Trouble ("Issue") Ticket and Bug-Tracking Software

[As is often the case for files in this knowledgebase, what follows doesn't yet aspire to be a field guide, but rather is just a listing of some software options one might wish to investigate.]

OTRS (Open-source Ticket Request System)


OTRS is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Double Choco Latte
DCL is a GNU Enterprise package that provides basic project management capabilities, time tracking on tasks, call tracking, e-mail notifications, online documents, statistical reports, a report engine, and more features are either working or being developed/planned. It can be displayed inside of a phpGroupWare installation or be used stand-alone.

GNU GNATS is a set of tools for tracking bugs reported by users to a central site. It allows problem report management and communication with users via various means. GNATS stores all the information about problem reports in its databases and provides tools for querying, editing, and maintenance of the databases.

Thanks to its architecture, GNATS is not bound to a single user interface it can be used via command line, e-mail, Emacs, or a network daemon, usually used with a Web interface. Together with the fact that all GNATS databases and configuration can be stored in plain text files, it allows easy use and provides good flexibility. Basically, if the GNATS tools do not provide everything you need, you can add your own additional utilities using standard GNU tools.

GNATS 4.0 was the first official release to incorporate major advances including multiple database support, customized fields and comprehensive WWW and Tk based front-ends. These features were first seen in the 4.0 beta releases.

Trac is an enhanced wiki and issue tracking system for software development projects. Trac uses a minimalistic approach to Web-based software project management. Our mission is to help developers write great software while staying out of the way. Trac should impose as little as possible on a team's established development process and policies.

It provides an interface to Subversion, an integrated Wiki, and convenient reporting facilities.

Trac allows wiki markup in issue descriptions and commit messages, creating links and seamless references between bugs, tasks, changesets, files, and wiki pages. A timeline shows all project events in order, making the acquisition of an overview of the project and tracking progress very easy.

Code is Python. BSD-licensed.

Request Tracker (RT)
RT is an enterprise-grade ticketing system that enables a group of people to intelligently and efficiently manage tasks, issues, and requests submitted by a community of users.

The RT platform has been under development since 1996, and is used by systems administrators, customer support staffs, IT managers, developers, and marketing departments at thousands of sites around the world.

Written in object-oriented Perl, RT is a high-level, portable, platform independent system that eases collaboration within organizations and makes it easy for them to take care of their customers.

RT manages key tasks such as the identification, prioritization, assignment, resolution and notification required by enterprise-critical applications including project management, help desk, NOC ticketing, CRM and software development.

Code is Perl. GNU GPL.

IssueTrackerProduct is a bug/issue-tracking Web application written for the Zope Web application platform. It's different from other similar systems in that it is built with usability in the first room. No new features are implemented unless there's a genuine demand from its users (community users).

Everything is written in the Python with ZPT in a module package. The package also includes icons for its own integration into Zope and for displaying uploaded file attachments that go with issues.

The main developer is Peter Bengtsson, but a lot of help has been contributed to him by users.

Code is Python. Zope Public License (a simple permissive licence).

Itracker is a professional, easy to use, open, integrable, fast, modular, customizable and scalable issue-tracking system for all kind of projects. Here is a semi complete feature list for itracker:






Code is Java. GNU LGPL.

LibreSource is a versatile collaborative platform, modular and highly customizable. LibreSource is adapted to the collaborative software development (forge), groupware, community leading, e-archiving and Web publishing.

On a single server, LibreSource can host several projects, several groups of users, and grant fine grain access to the resources. Based on Java/J2EE, LibreSource is a modular Web server that users can customize online by combining resources and rights: wiki pages, forum, trackers, Synchronizers, Subversion repositories, files, download areas, drop boxes, forms, etc. LibreSource uses most of the advanced services provided by the ObjectWeb application server called JOnAS.

Code is Java/J2EE. Qt Public License.

Roundup (old site: is an open-source issue or bug tracking system featuring a command-line, Web, and e-mail interface. It is written in Python and designed to be highly customizable. Roundup was designed by Ka-Ping Yee for the Software Carpentry project and is currently being developed under the direction of Richard Jones.

The standard configuration of Roundup features:

Roundup runs as a daemon process, CGI script, or alternatively using mod_python.

Code is Python. MIT/X license, and Zope Public License 2.0 for the template system.

SimpleTicket is an open-source trouble ticket software package, written using Ruby on Rails, which a company, organization or institution can use to assign tickets to incoming queries, thereby greatly facilitating the handling of support requests and other customer traffic.

Code is Ruby. GNU GPL.

