Kimai is a free, open source time-tracking software written in PHP and designed for small businesses and freelancers.

The times tracked in the software can be directly priced, aggregated, invoiced and integrated in automated processes utilizing the RESTful API.


For this guide you should be familiar with the basic concepts of


Kimai is released under the MIT License. All relevant information can be found in the LICENSE file in the repository of the project.


We’re using PHP in the stable version 8.1:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace tools version show php
Using 'PHP' version: '8.1'
[isabell@stardust ~]$

You’ll need your MySQL credentials. Get them with my_print_defaults:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ my_print_defaults client
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Your website domain needs to be set up:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace web domain list
[isabell@stardust ~]$


To install Kimai we clone the current stable version using Git. cd to one level above your DocumentRoot so the cloned folder will live next to html.

Check the current stable release and copy the version number which you have to insert in the following git clone command.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd /var/www/virtual/$USER/
[isabell@stardust isabell]$ git clone -b 1.30.11 --depth 1
Cloning into 'kimai'...
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Install all necessary dependencies using Composer. This can take some time.

[isabell@stardust isabell]$ cd kimai/
[isabell@stardust kimai]$ composer install --no-dev --optimize-autoloader
Loading composer repositories with package information
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Remove your unused DocumentRoot and create a new symbolic link to the kimai/public directory:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd /var/www/virtual/$USER/
[isabell@stardust isabell]$ rm -f html/nocontent.html; rmdir html
[isabell@stardust isabell]$ ln -s /var/www/virtual/$USER/kimai/public html
[isabell@stardust ~]$


To configure Kimai you need to edit the main configuration file /var/www/virtual/$USER/kimai/.env. Open this file with a text editor of your choice.

Edit the following parts of your configuration file:
  • replace the secret in the line starting with APP_SECRET by a random string

  • comment in the line starting with DATABASE_URL=mysql (remove the #)

  • in the same line replace the placeholders db_user, db_password and db_name with your MySQL credentials

  • The finished configuration should look like this DATABASE_URL=mysql://isabell:SAFEPASSWORD@

Save the changed file and start the installation using the Kimai console.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd /var/www/virtual/$USER/kimai/
[isabell@stardust kimai]$ bin/console kimai:install -n
Kimai installation running ...
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Finishing installation

Finish the installation by creating an admin user with the Kimai console. Insert your username and email address in the shell command. You will be prompted to insert a password afterwards.

Please don’t use admin as your username and set yourself a strong password.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd /var/www/virtual/$USER/kimai/
[isabell@stardust kimai]$ bin/console kimai:user:create <username> <> ROLE_SUPER_ADMIN
Please enter the password: ****
[isabell@stardust ~]$

That’s it! You can now visit your website domain and login using your new account.



Check the update feed regularly to stay informed about the newest version.

Check Kimai’s releases for the latest versions. If a newer version is available, you should manually update your installation.

To update your installation fetch the new release tags from GitHub and checkout the version you want to update to by using their version number in the git checkout command. Afterwards update your dependencies with composer.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd /var/www/virtual/$USER/kimai/
[isabell@stardust kimai]$ git fetch --tags
[isabell@stardust kimai]$ git checkout 1.30.11
[isabell@stardust kimai]$ composer install --no-dev --optimize-autoloader
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Now clear and warmup your cache.

[isabell@stardust kimai]$ bin/console kimai:reload -n
[isabell@stardust ~]$

And last but not least: upgrade your database (you need to confirm the migration).

[isabell@stardust kimai]$ bin/console kimai:update -n
[isabell@stardust ~]$


It is possible that some version jumps require specific actions. Always check the UPGRADE guide and the release notes before updating your instance.

Tested with Kimai 1.30.11, Uberspace 7.15.0, and PHP 8.1

Written by: Daniel Kratz <>