RT 5.0.6 Documentation


Go to latest version →

Best Practical logo

Request Tracker (RT)

RT is an open source, enterprise-grade issue and ticket tracking system.
Explore RT docs »

Release Notes · Community Forum · Public Wiki · Blog · Hosting & Support

Latest release Build status

RT allows organizations to keep track of what needs to get done, who is working on which tasks, what's already been done, and when tasks were (or weren't) completed.

RT doesn't cost anything to use, no matter how much you use it; it is freely available under the terms of Version 2 of the GNU General Public License.

RT is commercially-supported software. To purchase hosting, support, training, custom development, or professional services, please get in touch with us at sales@bestpractical.com.

Screenshot of RT


  • Perl 5.10.1 or later (http://www.perl.org).

    • RT won't start on versions of Perl older than 5.10.1.
  • A supported SQL database

    • MySQL 5.7, 8 with InnoDB support
    • MariaDB 10.2 or later with InnoDB support
    • Postgres 9.5 or later
    • Oracle 12c or later
    • SQLite 3.0 or later (for testing only, no upgrade path guaranteed)
  • A webserver with FastCGI or mod_perl support

    RT's FastCGI handler needs to access RT's configuration file.

  • Various and sundry perl modules

    • A tool included with RT takes care of the installation of most of these automatically using Perl's CPAN (http://www.cpan.org). Some operating systems package all or some of the modules required, and you may be better off installing the modules that way.


  • Full-text indexing support in your database

  • An external HTML converter

    • Installing an external utility to convert HTML can improve performance. See the $HTMLFormatter configuration option for details.
  • A TLS certificate for your web server

    • For production use, we recommend getting an SSL certificate for your web server. You can get them free from Let's Encrypt (https://letsencrypt.org/) or even create your own self-signed certificate.
    • If you are testing and want to run without a certificate, add this to your etc/RT_SiteConfig.pm file:
      Set( $WebSecureCookies, 0 );
    • Without this setting, your browser won't trust RT's cookies and you won't be able to log in. See etc/RT_Config.html#WebSecureCookies for more information.


  1. Unpack this distribution other than where you want to install RT. Your home directory or /usr/local/src are both fine choices. Change to that directory and run the following command:

    tar xzvf rt.tar.gz
  2. Run the configure script. To see the list of options, run:

    ./configure --help

    Or review the options on our documentation page for configure.

    Then re-run ./configure with the flags you want.

    RT defaults to installing in /opt/rt5. It tries to guess which of www-data, www, apache or nobody your webserver will run as, but you can override that behavior. Note that the default install directory in /opt/rt5 does not work under SELinux's default configuration.

    The default database type (--with-db-type) is mysql, which means MySQL version 8 and later. Starting in RT 5.0.6, use mysql5 to run MySQL 5.7 or older, and use MariaDB to run with MariaDB.

    If you are upgrading from a previous version of RT, please review the upgrade notes for the appropriate versions, which can be found in docs/UPGRADING-*.

    If you are upgrading from 4.4.x to 5.0.x you should review both the UPGRADING-4.4 and UPGRADING-5.0 files.

    if you are upgrading from 4.2.x, you should review UPGRADING-4.2 as well.

    Any upgrade steps given in version-specific UPGRADING files should be run after the rest of the steps below; however, please read the relevant documentation before beginning the upgrade, so as to be aware of important changes.

    RT stores the arguments given to ./configure at the top of the etc/RT_Config.pm file in case you need to recreate your previous use of ./configure.

  3. Make sure that RT has the Perl and system libraries it needs to run. Check for missing dependencies by running:

    make testdeps
  4. If the script reports any missing dependencies, install them by hand, or run the following command as a user who has permission to install perl modules on your system:

    make fixdeps

    Some modules require user input or environment variables to install correctly, so it may be necessary to install them manually. Some modules also require external source libraries, so you may need to install additional packages.

    If you are having trouble installing GD, refer to "Installing GD libraries" in docs/charts.pod. Ticket relationship graphing requires the graphviz library which you should install using your distribution's package manager.

