. They can show tasks performed throughout the given day, billable amounts, and statuses of projects.
Fanurio is a time-tracking and billing app mostly used by freelancers. It supports Windows and Unix systems and can run from a USB drive on any computer, which is convenient for those who work from different locations.
The app has a timer and a manual time entry form. Its specific feature is smart timing that combines idle time detection and reminders – just in case you forgot to start the timer. Fanurio’s billing functionality includes invoices that contain detailed data on works performed and amounts billed for them.
Fanurio is a commercial software. It is licensed per user, which means that one license allows you to run the application on multiple computers. Paid maintenance plans are also available for Fanurio users.
ARBTT means “automatic rule-based time-tracker”, so the user doesn’t need to enter anything manually. The program records which windows have been open and active and for how long, and then calculates the time.
The product supports both Windows and Linux and is distributed under the GPL license. No updates seem to have been released since early 2014, but arbtt is still available for download on the developer’s website.
jTimeSched is a lightweight time-tracking software for Linux. It allows to create tasks and projects, track time against them using timers, add notes to the time-track, and save the collected data into log files.
The app basically consists of just one .jar file and can run from a USB stick. Its configuration data is stored per directory, which means you can use multiple configurations. The author of this solution emphasizes that the app would suit for those who need a simple time-tracker with minimalistic interfaces, but might not fit your needs when advanced features, fancy interfaces and detailed task hierarchy are required.
GTimeLog is a small GTK+ application for timekeeping. The developer says it is designed to be as unintrusive as possible, so it provides simple time-tracking functionality. When you arrive to work and start the workday, start up the app and type in it “arrived”. After finishing each activity throughout the workday, enter the name of this activity in the GTimeLog prompt.
The program calculates your time expenses and creates an activity report at the end of the day that shows how much time you have spent working and “slacking”. Simple configuration options are available: there are commands to flag specific activities as non-related to work or to completely omit them in daily reports.
A simple application for tracking work time in time slots against tasks in a hierarchical tree. The tool is available for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows and distributed for free under GNU GPL.
The app offers integration with Jira and iCalendar. Users can run reports based on the collected time-track data and export them into CSV, HTML and TXT formats. Seven localizations are available for this tool.
Do you know other time tracking software for Linux? Let me know in the comments!