I have to do three or four jobs a day, and each has several parts. I want a time tracker tool to help me know how much time I've spent on each part and each job overall.

I've found some like gnotime and hamster.

What application do you recommend for such a case?


23 Answers 23



Hamster helps you to keep track of how much time you spend on various activities during the day. Whenever you move from one task to another, you can change your current activity, or you can record time spent afterwards.

Main app: hamster-time-tracker (Ubuntu 20.04 and later) hamster-applet (Ubuntu 18.04 and earlier)

To install hamster-time-tracker in Ubuntu 20.04 and later open the terminal and type:

sudo apt install hamster-time-tracker

Appindicator: hamster-indicator

To install hamster-indicator in Ubuntu 16.04 and earlier open the terminal and type:

sudo apt install hamster-indicator

I've grown fond of Hamster, and used it for tracking how long I worked on a Summer of Code project. It's added to your indicator menus (or systray). When you want to start/stop/change tasks, just hit Super+H and type what you are doing.

It makes some pretty nice statistics for you that can be exported as HTML, for sending to others. You can categorize parts of a job into groups to keep track of what exactly you're doing at the time.

Each task is labelled as [task]@[job]. For example, you could have dev@project, doc@project, etc. Hamster will do some auto-completion on these as well so most of the time you only need to type a few characters. Tags can be added to tasks as well for further categorization.

Screenshot of Project Hamster by Toms Bauģis Screenshot by Toms Bauģis

  • thanks, can i have tracking of each job and it's parts separatly?
    – Alexar
    Commented Sep 13, 2010 at 16:17
  • Yep! Each task is labeled as [task]@[job]. For example, you could have dev@project, doc@project, etc. Hamster will do some auto-completion on these as well so most of the time you only need to type a few characters. Tags can be added to tasks as well for further categorization. Commented Sep 13, 2010 at 16:37
  • Add your information to your answer, that way it doesn't get buried in comments. See here for more tips: meta.ubuntu.stackexchange.com/questions/257/… Commented Sep 13, 2010 at 16:51
  • Can a link be provided, or what apt-get package it is? Commented Sep 13, 2010 at 17:22
  • 1
    Hamster is good, but it does't track multiple activities for example charging my ipod and super secret project unless i create a single activity for both of them.
    – Ankit
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 21:25

I use gtimelog.

Well. I wrote gtimelog. So it works for me. YMMV. I'm not the best software maintainer, I'm afraid.

gtimelog 0.8 screenshot

  • 1
    Looks great simple. I hope it's functionality do so. I'll give it a try. And well done to distribute it.
    – Alexar
    Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 10:31

Have you tried toggl

Its an online app but it has a native linux client

toggl linux client

  • i tested it, it looks be great!
    – Alexar
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 17:57
  • nice and easy to use
    – sipiatti
    Commented Sep 3, 2012 at 6:56
  • 2
    +1 for Toggl, especially because it has a web component and an Android app...
    – Kendor
    Commented Oct 13, 2012 at 22:04
  • unfortunately only 64bit binary package available for native client :(
    – Regisz
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 15:55
  • 2
    – q126y
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 9:15

I recommend Emacs with Org-Mode, installed by default together with emacs. Here is a screenshot of a Org-Mode buffer:

alt text

Why Emacs + Org-Mode? to avoid context switch, keeping you in the flow state!!! Sounds a bit radical, right?, I know, but I realized that -- in practice!

When I give Org-Mode a chance I completely abandoned my old way of work and started keep me more focus on what really matter (code). My old workflow was:

  • Stop code and go mark as done some items;
  • Switch to the opened browser, looking for the remember the milk opened TAB;
  • Check my TODO tasks for that day and check OUT done items;
  • go back to my editor;
  • finally, restart the work (may take some more minutes to deeply focus again).

With Org-Mode, I just need to switch to the Org-Mode buffer, pressing Ctrl + x b, and mark items as DONE -- switching back to my previous buffer. No more browser (or external app) + editor.

I also would like to suggest to adopt The Pomodoro Technique, a really simple technique to get the most out of time management. Its more simple then GTD and easy to use in Emacs + Org-Mode: Put a timer of 25 minutes in all your tasks and Org-Mode will alert you always a task end. Better then ever!

  • Can also use a physical egg timer for the pomodoro technique, which makes it hard to ignore!
    – Kzqai
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 13:31
  • 2
    This actually does not answer the question, how did it get that many votes? This is about task control, not time tracking. Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 14:54
  • 1
    @igorsantos07 org-mode also supports time tracking
    – ggll
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 12:34

arbtt is an automatic rule based time tracker. It looks at the active window titles on your desktop and automatically logs the title. It can catagorize the titles based on how you configure it, and then it can report back stats.

So it might report back how much time is spent on a webdomain, in vim, and on facebook so you can look at your productivity.

