Getting WhatPulse installed on Linux

A short post aimed at helping anyone who is having issues installing the "WhatPulse" app on Linux.

If you are having issues installing WhatPulse on a Debian based Linux system, hopefully this post will help. If you don't know what WhatPulse is then check it out at the official site but it is a sweet little free app that tracks your keyboard and mouse usage and gives you fun statistics like which keys you click the most or time series plots of how much you type over time, including application specific stats. You can also compare yourself to global user's stats, I like it because it keeps me active and motivated to write. If you decide you want to give it a try you can register a free WhatPulse account first (note this is my referral link-unpaid and my WhatPulse ID is darcyslaw). There is generally less documentation for Linux installation so I decided to share what worked for me here.

Install dependencies

There are quite a few libraries required for whatpulse, namely the QT platform that whatpulse was built on.

A list of these dependencies is given on a support document from whatpulse:

  • libQtCore
  • libQtWebKit
  • libqt4-sql
  • libqt4-sql-sqlite
  • openssl-devel (libssl-dev)
  • libQtScript

To get these libraries the easiest way is to use the aptitude repository, I found the current names of these packages so you can try just copy and pasting:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libqtcore4 libqtwebkit4 libqt4-sql libqt4-sql-sqlite libssl-dev libqtscript4-core

Download and setup

Next you will want to download the correct compressed file for your Linux distribution and cpu here:

Extract the .tar.gz file you can use:

tar -zxvf whatpulse-linux-YOUR-VERSION.tar.gz

Now the last step is to give WhatPulse the ability to access your keyboard and mouse input and other privileges. Change directory into the extracted WhatPulse directory wherever you put it and run the supplied shell script as root:

sudo ./

Hit return and you will prompted for the user you would like to give WhatPulse permission for. That is the user on your Linux machine e.g. "john" in my case. That's it, you should be done and next time you reboot your system WhatPulse should start!


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