Volo Milestone
Volo Milestone is a Web-based workgroup management system. It can track almost all job functions with virtually any type of call center, help desk, office, factory, law firm, or clinic. It can help reduce your CRM and helpdesk tracking costs. It can be installed in minutes, and its intuitive interface is meant to be used without the need for training. Its speedy performance can scale from small to very large offices and multiple departments. Its functionality can be extended easily with its organized design.

Code is PHP. GNU GPLv3.

BUGS - the Bug Genie
"BUGS - the Bug Genie" is an open source enterprise level issue tracking system, built on open source technology. "BUGS" enhances your development process, by offering an advanced tool to manage bug reports, feature requests and user feedback for your products.

Code is PHP. MPL 1.1.

Collaboa will be a collaborative tool for developers using Subversion.

Currently, only the following features are available:

Thanks to Rails, the underlying framework, it runs on a number of Web servers supporting both FastCGI and plain CGI. Because of the speed improvements over plain CGI, FastCGI is the preferred environment to run it in. The developer is known to have a personal taste for Lighttpd as a Web server, but that shouldn't stop you from using anything else, like Apache.

Some features planned for future releases are:

A little background:

Colloboa has been heavily influenced by Trac, which showed the world how nicely version and bug tracking could be integrated. Hopefully Colloboa still has a place in the world because of its different feature set (although it may not be quite there yet).

Code is Ruby. MIT/X License.

CVSTrac is a Web-based bug and patchset tracking system for CVS, subversion, and git.


Code is C. GNU GPL.

Debian bug tracking system, or Debbugs, is the bug tracking system used by the Debian project. It was mainly written by Ian Jackson, the Debian project leader from January 1998 - December 1998.

It consists of a set of scripts which maintain a database of problem reports. Most of the source code is written in Perl 5.

Key features:

Code is Perl 5. GNU GPLv2.

DisTract is a Distributed Bug Tracker.

We're all now familiar with working with distributed software control systems, such as Monotone, Git, Darcs, Mercurial and others, but bug trackers still seem to be fully stuck in the centralised model: Bugzilla and Trac both have single centralised servers. This is clearly wrong, as if you're able to work on the Train, off the network and still perform local commits of code then surely you should also be able to locally close bugs too.

DisTract allows you to manage bugs in a distributed manner through your Web browser. Currently only Firefox is supported. The reason for this is that there is no local server used, and so the Web browser must directly (via Javascript) call programs on your local system. I only know how to do this in Firefox. The distribution is achieved by making use of a distributed software control system, Monotone. Thus Monotone is used to move files across the network, perform merging operations and track the development of every bug. Finally, the glue in the middle that generates the HTML summaries and modifies the bugs is written in Haskell.

Other features include the use of Markdown markup syntax for bug descriptions and comments, with live preview via a Javascript implementation of Markdown.

Code is Haskell and Javascript. New BSD licence.

DITrack is a free, open source, lightweight, distributed issue (bug, defect, ticket) tracking system. It is implemented in Python and runs in UNIX (*BSD, Linux, MacOS X) and Windows environment, though support for the latter is limited. DITrack is distributed under BSD license.

The goal of this project is to provide a solution that would allow one to start tracking issues almost instantly, i.e. without requirements for complex backend infrastructure. Currently DITrack uses Subversion as its distributed file system backend, though we are planning to be backend-agnostic in the future.

The target audience for DITrack are geeks -- developers and system administrators. These species usually spend their life in command line and thus we first focus on command line interface. At the same time we strive to grow simple and clean APIs for easy integration with other systems. As a proof of concept we have implemented a simple read-only Web interface on top of the DITrack client library.

The following are distinctive features of DITrack:

comprehensible distributed model

comprehensible distributed model
Distributed doesn't have to be complex. DITrack's distribution model is simple and comprehensible: if you are familiar with Subversion or CVS you'll have no problem understanding DITrack.
zero setup cost
There is no need to setup additional infrastructure for basic needs of issue tracking. Having a version control system is all you need to start.
plain text
All data files are plain text (we extensively use RFC2822 format). In an emergency, '/bin/cat' and '/usr/bin/vi' would do to deal with the issue database. Let alone the ease of maintenance of the plain text data.
disconnected operation
No excuses to stop working on a plane or a shuttle bus. You can use a snapshot of the issue database and even perform updates to be synced with the master issue database later.

DITrack requires:


What is eTraxis? eTraxis is a free (GPL licensed) Web-based bug tracking system with unlimited number of custom workflow templates.

Key features:

Eventum is a user-friendly and flexible issue tracking system that can be used by a support department to track incoming technical support requests, or by a software development team to quickly organize tasks and bugs.

