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A simple script to keep track of computer usage. It logs the title of the currently-active window once a second (unless you're idle).


  • Sleeps when the computer is idle
  • Supports multiple computers (sync-able via Dropbox)
  • Includes basic analytics script

Supported Platforms

Support exists for OS X and X11-based Linux. For OS X, Snow Leopard and above are known to work. For X11-based Linux, you'll need xprintidle and xdotool, which are probably available your distro's package manager in packages of the same name.


The main TimeTracker tool can be started with

python src/

TimeTracker can be run with no command-line options -- it should print the title of the currently-active window to your terminal, once a second.

  • You can pass -f <file> to instead write the log to that file. The file is only appended to.
  • You can pass -i <sec> to change how often the title is printed and -I <sec> to change how many seconds of idleness will cause the TimeTracker to turn off.
  • You can pass --buffer <sec> to buffer output lines for that many seconds. This is handy if you're synchronizing the output file over Dropbox or are on an SSD.
  • If the OS auto-detection isn't working, you can pass --os <os>, where <os> is currently one of x11 or osx.

Exploring the Data

We've written a simple web application to explore the data you collect. To start it, just open gui/index.html in a browser. The TimeTracker Explorer lets you execute regular expression queries on your time logs and browse the results.


You'll want to set TimeTracker to auto-start. In Gnome-based Linux (for example, on Ubuntu), you'll want to start gnome-session-properties and add a startup application to run:

<path-to-source>/src/ <args>

On a Linux that starts to pure X, you'll want to add a similar line to .xinitrc instead:

<path-to-source>/src/ <args> &

On OS X, things are more complicated. Run

make plist

This will open up an editor on the file src/com.timetracker.plist to add any command-line arguments that you want added. For example, you'll probably want to specify the output file. The logger will start every time you log in.

For Developers

Bugs and TODOs is are tracked on a Trello board.

TimeTracker is published under the GNU GPL, version 3 or greater (at your option). See the file COPYING for the text of the GPLv3. TimeTracker currently distributes the minified source of the Moment.js library, which is distributed according to the terms of an MIT license.