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Terminal based time-tracking and reporting tool; comparable to 'worklog'.

Project description


Call getan or in a terminal to start with an empty list of tasks that you want to track time for.

Use the Insert-Key to add a new task to track. (A task is called project within getan.) You will have to enter a project “key” and a project “description”.

Now select one of the projects with the arrow keys from your keyboard and press enter to start the clock. See INTRODUCTION for more keyboard commands.

The time log entries will be saved in an sqlite database, by default getan will create ~/.getan/time.db. The scripts/ will help to generate reports from them.

Tree mode

Getan supports a hierarchy of projects. A top level project key has only one character, once you starting using a second character as project key, it will be the next level down in the hierarchy. Example:

a    Top level project
aa   1st second level project
ab   2nd second level project
aba  Third level Project

Use the switch_project_order key which is f2 by default to cycle to the hierarchical view.


Use ~/.getan/getanrc or the system-wide /etc/getanrc to customize keys and colors. See getan/ for the recognized options. Example:

# changes the insert function to be activated by the `)` key
insert: )

header: light green, dark green
body: light green, black


Getan requires urwid in a version >= 1.0. Urwid is a console user interface library written in Python. For console output e.g. Getan also requires Jinja2 <>_.

Install urwid

On Debian GNU/Linux >= Wheezy just run as root::

$ apt-get install python3-urwid

On other systems urwid may be installed via pip or directly put into the sources of getan.

Using pip

To install urwid via pip run as root:

$ pip install urwid

Or if you prefer using a virtualenv:

$ virtualenv getan-env
$ source getan-env/bin/activate
(getan-env)$ pip install -U pip  # to get the latest pip
(getan-env)$ pip install urwid

Using urwid sources

Urwid can be put as source to the getan directory when getan is run directly from the sources. Urwid source can be downloaded from pypi.

For urwid 1.1.2 the direct download link from pypi is (sha256sum is f56568b4f8459b3265c65d9e275ef72df6cb16ad0c291f0feb027cc911ea0f26).:

$ cd getan-source
$ v=urwid-1.1.2
$ curl -O$v.tar.gz
$ sha256sum $v.tar.gz
$ tar -xzvf $v.tar.gz
$ ln -s $v/urwid urwid

Install Jinja2

On Debian GNU/Linux just run as root::

$ apt-get install python3-jinja2

On other systems jinja2 may be installed via pip or directly put into the sources of getan.

Using pip

To install jinja2 via pip run as root:

$ pip install jinja2

Or if you prefer using a virtualenv:

$ source getan-env/bin/activate
(getan-env)$ pip install jinja2

Install getan

A installation of getan is not required. It can also be run directly from the sources. To install getan system wide the following command must be run as root user:

$ python3 install

You may need to install setuptools first, on Debian GNU/Linux just run as root::

$ apt-get install python3-setuptools

Starting getan

Getan can be directly run from sources or after a system wide installation from the bin dir (e.g. /usr/bin).

Running from Sources

To run getan from the sources run:

$ ./


$ ./ /path/to/mytime.db

to choose a different sqlite3 database then the default time.db

Running from installation

After installing getan it can be run with:

$ getan


$ getan /path/to/mytime.db

Writing Templates

External templates must be stored in ~/.getan/templates/ to be able to call them.

Getan uses the Jinja2 templating language. You can find more information at Jinja2.

If a year or a week is specified, only the entries in this period will be loaded.


current_week: The current week. current_year: The current year.

user: What You indicated with -u. week: What You indicated with -w. unix_week: What You indicated with -w, in unix notation. year: What you indicated with -y.

get_total_duration(): Total duration of all entries.

database: Path of the database.

entries: List of all entries.

get_comment(): Description of the entry. get_workpackage(): Work package of the entry. desc: Work package and Description of the entry.

startisoday: Year, month and day in ISO format. start: Start time as datetime. end: End time as datetime. get_duration(): Duration of the entry.

projects: List of all projects.

get_total_duration(): Total duration of all entries in the project. desc: Description of the project. key: Key of the project.

entries: All entries in this project (See entries).

If -w is specified, only this week will be loaded from the database.

year(): All entries in this year. month(): All entries in this month. week(): All entries in this week. day(): All entries in this day.


{{ user }}, (KW {{ week }}, {{ year }}) {% for i in user -%} = {%- endfor -%}

{% for proj in projects %} # {{ proj.desc }} {% for entry in proj.entries|sort(attribute=’start’) -%} {{ entry.get_comment() }} {% endfor -%} # total time: {{ proj.get_total_duration()|human_time }}h {% endfor %} # total: {{ total_time|human_time }}h


Getan is Free Software licensed under the terms of GNU GPL v>=3. For details see LICENSE coming with the source of ‘getan’.

Main development

2018- Magnus Schieder <> (current maintainer) 2014- Bernhard E. Reiter <> 2011-2014 Björn Ricks <> 2010 Ingo Weinzierl <> 2009-2014 Thomas Arendsen Hein <> 2008-2010 Sascha L. Teichmann <>


Frank Koormann Stephan Holl Tom Gottfried


To all users that gave feedback, especially at Intevation.

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