Kimai API (JSON aka REST)

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 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
  • X-AUTH-TOKEN - holds the users API password, which he can set in his 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).

Simply export the swagger file and import it into 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' });

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 3336 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.

Calling the API with PHP

This example uses the API to import a list of customers, projects and activities from a CSV file.

First create the following composer.json file and run composer install afterwards.

    "name": "kimai/api_demo",
    "require": {
        "guzzlehttp/guzzle": "^7.3",
        "symfony/console": "^5.3",
        "league/csv": "^9.7",
        "ext-json": "*"

Now create a file with the name importer and adjust the KIMAI_API_* constants to your installation:

#!/usr/bin/env php
require __DIR__.'/vendor/autoload.php';

define('KIMAI_API_URL', '');
define('KIMAI_API_USER', 'susan_super');
define('KIMAI_API_PWD', 'api_kitten');

use GuzzleHttp\Client;
use League\Csv\Reader;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Helper\ProgressBar;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Input\InputArgument;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Input\InputInterface;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Input\InputOption;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Output\OutputInterface;
use Symfony\Component\Console\SingleCommandApplication;
use Symfony\Component\Console\Style\SymfonyStyle;

(new SingleCommandApplication())
    ->setName('Kimai - Simple activity importer')
    ->addArgument('file', InputArgument::REQUIRED, 'The CSV file to import')
    ->addOption('delimiter', null, InputOption::VALUE_REQUIRED, 'The delimiter to use (by default comma ",")', ',')
    ->setCode(function (InputInterface $input, OutputInterface $output) {

        $io = new SymfonyStyle($input, $output);

        $file = $input->getArgument('file');
        if (!file_exists($file)) {
            $io->error('Cannot find file: ' . $file);
            return 1;
        if (!is_readable($file)) {
            $io->error('Cannot read file: ' . $file);
            return 2;

        $delimiter = $input->getOption('delimiter');
        if (empty($delimiter)) {
            $io->error('Cannot use empty delimiter');
            return 3;

        $csv = Reader::createFromPath($file, 'r');

        $client = new Client([
            'base_uri' => KIMAI_API_URL,
            'verify' => false,
            'headers' => ['X-AUTH-USER' => KIMAI_API_USER, 'X-AUTH-TOKEN' => KIMAI_API_PWD]

        $customers = 0;
        $projects = 0;
        $activities = 0;
        $customerIds = [];
        $projectIds = [];
        $activityIds = [];

        $doPost = function (Client $client, string $endpoint, array $data) {
            $response = $client->post($endpoint, ['json' => $data]);

            return json_decode($response->getBody(), true);

        $records = iterator_to_array($csv->getRecords());

        $progressBar = new ProgressBar($output, count($records));

        foreach($records as $record) {
            if (!array_key_exists('Customer', $record)) {
                $io->error('Cannot import row, missing field "Customer" in row: ' . implode($delimiter, $record));
                return 4;
            if (!array_key_exists('Project', $record)) {
                $io->error('Cannot import row, missing field "Project" in row: ' . implode($delimiter, $record));
                return 5;
            if (!array_key_exists('Activity', $record)) {
                $io->error('Cannot import row, missing field "Activity" in row: ' . implode($delimiter, $record));
                return 6;

            $customerName = trim($record['Customer']);
            $projectName = trim($record['Project']);
            $activityName = trim($record['Activity']);

            if (!array_key_exists($customerName, $customerIds)) {
                $customer = $doPost($client, 'customers', ['name' => mb_substr($customerName, 0, 150), 'country' => 'IT', 'currency' => 'EUR', 'timezone' => 'Europe/Rome', 'visible' => true]);
                $customerIds[$customerName] = $customer['id'];

            $customerId = (int) $customerIds[$customerName];

            if (!array_key_exists($customerId, $projectIds)) {
                $projectIds[$customerId] = [];

            if (!array_key_exists($projectName, $projectIds[$customerId])) {
                $project = $doPost($client, 'projects', ['name' => mb_substr($projectName, 0, 150), 'customer' => $customerId, 'visible' => true]);
                $projectIds[$customerId][$projectName] = $project['id'];

            $projectId = (int) $projectIds[$customerId][$projectName];

            if (!array_key_exists($projectId, $activityIds)) {
                $activityIds[$projectId] = [];

            if (!array_key_exists($activityName, $activityIds[$projectId])) {
                $activity = $doPost($client, 'activities', ['name' => mb_substr($activityName, 0, 150), 'project' => $projectId, 'visible' => true]);
                $activityIds[$projectId][$activityName] = $activity['id'];



