Jack Wallen shows you how to use this open-source ticketing system that can be a challenge to install.

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OTRS is one of the more popular open-source ticketing systems you’ll find on the market. This ticketing and process management platform offers plenty of customizable features that make it a solid choice for help desks, call centers and IT service management.

SEE: 40+ open source and Linux terms you need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

The one issue with OTRS is that it’s not as simple to install as some other systems. But we at TechRepublic have you covered.

I’m going to walk you through the process of installing OTRS on Ubuntu 20.04.

What you’ll need

To make this work you’ll need a running instance of Ubuntu Server 20.04 and a user with sudo privileges. With that said, let’s get this system up and running.

How to install the dependencies

The first thing we’ll do is install the necessary dependencies. First, we’ll take care of installing Apache and the required Perl modules. Log into your server and install Apache with:

sudo apt install apache2 apache2-ssl-dev apache2-dev -y

When that completes, install the Perl modules with:

sudo apt install libapache2-mod-perl2 libdbd-mysql-perl libtimedate-perl libnet-dns-perl libnet-ldap-perl libio-socket-ssl-perl libpdf-api2-perl libsoap-lite-perl libtext-csv-xs-perl libjson-xs-perl libapache-dbi-perl libxml-libxml-perl libxml-libxslt-perl libyaml-perl libarchive-zip-perl libcrypt-eksblowfish-perl libencode-hanextra-perl libmail-imapclient-perl libtemplate-perl libdatetime-perl libcrypt-ssleay-perl libdbd-odbc-perl libdbd-pg-perl libauthen-ntlm-perl libmoo-perl zip unzip -y

Next, we’ll install the MariaDB database:

sudo apt install mariadb-server mariadb-client -y

Finally, install shareutils with:

sudo apt install sharutils -y

How to create the database

Before we create the database, let’s secure the MariaDB installation with the command:

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Set an admin password and answer <codey to all of the questions.

How to create the OTRS user

Let’s create a user for OTRS. Add the user with:

sudo useradd otrs

Give the user a password with:

sudo passwd otrs

Add the new user to the apache group with:

sudo usermod -aG apache otrs

How to download and install OTRS

Although you can download the source and install everything manually, the most reliable way of getting OTRS up and running is to use the installation script, created by the developers. Download and run the script with:

curl -O https://otrscommunityedition.com/download/otrs-community-edition-6.0.33.sh && sudo bash otrs-community-edition-6.0.33.sh

The installer will present you with a terminal-based interface for the installation (Figure A).

Figure A

The OTRS installer tool is an ncurses-based terminal application.
The OTRS installer tool is an ncurses-based terminal application.

Hit Enter to begin the installation. During the installation, you’ll be asked for the MariaDB root password (Figure B, which you set earlier with the sudo mysql_secure_installation command).

Figure B

Installing OTRS with the installation script is much more reliable than other methods.
Installing OTRS with the installation script is much more reliable than other methods.

You will also be required to type and re-type a password for the default user (which is root@localhost). After that, the installer will do its thing. In the end, it will present you with the address you need to log into the web-based dashboard. The URL is in the form http://SERVER/otrs/index.pl (Where SERVER is the IP address or domain of the hosting server).

Before you log in, make sure to start the OTRS daemon (which is handled through cron) with the commands:

cd /opt/otrs/bin/

sudo ./Cron.sh start otrs

You can also manually start the daemon by switching to the otrs user:

su otrs

Now, start the daemon with:

/opt/otrs/bin/otrs.Daemon.pl start

Log in with username root@localhost and the password you set for that user during the installation and you will be greeted by the ORTS main page (Figure C).

Figure C

The OTRS main page.
The OTRS main page.

Congratulations, you are now ready to start setting up your OTRS ticketing system.

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