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by Daniel Schildt

English ~2 min reading time

Uptime tracking on macOS

Started tracking macOS laptop uptime with Uptimed, a small background process that keeps track of amount of computer usage. While it was originally made for Linux & *nix-based systems, there is also a macOS version available via Homebrew package management system.

“Uptimed is an uptime record daemon keeping track of the highest uptimes a computer system ever had. It uses the system boot time to keep sessions apart from each other. Uptimed comes with a console front-end to parse the records, which can also easily be used to show your records on a web page.”

— Podgorny, Radek. rpodgorny/uptimed. Git repository. GitHub. 2017-07-17.

Before you install anything, remember to update package listings to the latest version:

brew update

Before installing any new package from Homebrew, it is recommended that you check details about package first to understand what is being installed. To do so on the command line for this specific application, run the following to see dependencies etc. that get installed:

brew info uptimed

This allows you to see details such as the URL to the Ruby-based Formula that Homebrew uses behind the scene for package version verification and installation. After looking at what the package description says, installation happens with the following command:

brew install uptimed

After package has been installed, it is not yet running before you manually enable it with Homebrew background services management system:

brew services start uptimed

If everything went well, application should be running on the background now. It might take few minutes before uptimed creates the first database snapshot of the uptime records, so you might initially see error message (“uptimed: no useable database found.”) when running the uprecords command (that will be used for checking the collected statistics).

To check the statistics, run:


For more details about the tool, check the official Git repository. Software is also available for various Linux distributions via other package managers, so it can be used in different types of computers. While there are other more network-centric tools for uptime tracking, this one works nicely for more casual & non-critical use cases.