6th January, 2017 | Tutorials |

How to Create Your Own Time Tracking Using TimesApp on Ubuntu

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TimesApp is and open source application that allow people to track times across all of their projects.

We can list all of our clients and projects and easily create invoice for each project so we can focus on the project and not the administrative tasks.

You can learn more about TimesApp from TimesApp website.


In this tutorial we'll learn how-to Install TimesApp on Ubuntu 14.04. We will also install and configure its prerequisites.


We need to fullfil these requirements before we can install TimesApp :

Update Base System

Before we install TimesApp and its prerequisites let's update the system to the latest update.

sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get -y upgrade

Install Apache 2

After applying latest update to our base system, Lets's start installing Apach2 and required libraries.

sudo apt-get -y install apache2 apache2-bin apache2-data apache2-mpm-prefork libaio1 libapache2-mod-php5 libapr1 libaprutil1 libdbd-mysql-perl libdbi-perl libhtml-template-perl libmysqlclient18 libterm-readkey-perl libwrap0 ssl-cert tcpd

We can check Apache 2 service status using command below

sudo service apache2 status
 * apache2 is running

We can also check whether Apache 2 listen on which port using command below.

 sudo netstat -naptu | grep apache
tcp6       0      0 :::80                   :::*                    LISTEN      14873/apache2

TimesApp .htaccess configuration use mod_rewrite on its configuration, we need to enable the module first.

sudo a2enmod rewrite

Now restart apache2 process so the new module enabled will be used by Apache.

sudo service apache2 restart

Install MySQL 5.6

We will install and use MySQL 5.6 as database for TimesApp. We will use MySQL Server 5.6 since MySQL 5.6 is the most up to date version of MySQL shipped with Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr.

sudo apt-get -y install mysql-server-5.6

We need to setup MySQL root password. Please input password for MySQL root user.

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Verify root password.

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Securing MySQL Installation.

We will secure MySQL installation by running mysql_secure_installation.

Enter root password that we set on installation

$ mysql_secure_installation 

In order to log into MySQL to secure it, we'll need the current password for the root user. If you've just installed MySQL, and you haven't set the root password yet, the password will be blank, so you should just press enter here.

Enter current password for root (enter for none): OK, successfully used password, moving on...

Since we already have root password set, answer this part with n

Setting the root password ensures that nobody can log into the MySQL
root user without the proper authorisation.

You already have a root password set, so you can safely answer 'n'.

Change the root password? [Y/n] n ... skipping.

Remove anonymous user to improve security. This will make sure people or application have correct username and password to login to MySQL. Answer with Y

By default, a MySQL installation has an anonymous user, allowing anyone
to log into MySQL without having to have a user account created for
them.  This is intended only for testing, and to make the installation
go a bit smoother.  You should remove them before moving into a
production environment.

Remove anonymous users? [Y/n] Y ... Success!

We also want remove root login from remote machine. Answer with Y

Normally, root should only be allowed to connect from 'localhost'.  This
ensures that someone cannot guess at the root password from the network.

Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n] Y ... Success!

Previously the test database created automatically by MySQL installation, but MySQL 5.6 does not create test database. We can still choose Y, it will throw error but that's fine.

By default, MySQL comes with a database named 'test' that anyone can
access.  This is also intended only for testing, and should be removed
before moving into a production environment.

Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n] Y - Dropping test database... ERROR 1008 (HY000) at line 1: Can't drop database 'test'; database doesn't exist ... Failed! Not critical, keep moving... - Removing privileges on test database... ... Success!

The last step is to reload MySQL privilege table.

Reloading the privilege tables will ensure that all changes made so far
will take effect immediately.

Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n] Y ... Success!

All done! If you've completed all of the above steps, your MySQL installation should now be secure.

Thanks for using MySQL!

Cleaning up...

Create Database for TimesApp

Now we have a secure MySQL installation, time to create database and user for TimesApp itself.

Login to MySQL using root credential.

$ mysql -u root -p
Enter password: 
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 58
Server version: 5.6.30-0ubuntu0.14.04.1 (Ubuntu)

Copyright (c) 2000, 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.


Create new database named timesapp using command below

mysql> CREATE DATABASE timesapp;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

Create user for TimesApp

Database for TimesApp is ready, let's create username and password and grant privileges to timesapp database.

We need to run FLUSH PRIVILEGES command so that the privileges table will be reloaded by MySQL and we can use new credential.

Don't forget to change the password verysecret below with better password.

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON `timesapp`.* TO 'timesapp'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'verysecret';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

mysql> FLUSH PRIVILEGES; Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

Exit from MySQL console by typing \q

mysql> \q

Enable MySQL Event Scheduler

TimesApp require mysql event scheduler enabled. Open /etc/mysql/my.cnf.

