Quickstart for Kimai API (JSON / REST)

Access your time-tracking data via the JSON API with Kimai

Read the Swagger documentation of the Kimai API in your Kimai installation at /api/doc. For example, you can have a look at the API docs for the demo installation at https://demo.kimai.org/api/doc. You need to authenticate to see them, credentials can be found here.

Or you can export the JSON collection by visiting /api/doc.json. Save the result in a file, which can be imported with Postman.


When calling the API you have to submit two additional header with every call for authentication:

  • X-AUTH-USER - holds the username (or email address)
  • X-AUTH-TOKEN - the API password, which has to be set in the user profile

Swagger file and Postman

The API calls can be exported in a Swagger file format, which can be imported into Postman. You find the link in the API docs (the URL is api/doc.json).

To use the API with Postman, the simplest approach is to export the swagger file and import it with Postman.

Authentication in Postman

After importing the collection into Postman, edit the collection and switch to the Pre-request Scripts tab. You can add the following script to have a global authentication in-place, which you can still overwrite per call.

pm.request.headers.add({key: 'X-AUTH-USER', value: 'susan_super'});
pm.request.headers.add({key: 'X-AUTH-TOKEN', value: 'api_kitten'});

Data types

Default values

The API does not promise any BC on any default value. This is especially true for optional booleans (see below).

DateTime formats (ISO 8601 and HTML5)


  • the API returns ISO 8601
  • the API expects HTML5 “local date and time” format

The API returns ISO 8601 formatted datetime strings in the users local time, including the timezone offset.

When POSTing or PATCHing timesheet records, you MUST use the HTML5 format (see RFC 3339 as well). Even if the API might allow different formats, only this one is guaranteed to work in the future. It is also the only format that works correct, adding a timezone might and will result in unexpected and wrong records.

Please read this article to find out more about the “local date and time” pattern.

  • PHP pattern: yyyy-MM-dd'T'HH:mm:ss or Y-m-d\TH:i:s (for example 2019-04-20T14:00:00).
  • moment.js pattern: YYYY-MM-DDTHH:mm:ss or moment.HTML5_FMT.DATETIME_LOCAL_SECONDS.

Be aware: Kimai treats the given datetime as local time and adds the configured users timezone without changing the given time.

Read this comment to understand the backgrounds about that decision.


All boolean fields in POST and PATCH requests are optional, defaulting to false if unset.

Therefor you should declare all booleans, no matter if you want them to be true or false.

The field will be mapped to false if it is either not provided or false. Providing any other value, including null, will turn the value to true.