Is there good Pomodoro desktop timer for Linux without a lot of dependencies.

I know about pomodairo, but it's made with Adobe Air, which I don't want on my Linux (even if it exists for Linux).

  • I used to run i3 and bwpwm, but recently I have been using gnome. I feel like I am more productive when I am in gnome rather than a tiling wm -- mostly when I am working with blender, gimp, or other applications that are heavily reliant on the mouse rather than vim or other terminal applications. I have recently discovered gnome-shell-pomodoro-git (A.U.R.), which can be found here github.com/codito/gnome-pomodoro for non-arch users. I think it looks very nice: imgur.com/a/aKKRF
    – dylnmc
    Commented Apr 23, 2017 at 15:20

5 Answers 5


If you're into minimalistic approaches, I'd suggest one I found here, that uses the Terminal:

sleep 1500 && notify-send "break"

Where 1500 stands for "1500 seconds", which is equivalent to 25 minutes. In order to take breaks, you should issue the following:

sleep 300 && notify-send "back to work"  # a short, 5-minute break
sleep 900 && notify-send "back to work"  # a long, 15-minute break

Of course, you can also issue the whole thing at once, like this:

sleep 1500 && notify-send "break"; sleep 300 && notify-send "back to work"
sleep 1500 && notify-send "break"; sleep 300 && notify-send "back to work"
sleep 1500 && notify-send "break"; sleep 300 && notify-send "back to work"
sleep 1500 && notify-send "break"; sleep 900 && notify-send "back to work"

This approach uses visual and silent notifications, which I find ideal, but I'm sure you can tweak it to give you a beep instead of a notification, in case you prefer.

Of course, you can also go crazy and add subtitles, icons, and different urgency levels. You can run man notify-send to see the options or check out this nice article that I've found to be quite helpful. I've also published software on GitHub that does this, feel free to fork or contribute to the upstream repo.

You may also use zenity to have a more sticky notification. For example:

sleep 1500 && zenity --warning --text="25 minutes passed"

The dialog won't close until you explicitly push the OK button. Run man zenity for more information.

  • 4
    This is awesome. On breaks I have it notify every minute with remaining minutes. Thanks!
    – Ivan
    Commented Feb 3, 2014 at 1:26
  • 2
    Based on this answer, I created a simple script that worked fine in Ubuntu 16.04 and I'm using as a minimalist pomodoro timer. Awesome tips.
    – James
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 16:00
  • If you already sent the command to run in the background and want to check how long you have suffered so far: jobs -l to get the process id PID, and then ps -o etime -p PID
    – HongboZhu
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 12:16
  • 1
    @James: you just counter-improved the minimalistic approach :)
    – HongboZhu
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 12:18

I am using Flowkeeper which needs Java.

enter image description here


Consider Workrave, as it has software packages (eg. an Ubuntu package, workrave) available. It appears to be mostly written in C++.

See this blog post on pomodoro with Workrave.

I also notice that there's an "idle" feature (which is probably not helpful for practicing pomodoro) built into Workrave. Also see this blog post on adjusting idle time.

  • Over the last few days I've been using Resto, since running Pop!_OS does not really provide a place for the Workrave system tray GUI. So far it's pretty nice (no Debian/Ubuntu package available though, alas)! Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 1:00

Here is one from Softpedia (at your own risk): http://linux.softpedia.com/get/Utilities/Pomodoro-Timer-55822.shtml

alt text

I know it is not based on the Pomodoro method...

"Timer Applet: Available in most Linux systems' repositories, this unobtrusive applet works great for those who like to work in timed bursts. Start the timer as either a running clock or set it to alert you at a custom interval of time."

From: http://lifehacker.com/5048628/make-your-linux-desktop-more-productive (part-way down the page)

alt text

  • The Timer Applet's presets would work really well for the Pomodoro method. Commented Dec 21, 2010 at 3:51

I have been using this other software called Tomate that is pretty decent. It is very simple to install and has all of the Pomodoro Technique timers already preset (25,5,15). I particularly like the grey Tomate icon in the systray that gradually becomes red clockwise as the timer progresses. It gives you a sense of how much time has elapsed without the actual stress of watching the clock ticking.


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