Find the line:


Add this line below the line above:

event_scheduler = on

Now restart mysql server:

sudo service mysql restart

Install PHP 5

Last component that we have to install before we can install TimesApp is PHP 5. We will install PHP 5 and several common PHP libraries.

sudo apt-get -y install php5-cli php5-common php5-json php5-mysql php5-readline

Install TimesApp

All prerequisites is already installed. We're ready to install TimesApp .

Download TimesApp compressed file using wget.

wget -c "" -O TimesApp.tar.gz

Extract the downloaded file.

tar xzf TimesApp.tar.gz

Rename the extracted directory to TimesApp.

mv darkbox-TimesApp-*/ timesapp

Move timesapp directory to Apache directory

sudo mv timesapp /var/www

Change ownership of timesapp directory to www-data user and group.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/timesapp

Import TimesApp Database Schema

The TimesApp files are now ready. Next let's import TimesApp database schema. Since we will also create schedule on MySQL we have to use MySQL root user instead of user that we created before.

cd /var/www/timesapp mysql -u root -p timesapp < timesapp_empty_v0.1.9.sql

TimesApp Database Configuration

Open /var/www/timesapp/app/Config/database.php to set timesapp database configuration. Change username, passsword and database to match database credential and database name we created earlier.

        public $default = array(
                'datasource' => 'Database/Mysql',
                'persistent' => false,
                'host' => 'localhost',
                'login' => 'timesapp',
                'password' => 'verysecret',
                'database' => 'timesapp',
                'prefix' => '',
                'encoding' => 'utf8',

Replace Security.salt and Security.cipherSeed value

Open /var/www/timesapp/app/Config/core.php. Find these lines:

 * A random string used in security hashing methods.
        Configure::write('Security.salt', 'fc7f678b2389480bca36411d0e25442890df5e9f');

/** * A random numeric string (digits only) used to encrypt/decrypt strings. */ Configure::write('Security.cipherSeed', '768937458927345234523400981245');

Replace Security.salt and Security.cipherSeed value.

We can use the command below to generate Security.salt

head /dev/urandom | sha256sum | awk {'print $1'}

We can use command below to generate Security.cipherSeed

$ for (( i=0; i<=10; i++ )); do printf $RANDOM; done; echo ""

Configure Apache Virtual Host for http Only

TimesApp files is ready now create new apache configuration file on /etc/apache2/sites-available/timesapp.conf with contents below.

<VirtualHost *:80>

DocumentRoot /var/www/timesapp

<Directory /var/www/timesapp> Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews AllowOverride All Require all granted </Directory>

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ combined


Don't forget to change above with the domain name that you use for your TimesApp installation.

Enable the site using a2ensite command.

sudo a2ensite TimesApp

Reload the apache2 process so it read the new virtualhost configuration:

sudo service apache2 reload

Change TimesApp Default Admin Password

Open TimesApp installation. We can use default admin credential on TimesApp. The default administrator account is and password is Admin1234.

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After logging in we will go to TimesApp dashboard. From here we can access all TimesApp features, but before you explore TimesApp features let's change default admin password.

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Go to Administrator -> Profile on top right of the dashboard.

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Input new password on Password and Repeat password field.

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Configure TimesApp To Use https only

A secure connection is now a requirement for web applications. The last step that we will do in this tutorial is changing the connection to only use https. We assume that you already have SSL certificate and private key.

Let's create new apache virtual host configuration on /etc/apache2/sites-available/TimesApp-ssl.conf with contents below. Don't forget to change:

<VirtualHost *:80>
   Redirect permanent /

<VirtualHost *:443>


DocumentRoot /var/www/timesapp

<Directory /var/www/timesapp> Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks +MultiViews AllowOverride All Require all granted </Directory>

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/ combined

SSLEngine on SSLCertificateFile /etc/apache2/ssl/ SSLCertificateChainFile /etc/apache2/ssl/ SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/apache2/ssl/

# HSTS (mod_headers is required) (15768000 seconds = 6 months) Header always set Strict-Transport-Security "max-age=15768000"



We will also disable timesapp http only virtual host and enable the new virtual host config.

sudo a2dissite timesapp sudo a2ensite timesapp-ssl

The new virtual host configuration need Apache mod_ssl module. We need to enable the module.

sudo a2enmod ssl

Now, restart Apache 2 service so it will reload its configuration. We need to restart instead of reload since we enable new module.

sudo service apache2 restart


In this tutorial we learned how-to install TimesApp on Ubuntu 14.04. We installed all the prerequisites, create user and database on MySQL for TimesApp and also configure Apache 2 virtual hosts to be able to serve TimesApp.

Hopefully TimesApp will help you and your team manage time and report time better across all of your projects.

Want your very own server? Get our 1GB memory, Xeon V4, 25GB SSD VPS for £10.00 / month.

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