There once was a tool called Active Work Tracker for Windows from Brigsoft.

What it basically did was to monitor user activity, sound alarm after a predefined period (say 60 minutes), wait another predefined time (say 5 minutes) when user was supposed to take a break (which was recognized as lack of activity), and repeat the whole procedure.

In addition, it recorded the total time user spends on his computer and presented nice charts.

I wonder whether there is a similar application for Ubuntu?

You can see more detailed description of Active Work Tracker at http://www.abstime.com/bsactivity/


RSIBreak. (Click To Install)

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Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is an illness which can occur as a result of continuous work with a mouse and keyboard. The risk of suffering injury increases the longer users work without breaks. RSIBreak simply offers reminders to take a break now and then.

After the start it will show up in your system tray and will monitor your activity. Whenever it detects that you have been active for a certain amount of time (configurable) it will prompt you for a break. It has some settings so if you walk away from your keyboard, it can reset the timers, so you will not be bothered with a break right after you return from that coffee break.

You can setup RSIBreak to popup a tiny notification popup to remind you to take a break, but you can also configure it to black out your screen so you can not continue working. All to your liking.

Since this is a kde app you should see this to make it look native in gnome

  • Thanks a lot! I have just installed it and started testing. At first glance it is what I've been looking for :) – mjaniec Apr 12 '11 at 5:56
  • Is there a GNOME equivalent? I'd rather not load up the KDE libraries. – Thomas Ward Jul 19 '11 at 19:54

You can define a keyboard lock (typing break) in System->Preferences->Keyboard:

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However with this settings the total time a user worked without a break are neither logged nor displayed.

  • Interesting :) I've just configured 5 mins breaks after 60 mins and started testing. – mjaniec Apr 12 '11 at 5:59
  • I've tested it and it works fine. I'd like to "accept" both answers, but seems it is not possible at askubuntu :( – mjaniec Apr 13 '11 at 5:17
  • 1
    @mjaniec: that's perfectly fine. I personally would have accepted @scottl's answer too :) – Takkat Apr 13 '11 at 8:14
  • I finally decided to use this system tool. It's the easiest and pretty strict in enforcement :) – mjaniec Jul 20 '11 at 4:03

Other solutions include Workrave (Gnome/GTK+, so no need for special styling) and Xwrits (X-libraries only, but interface is weaker IMO).

This article compares all three: http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9114


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