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Create installation methods for non-developers

See original GitHub issue

Right now you pretty much need to be a developer to start using ActivityWatch. (not anymore!)

One easy improvement we could make is to create a bash one-liner that installs ActivityWatch (much like the one-liner used to install brew). In the future (when we leave beta) we’d likely have to distribute installers/packages.

Would require some kind of process management for aw-server and watchers. (we now have aw-qt)

Must do:

  • Linux: Build a portable .zip
  • macOS: Build a portable .zip
  • Windows: Create a portable .zip

May do (secondary goals):

And finally:

  • Put installation instructions in README

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Issue Analytics

  • State:open
  • Created 7 years ago
  • Reactions:7
  • Comments:35 (28 by maintainers)

github_iconTop GitHub Comments

Baltixcommented, May 18, 2020

@ErikBjare Please, make normal ActivityWatch deb packages and repository for Ubuntu and Debian systems, I can help you with this task, it’s not hard, see The main task is to make correct Debian source package and only from this source package you can then build the Debian binary package which is what actually get installed. The source package consists, in its simplest form, of two things: The upstream tarball, renamed to follow a systematic pattern. A debian directory, with any changes made to upstream source, plus all the files created for the Debian package.

If you wanna make useful and correct debian packages then we should create separate packages for activitywatch-server (and maybe one more for activitywatch-server-rust), activitywatch-watchers, activitywatch-systray-qt. Each package should start his service (aw-server, aw-watcher-afk, aw-watcher-window, etc) in user-session either by having .desktop file in /etc/xdg/autostart or with systemd, see and systemd offers users the ability to manage services under the user’s control with a per-user systemd instance, enabling users to start, stop, enable, and disable their own units. This is convenient for daemons and other services that are commonly run for a single user, such as mpd

Only activitywatch-systray-qt package should depend on QT libraries and this package could depend or recommend activitywatch-server and activitywatch-watchers packages.

I can help you and take some tasks - please just create debian/control and debian/rules according to (you can use dh-make command for this) for each package (activitywatch-server, activitywatch-watchers, activitywatch-systray-qt) or one debian/control and debian/rules file for all packages if you will always distribute all activitywatch components sources in one archive. I can do all other taks - compile and test deb packages, fix packaging issues, create PPA repository and write automated packaging building recipe from git, see for example and

freaydcommented, Mar 14, 2019

Hi everyone. The brew formula is now available. You can install it with:

brew cask install activitywatch

Creating a .app would be a nice next step for macOS.

Read more comments on GitHub >

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