capturing application usage when installed in ~/Applications?

New Contributor III

Anybody know if there's a way to do this?

I've added ~/Applications/ as a custom path to my Settings -> Computer Mgmt -> Inventory Collection -> Software setup but that doesn't seem to work (kinda makes sense, this is undoubtedly running as root)?

On a lark, I just added /Users/$USERNAME/Applications/ as a new custom path but don't have high hope...


Honored Contributor

Application usage is a very weird feature. Depending on what your desired return from it is, it may not be giving you the data you want. It records open foreground and background apps, but that doesn't mean the end user is using it. Also, depending on how often and frequent jamf collects this data, you could have gaps in your data that make the full picture incomplete. If you are wanting to track if a user is actually using a licensed app then you might get a decent return on it.

If we take a look at the lsappinfo binary, it does just exactly this.

% lsappinfo info -app Firefox    
"Firefox" ASN:0x0-0xf20f20: 
    bundle path="/Applications/"
    executable path="/Applications/"
    pid = 59881 type="Foreground" flavor=3 Version="8020.8.31" fileType="APPL" creator="MOZB" Arch=x86_64 
    checkin time = 2020/09/08 10:37:21 ( 12 days, 31 minutes, 21.6145 seconds ago )

I haven't restarted Firefox in 12 days! Also take a look at type="Foreground" this means that I am focused on Firefox right now, which makes sense writing a post on the internets. So, before you invest tons of time and effort into getting Application Usage working, I would suggest you define what you want your return to be on the investment.