Friday, August 6, 2010

Installing RescueTIme on Ubuntu 10.04

RescueTime is a great time tracking program that beats pretty much any other free programs out there hands down. I use it on my Windows 7 OS, but using it on Ubuntu took me some toll.

WARNING: I don't know how to uninstall RescueTime.

0. Sign up RescueTime account if you have not done so.
You can sign up with your google account.
1. Have firefox and RescueTime add-on installed. You can erase these two after you are done installing.
2. Download RescueTIme Linux Uploader (I am using v.99)
3. Unzip the file and open the terminal to that folder.
i.e. cd ~/Downloads/rescuetime-linux-uploader-99/
4. Run these commands on terminal one at a time
python build
sudo python install
5. Now the problem that occurs in Ubuntu 10.04 as oppose to Ubuntu 8.04 is that the files get installed on /usr/local/bin as oppose to /usr/bin. And we will fix that problem by making hard links.
sudo ln /usr/local/bin/rescue* /usr/bin/
6. Run the following command and type your username and password. (From step 0)
7. Now we will make it run automatically when the computer boots up
On terminal, type: gnome-session-properties
or Go to the menu System >> Preference >> Startup Applications
Click "Add"
Name: RescueTIme
Command: /usr/bin/rescuetime_linux_uploader
Comment: type whatever you like
Click "Save"
8. Add applet on the gnome panel by right clicking and click, "Add to panel"
Type "rescue" on the search bar on top and you should see:
RescueTime Controller Applet
RescueTIme Information Applet
The first one just puts the icon which gives you options when you right click it.
The second adds the functionality of displaying what RescueTime is recording. If the recording just shows "Idle", then restart your computer and things should work alright.


  1. Thanks for this how-to. I am working with a fresh install of 10.04, and have run

    python build
    sudo python install

    but /usr/local/bin is empty.

    python build returns:
    /usr/lib/python2.6/distutils/ UserWarning: Unknown distribution option: 'entry_points'
    running build
    running build_py

    sudo python install returns:

    /usr/lib/python2.6/distutils/ UserWarning: Unknown distribution option: 'entry_points'
    running install
    running build
    running build_py
    running install_lib
    running install_egg_info
    Removing /usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/RescueTimeUploader-unknown.egg-info
    Writing /usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/RescueTimeUploader-unknown.egg-info

    I have resuetime files in
    /usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages, but not rescuetime_linux_uploader. Instead all the files here are .py and .pyc files.

  2. petak@petak-laptop:~/Desktop/ok$ sudo ln /usr/local/bin/rescue* /usr/bin/
    ln: accessing `/usr/local/bin/rescue*': No such file or directory

    how is this possible and what should I do?

  3. Hi guys. I looked through the and some code and the problem seems to be coming from not installing firefox and rescuetime extension. THe checks if there is firefox extension. I don't understand why the extension is necessary, because I deleted firefox after installing recuetime but everything worked fine.

  4. @Mark D I believe the message "Unknown distribution option: 'entry_points'" indicates that you need to install Python SetupTools:

    $ sudo apt-get install python-setuptools

  5. How to install it if something goes wrong?

  6. Everything's OK (I mean RescueTime logs my activity) but applet still display "Idle". Reboot didn't help.

  7. Egor, I had the same problem. I couldn't find a way to fix it.

  8. python build
    bzr: ERROR: Not a branch: "/home/maverick/Desktop/rescuetime-linux-uploader-99/".
    running build
    running build_py

  9. sudo apt-get install python-setuptools

    above command worked for me, otherwise step 5 was not working.

  10. Hello there!
    Does rescue time linux uploader still work?
    I am trying to install it, but it doesn't upload the data.
    thanks for the info!

  11. You can uninstall it using the following command -
    sudo dpkg -r RescueTime