Eventum is used by the MySQL AB Technical Support ( team, and has allowed us to dramatically improve our response times. It relies on an installed Web server, PHP, and the MySQL database management system for operation.

Code is PHP. GNU GPL.

Flyspray is an uncomplicated, Web-based bug tracking system for assisting with software development. It was originally conceived when the Psi Jabber client project couldn't find a bugtracker that suited their needs, and has been made available for everyone to use for their own projects.

Features include:

Code is PHP. GNU LGPL.

Mantis Bug Tracker
Mantis is a Web-based bugtracking system. It is written in the PHP scripting language and requires a database (MySQL, MS SQL, PostgreSQL supported) and a Web server. Mantis can be installed on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, OS/2, and a variety of Unix operating systems. Almost any Web browser should be able to function as a client.

The Mantis user interface contains a color-coded issue list that provides users with at a glance status of the various issues. There is also an extensive list of sort and filter options to easily locate an issue. The issue detail page provides a one-stop location to find out all pertinent information needed to address the issue. From the issue detail page reminders can be sent, history can be seen, notes can be added all involved users, statuses changed and users assigned.




phpBugTracker is a web-based bug tracker with functionality similar to other issue tracking systems, such as Bugzilla. Design focuses on separating the presentation, application, and database layers.

phpBugTracker is lightweight and easy to install, operate and administer. Most text can be customized for your application.

Requirements: Web server + PHP + PEAR + database (MySQL, PostgreSQL or Oracle).


Code is PHP. GNU GPL.


Redmine is a flexible project management web application. Written using Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database.


Code is Ruby. GNU GPL.

Retrospectiva is an open source, web-based, project management and bug-tracking tool. It is intended to assist the collaborative aspect of work carried out by software development teams through the use of blogs, a wiki and tickets.

Users open tickets to track bugs, and request enhancements. Administrators set targets for the team through milestones. A milestone is considered completed when all tickets assigned to it are closed. The wiki is used for the documentation of the project, whilst the blog logs ongoing progress. When used in conjunction, these tools provide a helpful framework for developing and maintaining source code. The generated code can be browsed directly in Retrospectiva, and changesets record updates made to the source repository.



The Retrospectiva software is divided in a core application and (un)installable external modules. It contains numerous features, including:

General features:

Code is Ruby. MIT/X license.

Volo Fixer
Volo Fixer is a simplistic Bug Tracker. It can be installed and customized rapidly. It requires Linux, PHP5 or PHP6, SQLite3 or better, and Apache 2. Note that Apache Multiviews must be permitted (or the code must be slightly reworked). Email connectivity is not provided in this product but can be easily added. CVS and Subversion are also not integrated with the project at this time.

Code is PHP. GNU GPL.

Incyte Project Manager
MySQL/PHP-based, allows you to add and manage users, create new projects, and assign tasks to users. When a new task is assigned, you can have IPM notify the user via e-mail. IPM is a simple project management solution built in PHP4. Inside a project, you can add tasks and estimated hours. It keeps track of a project- specific todo list and finished list. Review:

Code is PHP. GNU GPL.

Keystone (proprietary)
Keystone is a Web-based ticketing system for keeping track of tasks and other items within a small to medium sized workgroup. It was formerly at; now once again downloadable at; originated by Dave Belfer-Shevett of StoneKeep Consulting, Inc., who sold it to WhitePajamas, Inc. aka WhitePJ, now called Contactual, Inc., who then on 2003-01-22 sold it back to StoneKeep, who reissued it as Keystone2. RM comments: Suffers from abysmal e-mail integration. (To be fair, my experience was entirely with the 1999 version.)

Bugzilla is a Web-based general-purpose bugtracker tool originally developed and used by the Mozilla project. Released as open source software by Netscape Communications in 1998, Bugzilla has been adopted by a variety of organizations for use as a defect tracker for both free software and proprietary products.

Bugzilla was originally written by Terry Weissman in 1998 for the nascent project, as an open source application to replace the in-house system then in use at Netscape Communications for tracking defects in the Netscape Communicator suite. Originally written in Tcl, Terry decided to port Bugzilla to Perl before its release as part of Netscape's early open source code drops, with the hopes that more people would be able to contribute to it as Perl seemed to be a more popular language at the time.

Bugzilla 2.0 was the result of that port to Perl, and the first version released to the public via anonymous CVS. In April 2000, Weissman handed off control of the Bugzilla project to Tara Hernandez. Under Tara's leadership, some of the regular contributors were coerced into taking more responsibility, and Bugzilla development became more community-driven. In July 2001, facing distraction from her other responsibilities in Netscape, Tara handed off control to Dave Miller, who is still in charge as of June 2007.

