Common Linux Issues

With the variety and number of different Linux configurations, it is important that the system meets certain requirements. RescueTime for Linux is primarily tested on Ubuntu 16.04 but has been known to work on Fedora and other distributions.

RescueTime Linux Community

Linux is no longer supported by RescueTime but community support is strongly encouraged. Linux users can connect with one another and discuss system specific issues with RescueTime on our subreddit, r/RescueTime. This is an independent community solely for Linux users and provides a space to share knowledge and solutions. 

Ubuntu 21.04

Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) uses Wayland, rather than X11/Xorg as the default window manager. One of the features of Wayland is that it prevents apps from doing precisely what RescueTime is trying to do—track activity in other windows.

Log out of your (Wayland) session and then log back in using X11 as your Windows manager. You can change your session by going to the login screen (i.e. where you would type in your password) and—before logging in—clicking on the little gear icon.  X11 session will be one of the options.

System Tray / User Interface

The window manager must have a system tray area for RescueTime icon to live and be interacted with, otherwise accessing the menu and some features may be restricted; though there have been users that had success running without the UI. RescueTime is currently using Qt4 to create the windows/menu. If you are not seeing an icon in your system tray, or do not have a system tray, you may need to install an extension that provides one.

Some Linux distributions/Window Managers, like Gnome, come without a system tray. You may need to look for an extension or setting for your system that enables this as the RescueTime application lives in the system tray. 

One suggestion for Gnome is TopIcons Plus:

Application / Window Tracking

The following commands must work return expected values for RescueTime to correctly identify the current activity and window title details. If the return of the commands is empty or broken, the data RescueTime collects can be broken as well.
Process ID: 
xprop -id `xprop -root | grep "_NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW(WINDOW)" | cut -d# -f2 | cut -d, -f1` | grep "NET_WM_PID" | cut -d"=" -f2 2>/dev/null
Process Name: 
xprop -id `xprop -root 2>/dev/null | grep "_NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW(WINDOW)" | cut -d# -f2 | cut -d, -f1` 2>/dev/null | grep "WM_CLASS(STRING)" | cut -d"\"" -f4 2>/dev/null
Window Title: 
xprop -id `xprop -root 2>/dev/null | grep "_NET_ACTIVE_WINDOW(WINDOW)" | cut -d# -f2 | cut -d, -f1` 2>/dev/null | grep "WM_NAME(STRING)\|WM_NAME(COMPOUND_TEXT)" | cut -d"\"" -f2 2>/dev/null


To get RescueTime to work in the xmonad environment you may need to do the following:

  • Open the xmonad.hs file and add the following line to import contrib module: import XMonad.Hooks.EwmhDesktops
  • Then change xmonad $ defaultConfig to xmonad $ ewmh defaultConfig to add ewmh support.

External Resources:

Note: External Resources are user provided and have not been officially tested by RescueTime. 

If you use RescueTime in an environment that required additional setup or changes not listed here, we would like to know!

Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us