I am running Debian. Many times I get cramped (or something) for being on the computer for to long. Is there a tool which will tell me after 30-40 minutes to take a break?

I remember seeing something, but I have forgotten what it is called.

closed as too broad by nwildner, tink, Braiam, Stephen Harris, Romeo Ninov Dec 12 '18 at 7:30

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  • 8
    a timer will tell you – pushkin Dec 10 '18 at 18:09
  • 5
    The sister site Software Recommendations might be a more appropriate place for this question. – Basil Bourque Dec 11 '18 at 3:45
  • 1
    Maybe... a clock? There's already one on your desktop. Or you can get a watch. Or put a clock on your wall. Or glance at your oven timer. So many possibilities on how to tell the time. If you're getting so sucked in that you "forget" to know what the time is and how long you've been sat working, that to me would be something you need to solve on the emotional level. – Lightness Races in Orbit Dec 11 '18 at 11:10
  • I have this on my android: play.google.com/store/apps/… – Uroš Jarc Dec 11 '18 at 20:05
  • Google suggests ubuntuswitch.wordpress.com/2007/07/03/… – roaima Dec 11 '18 at 22:18

I use Workrave for this; it’s available in Debian as the workrave package.

I also noticed Safe Eyes, available as the safeeyes package, but haven’t tried it.


xwrits available in the standard repository is another one.

Description: reminds you to take a break from typing
 xwrits helps you prevent repetitive stress injury.
 xwrits is a small reminder program designed to let you know it is time
 to take a break from typing to rest your wrists and prevent any damage
 to your wrists (or at least make them feel better if you've already
 damaged them). Normally works on the honor system, but if you find
 yourself unable to stop typing during your break, it can also lock your

You can use Stretchly as a breaktime reminder:

A microbreak for 20 seconds every 10 minutes.

Every 30 minutes, it displays a window containing an idea for a longer 5 minute break.

The description is available on GitHub. To install Stretchly, download the .deb package from here.

wget https://github.com/hovancik/stretchly/releases/download/v0.18.0/stretchly_0.18.0_amd64.deb
gdebi stretchly_0.18.0_amd64.deb

I use a minimal cron, which displays the time every 30 minutes. It relies on libnotify:

DISPLAY=:0 /usr/bin/notify-send "$(date +"Time is %r")"

and the crontab statement is:

*/30 * * * * /path/to/clock.zsh

I use the Pomodoro Timer to keep track of time, as it alerts me when I should take a break and when I should resume working.

It was designed to help structure your work flow based on the Pomodoro Technique, and therefore defaults to 25 minutes of work, followed by 5 minutes of break-time. However, it is easily customizable, and you can set the duration according to your own preferences.

It comes with a nice graphical interface as well, and is available as debian package under the name of gnome-shell-pomodoro.


Take a Break is something that works well. It is for Ubuntu/Debian.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vlijm/takeabreak
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install takeabreak

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