Time Tracking Software for Linux:
for Teams and Individuals

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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.

A lot of Linux compatible timekeeping solutions are available on the market. Many of them are free and open-source, which is a plus. The bad thing is that these time trackers are mostly buggy and require additional effort during installation and configuration. But we did some research and found some great and simple-to-use time trackers for Linux.

1. actiTIME

Key features:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Time tracking
  • Work management
  • Comments
  • Reports
  • Payroll calculation
  • Invoicing

actiTIME 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.

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.

It was an intuitive choice, which offered us good usability and attractive interface. We searched the Internet, looked for comments, and actiTIME seemed a worthy choice to try. And now we are happy that we use it. We ourselves are an IT development and services company, and we never had any complaints about the tool from our employees. And this we think is a good measuring criterion!

2. Project Hamster

Key features:

  • Time tracking
  • Calculation of totals
  • Data export with HTML reports
  • Reports

Hamster is a popular Linux-specific time tracker. 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 tracking 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.

3. Kimai

Key features:

  • Basic time tracking
  • Invoicing
  • Simple budget management

Kimai is an open-source time tracking application that works as a web service. The program allows you to configure regular worker, admin and customer accounts with different data access levels. 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.

4. Rachota

Key features:

  • Time tracking
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Invoicing
  • Reports

Rachota is a portable time tracking software that analyzes time tracking data and suggests hints on how to use time more efficiently. It is suitable for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. Basically, it can run everywhere, as it allows to keep time tracking data on a USB drive. Besides, 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.

5. KTimeTracker

Key features:

  • Simple time tracking
  • Basic to-do and task list management
  • Data summaries

This app is a time tracking part of Kontact, the personal information manager for KDE desktop environment. With KTimeTracker, 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. The tool’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.

6. GnoTime

Key features:

  • Simple interfaces
  • Basic time tracking
  • Billing
  • HTML Reports

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). 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. Moreover, 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.

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7. Fanurio

Key features:

  • Automatic and manual time tracking
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Idle time detection
  • Reminders

The Fanurio app is 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’s specific feature is smart timing that combines idle time detection and reminders – just in case you forgot to start the timer. Its billing functionality includes invoices that contain detailed data on works performed and amounts billed for them.

8. arbtt

Key features:

  • Automatic time tracking
  • Data summaries and reports

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.

9. jTimeSched

Key features:

  • Time tracking
  • Task management
  • Commenting
  • Data export

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.

10. GTimeLog

Key features:

  • Time tracking
  • Activity reports

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.

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