        $io->success('Created ' . $customers . ' customers');
        $io->success('Created ' . $projects . ' projects');
        $io->success('Created ' . $activities . ' activities');

Set execute permission chmod +x importer and start it by passing the filename for your CSV ./importer ~/kimai-import.csv, which should be formatted like this:

DEMO,FOO,A long activity title
DEMO,FOO,Demand management
DEMO,BAR,Software as a service
DEMO,BAR,Video conference 
DEMO,BAR,Sales talk
DEMO,Hello world,I see you
DEMO,Hello world,Testing the API

Calling the API with Javascript

If you develop your own plugin and need to use the API for logged-in user, then you have to set the header X-AUTH-SESSION which will allow Kimai to use the current user session and not look for the default token based API authentication.


Copy & paste this code into a new api.html file and open it in your browser. You can execute some sample requests and see the JSON result.

<!doctype html>
<html lang="en">
	<meta charset="utf-8">
	<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1, shrink-to-fit=no">
	<title>Kimai - API demo</title>
	<link rel="stylesheet" href="">
	<link rel="stylesheet" href="">
	<link rel="stylesheet" href="">
	<link rel="stylesheet" href="">
	<script src=""></script>
	<script src=""></script>
	<script src=""></script>
	<script src=""></script>
	<script src=""></script>
	<script src=""></script>
		body { display: block; }
		.codePreview { margin-top: 30px; }
        function callKimaiApi(method, successHandler, errorHandler) {
            var domain = $('#inputDomain').val();
            var username = $('#inputEmail').val();
            var password = $('#inputPassword').val();
                url: domain + '/api/' + method,
                type: 'GET',
                beforeSend: function (request) {
                    request.setRequestHeader("X-AUTH-USER", username);
                    request.setRequestHeader("X-AUTH-TOKEN", password);
                headers: {
                    'X-AUTH-USER': username,
                    'X-AUTH-TOKEN': password,
                success: successHandler,
                error: errorHandler

        $(function () {
            $('#loginForm').on('submit', function (event) {
                callKimaiApi('version', function (result) {
                        $('.secret').attr('style', 'display:block');
                        return false;
                    }, function (xhr, err) {
                        $('#loginButton').text('Try again!');
                        $('.secret').attr('style', 'display:none');
                        alert('Error occured, see console for details');
                return false;

            $('button[data-api]').on('click', function (event) {

                var apiMethod = $(this).attr('data-api');
                var breakAttr = $(this).attr('data-attribute-break');

                    function (result) {
                        var jsonBeauty = JSON.stringify(result).trim();
                        if (breakAttr === "true") {
                            jsonBeauty = jsonBeauty.split('","').join('",' + "\n" + '"');
                        jsonBeauty = jsonBeauty.split('},{').join('},' + "\n" + '{');
                        $('.codePreview').attr('style', 'display:block');
                        return false;
                    }, function (xhr, err) {
                        $('#loginButton').text('Sorry, that failed :-(');
                        alert('Error occured, see console for details');
                return false;
<div class="container">
	<form id="loginForm" class="form-signin">
		<div class="text-center mb-4">
			<h1 class="h3 mb-3 font-weight-normal">API Demo</h1>
			<p>Provide your API credentials in the form below</p>
		<div class="form-label-group">
			<input type="url" id="inputDomain" class="form-control" placeholder="" required
				   autofocus value="">
			<label for="inputDomain">Kimai base URL (domain + port)</label>
		<div class="form-label-group">
			<input type="text" id="inputEmail" class="form-control" placeholder="Username" required value="susan_super">
			<label for="inputEmail">Email address</label>
		<div class="form-label-group">
			<input type="password" id="inputPassword" class="form-control" placeholder="Password" required
			<label for="inputPassword">Password</label>
		<button class="btn btn-lg btn-primary btn-block" id="loginButton" type="submit">Sign in</button>
	<div class="row secret" style="display:none">
		<div class="col-sm text-center">
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-primary" data-api="ping" data-attribute-break="true">Ping</button>
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-secondary" data-api="version" data-attribute-break="true">Version</button>
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-primary" data-api="timesheets" data-attribute-break="false">Timesheet</button>
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-primary" data-api="activities" data-attribute-break="false">Activities</button>
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-primary" data-api="projects" data-attribute-break="false">Projects</button>
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-primary" data-api="customers" data-attribute-break="false">Customers</button>
			<button type="button" class="btn btn-secondary" data-api="config/i18n" data-attribute-break="true">i18n</button>
	<div class="row codePreview" style="display:none">
		<pre class="language-json line-numbers" style="white-space: pre-line">
			<code id="apiResult"></code>