  • It looks like it has been abandoned, unfortunately. Or it still works well? Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 11:35

A good one that I have used in the past is Klok, an adobe air application. It works great for tracking all your different projects, and giving you charts and graphs to break down how you're spending your time. The free version only exports timesheets in MS Excel format -- they want you to buy the full version for html and xml export.

Klock application

  • thanks, i'm really excited to test it. i'm currently struggling with installing air on my amd64. +1 for shot.
    – Alexar
    Commented Sep 14, 2010 at 17:49
  • 10
    Downovoted: Adobe Air no longer supports Linux.
    – Flimm
    Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 8:40

I'm surprised ActivityWatch isn't mentioned in any of these threads. Found it after a lot of searching online.

Repository link with install instructions

It has exactly the features that I needed:

  1. completely local data (no account signup needed)
  2. application level time tracking (also website level time tracking if you install the browser extension)
  3. idle time detection
  4. categorization of applications into work/fun/etc.
  5. tracks activity from the background, instead of me having to consciously log tasks/events

Would have probably bought it even if it was paid, but best part, it's completely open source! Plus, it's under active development, unlike other 2010 apps in this thread which are unmaintained 11 years later.


Hamster is rather nice if you want one that's got a panel applet. There is another one that is written in Java called jTimeSched. This one has been useful on a thumb drive because I can run it on Windows, Mac and Linux, provided the host computer has Java installed. (It is available here and is not in the repositories.)


For all fans of Harvest (getharvest.com) i recommend simple gtk application:



KTimeTracker is a nice tool and is supported by Canonical.


Watson is an open source command-line tool for time tracking. The code is here on Github. It comes with an (optional) server-side backend called crick, which can collect the time tracking data of a team.

After looking around for quite a bit and only finding no longer working / no longer maintained / convoluted / commercial time tracking software for Linux, I found watson and settled for it. It has well throught-through commands so I don't really mind that it's "only" a command-line tool.


Yes, I'd also recommend TSheets. It's simple to switch back and forth from your jobs to accurately account for the time spent on each project. I also like that it has a Who's Working widget where I can see who on my team is working on what project in real time.



If you access to a web server Kimai is a nice PHP/SQL web application. You configure different clients and for each of them different projects and also different tasks. Also it can be used by many users. The information can be exported to PDF, CSV and XLS.


This might seem an overkill for the OP but it's really useful to deeply track your productivity: RescueTime.

It's supported on Linux (besides Mac/Windows). You install a small application that stays in your tray and it tracks all your windows, generating later a report on your productivity.
It can automatically categorize a LOT of applications, and for those he understands wrong or doesn't know, you can set what the window means: very productive, productive, neutral, distracting or very distracting. That sums up to a productivity score for your day. You can also ignore some applications that has no actual meaning and you spend very little time on (such as Nautilus/Caja).

There's a paid version that adds features such as offline time tracking (you can manually enter what you did, such as meetings or client calls, the app asks what you were doing when your computer was idle!!!!), Zapier integrations, even deeper statistics and other stuff I don't actually know because I didn't use the paid version after the trial :)

This was the only application that really helped me stay focused - because I was afraid of receiving that dreaded email by Sunday morning saying I was unproductive D:


  • Current pricing: Free 2 week trial. Then $6.50 a month as minimum.
    – rwitzel
    Commented Feb 21, 2022 at 6:59

You may also try Timedoctor.com.

That is what we use in our computers now running on different platforms. I was actually tasked to do research on the best time tracking software today and out of many referrals and suggestions “Time Doctor” is the only software which I could grade as “A”.


If you have Internet: HarvestApp is one the best tools out there. Thats is if you don't mind time tracking on a web-app.

sidenote: They have free trial accounts, too.


We use http://projectsputnik.com. It has amazing time tracking features plus great project management functionality. Additionally you can mark some of time entries as billable and see the ratio of billable hours to total worked hours.


From my experience, I would suggest Replicon time clock software for time tracking.


I prefer Rachota. It is a jar file with a simple GUI. http://rachota.sourceforge.net/en/index.html

It stores time sheets in XML and there is some options for tracking teams etc. Just download it, place it in your favorite folder and run as java from command line or launcher icon

java -jar /...folders.../rachota.jar

You can also try Fanurio. It is working on multiple platforms including Ubuntu. After installing it they will give a 14 days trial. If you like it you can buy the software to unlock the unlimited edition.


TSheets time tracking software has exactly what you're looking for. You'll have the ability to list an unlimited number of jobs for each day and specifically account for the time on the tasks within each job code. Also, it's easy to generate reports that show the breakdown of each task and the project overall.


  • 1
    Is it open source?
    – 0xc0de
    Commented Sep 21, 2013 at 20:33

Talygen is highly recommended for all those who love to track their time and activities. I've been using Talygen for a couple of months. It helps me track multiple projects.

  • 1
    I can't find the license info on the link provided. Doesn't look like open source. Can you provide some info about the license?
    – 0xc0de
    Commented Sep 21, 2013 at 20:31

For command-line tool I recommend timew, watson or timetrap.

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