Bugzilla 3.0 was released on May 10th 2007 and brought refreshed UI, XML-RPC interface, custom fields and resolutions, mod_perl support, shared saved searches, improved UTF8 support and others.


Bugzilla's system requirements include:

Currently supported database systems are MySQL and PostgreSQL. Bugzilla is usually installed on Linux and runs using the Apache HTTP Server, but Microsoft Internet Information Services or any web server that supports CGI can be used. Bugzilla's installation process is command line driven and runs through a series of stages where system requirements and software capabilities are checked.

While the potential exists in the code to turn Bugzilla into a technical support ticket system, task management tool, or project management tool, Bugzilla's developers have chosen to focus on the task of designing a system to track software defects. Mandated design requirements include:

Code is Perl. Mozilla Public License.

WebTTS is a trouble ticketing system written in PERL5. Trouble Ticketing Systems are used by businesses and individuals to track problems in some type of product or service. I have written WebTTS to be a trouble ticketing system for ISPs. This package allows ISPs to track various service-related problems.

Code is Perl. GNU GPL.

Request Queue (req) / TkReq / tkReq / reqNG (unmaintained) / / (latest reqNG version, 1999)
The command line interface is the primary interface that req ships with. It was designed in the spirit of UNIX and the flexibility of the shell. Some of you may find it similar to the mh mail reader. The other interfaces are (or should be) built by using these tools to access the request database.

Code is elisp, tk/tcl, or C (respectively). Ancient. GNU GPL.

JitterBug (unmaintained)
JitterBug is a Web-based bug tracking system. It was originally developed by the Andrew Tridgell to handle bug tracking, problem reports and queries from Samba users.

JitterBug operates by receiving bug reports via email or a web form. Authenticated users can then reply to the message, move it between different categories or add notes to it. In some ways JitterBug is like a communal web based email system. This web page is itself a JitterBug page. You can get an idea of what JitterBug can do by playing with the various links and buttons.


Code is C. GNU GPL.

MOT (Ministry of Truth)
MOT is a generally useful web database that can be used to create Web-based databases without writing a single line of code (SQL, PHP, or HTML!). It is my hope that mot will be used to create anything from job and project tracking systems, to inventories, to catalogues and pretty much anything else for which relatively simple databases are used.

MOT's features include:


MOT relies on the following programs. You must acquire and install these programs before installing MOT:

Code is PHP. GNU GPL.

Bluetail Ticket Tracker
The Bluetail Ticket Tracker (BTT) is a system for creating, storing and keeping track of tickets. A ticket describes an issue of some sort. It can, for example, be a Trouble Report or a ToDo note.

Different User Categories:

The users of BTT are divided in four different user categories: Staff, Friend, Customer and Anonymous. The access to the data stored in BTT can be tailored for the Friend, Customer and Anonymous groups, while the Staff group has full access rights. This (hopefully) allows BTT to be used both for Open Source Projects as well as in more commercial settings.

In an Open Source Project:

In a commercial setting:

Ticket Handling:

A ticket consists of a number of fields, e.g denoting a release name, component name, responsible person, staus, priority, etc. The actual field values is defined by the Staff when the Bluetail Ticket Tracker is setup. The daily operation of BTT includes creation, editing, searching and viewing of tickets.

The users can also activate the mail alert function which will send a mail to the user when, for example, a new ticket as been assigned to the user.

Customer Information:

BTT can also store information about customers which can be useful in a support desk scenario. This makes it possible to connect a ticket with a particular customer. It is also helpful in a support desk scenario where the support engineer quickly need to find information about a customer.

Knowledge Base:

BTT can also store more general information. This Knowledge Base consists of a mail store and a information store.

The mail store makes it possible to retrieve mails (from a POP3 account) and store it locally in a BTT directory. Stored mails can then be searched, viewed and turned into tickets.

The information store is divided in two parts, one external (for users/customers) and one internal (for staff/friends). The external area can for example be used for creating a FAQ (Frequently Asked Question), a HOWTO area. The internal knowledge base is intended for the Staff and/or Friends, and may for example store information such as address lists, how to fill in the expenses form, or contain description of the work process, etc.

Code is Erlang. GNU GPL.

Java servlet-based system. Seems to be developing very slowly; is available in beta form as of 2007,

Code is Java. Apache License.

IssueZilla (defunct)
(formerly developed by at
Was a fork from Bugzilla, but has been discontinued and been removed from the projects list. I can no longer find downloadable code or substantive information.'s successor version, Issue Tracker, is proprietary and part of its CollabNet Enterprise Edition tool suite.

Further Resources:
Project Management & Bug Tracking for Linux ( -- has lots more options, and distinguishes among

See also: