In fact, I have had no problems with Rescuetime running on my Debian systems. But starting on Nov. 28, 2013 Rescuetime stopped working on one of my Archlinux installs with Openbox window manager and tint2 taskbar manager installed.
The problem began when I upgraded from RT linux client 188.8.131.525 to the current beta (which was 184.108.40.2060 at the time) [The Arch User Repository (AUR) has packages for both Rescuetime stable and beta].
I soon noticed that time tracking of active windows was no longer working properly. The client only recorded the first 2 or 3 minutes of usage in an active window, discarding the rest. Oddly enough, time in non-active windows is recorded just fine -- i.e. if I launch a Virtualbox instance of Windows, the RT client records the time spent in the VM quite reliably. Also if I launch a full-screen game through WINE or a program on another Xsession using xinit, the RT client keeps recording time in the last window that was active -- i.e. if the active window was Libreoffice Writer but I then launch a WINE app from the Openbox launch menu, the RT linux client will still think I'm in Libreoffice Writer while I'm playing my WINE game.
Anyways, I immediately downgraded to the current stable version 220.127.116.110 but it exhibited the same behavior as 18.104.22.1680~896. Unfortunately I couldn't downgrade to 22.214.171.1245 (which was the last version that worked for me) because the oldest version available on the Rescuetime site was now 126.96.36.1990.
Between the upgrade from 188.8.131.525 to 184.108.40.2060 and the downgrade to 220.127.116.110, none of the packages on my system changed. Only after I upgraded to a newer beta 18.104.22.1686 and noticed that the RT client still wasn't working did I update my system out of desperation, with upgrades to 7 packages as well as the linux kernel (from 3.12.1-1 -> 3.12.1-3) according to /var/log/pacman.log
This failed to make any difference, however. Finally on Dec. 5th, RescueTime tech support gave me a download link to 22.214.171.1245 which had worked for me prior to Nov. 28, 2013. With great anticipation, I installed the old version and ... nothing. The old version which used to work no longer did!
Isolating the package(s) that might be causing this behavior is a big headache, because between 2013.11.29 ~ 2013.12.05 I upgraded 23 packages on my Archlinux install according to /var/log/pacman.log
None of the dependencies of rescuetime (qt4, xorg-xprop, xprintidle) were affected, however. The 30 packages (not including the kernel) upgraded were:
cifs-utils (mounting Samba shares in Linux)
gtk3 (GUI toolkit)
mplayer (media player)
tevent (event system based on the talloc memory management library)
youtube-dl (download Youtube videos from CLI)
calibre (ebook reader)
python (Python3 for Arch)
serf (asynchronous HTTP client library)
mesa (opensource OpenGL implementation)
libtasn1 (ASN.1 library used in GNUTLS)
I don't think any of the packages above should have anything to do with the RT client, and I don't want to roll back all these packages just to check. As a control, I tested 126.96.36.1990 (stable) and 188.8.131.526 (beta) on a Debian machine running linux kernel 3.9 and the RT client worked just fine, correctly logging time spent in all applications, be they local or browser-based.
Note that the Debian system I tested RescueTime on doesn't use systemd and dbus but rather sysvinit for init scripts and managing services.
Has anyone else out there in Internet-land had a similar issue with the Rescuetime client in Archlinux?
UPDATE Jan 2014: Rescuetime support tracked down the bug -- the problem was related to the variable url_from_plugin_delay in the configuration file rescuetimed.cfg
In beta 184.108.40.2066, this variable was changed from milliseconds to seconds, causing the RT linux client to check active windows only intermittently instead of every few seconds. When I downgraded to .870 it seems this variable overwritten by .896 caused similar behavior to occur in .870 stable.
The issue is totally fixed in the latest RT linux beta 220.127.116.114. RescueTime was even so kind as to give me a subscription credit of 8 weeks due to the bug in 896! RescueTime is one of those tools that has absolutely changed my life and I strongly recommend everyone to give it a try!