    See docs/rt_perl.pod for additional information about installing perl and RT's dependencies.

  5. Check to make sure everything was installed properly.

    make testdeps

    It might sometimes be necessary to run "make fixdeps" several times to install all necessary perl modules.

6a. If you are installing RT for the first time

As a user with permission to install RT in your chosen directory, type:

make install

To configure RT with the web installer, run:


and follow the instructions. Once completed, you should now have a working RT instance running with the standalone rt-server. Press Ctrl-C to stop it, and proceed to Step 7 to configure a recommended deployment environment for production.

To configure RT manually, you must setup etc/RT_SiteConfig.pm in your RT installation directory. You'll need to add any values you need to change from the defaults in etc/RT_Config.pm.

As a user with permission to read RT's configuration file, type:

make initialize-database

If the make fails, type:

make dropdb

and re-run make initialize-database.

6b. If you are upgrading from an older release of RT Before upgrading, always ensure that you have a complete current backup. If you don't have a current backup, upgrading your database could accidentally damage it and lose data, or worse.

If you are using MySQL, please read the instructions in docs/UPGRADING.mysql as well to ensure that you do not corrupt existing data.

  • Stop your webserver.

  • You may also wish to put incoming email into a hold queue, to avoid temporary delivery failure messages if your upgrade is expected to take several hours.

  • Back up your database, as the next step may make changes to your database's schema and data.

  • Install new binaries, config files and libraries by running:

make upgrade
  • This will also prompt you to upgrade your database by running:
make upgrade-database

When you run it, you will be prompted for your previous version of RT (such as 4.4.1) so that the appropriate set of database upgrades can be applied.

If make upgrade-database completes without error, your upgrade has been successful; you should now run any commands that were supplied in version-specific UPGRADING documentation. You should then restart your webserver.

Depending on the size and composition of your database, some upgrade steps may run for a long time. You may also need extra disk space or other resources while running upgrade steps. It's a good idea to run through the upgrade steps on a test server so you know what to expect before running on your production system.

  1. Configure the web server, as described in docs/web_deployment.pod, and the email gateway, as described below.

    NOTE: The default credentials for RT are: - User: root - Pass: password Not changing the root password from the default is a SECURITY risk!

  2. Set up users, groups, queues, scrips and access control.

    Until you do this, RT will not be able to send or receive email, nor will it be more than marginally functional. This is not an optional step.

  3. Set up automated recurring tasks (cronjobs):

    Depending on your configuration, RT stores sessions in the database or on the file system. In either case, sessions are only needed until a user logs out, so old sessions should be cleaned up with the sbin/rt-clean-sessions` utility.

    To generate email digest messages, you must arrange for the provided utility to be run once daily, and once weekly. You may also want to arrange for the sbin/rt-email-dashboards utility to be run hourly.

    RT automatically creates temporary short URLs for searches and these can be cleared from the system periodically as well. See the documentation for the sbin/rt-clean-shorteners tool for options. You can schedule this to run regularly if desired.

    If your task scheduler is cron, you can configure it by adding the following lines as /etc/cron.d/rt:

        0 0 * * * root /opt/rt5/sbin/rt-clean-sessions
        0 0 * * * root /opt/rt5/sbin/rt-email-digest -m daily
        0 0 * * 0 root /opt/rt5/sbin/rt-email-digest -m weekly
        0 * * * * root /opt/rt5/sbin/rt-email-dashboards

    Other optional features like full text search indexes, external attachments, etc., may also have recurring jobs to schedule in cron. Follow the documentation for these features when you enable them.

  4. Configure the RT email gateway. To let email flow to your RT server, you need to add a few lines of configuration to your mail server's "aliases" file. These lines "pipe" incoming email messages from your mail server to RT.

    Add the following lines to /etc/aliases (or your local equivalent) on your mail server:

    rt:         "|/opt/rt5/bin/rt-mailgate --queue general --action correspond --url http://rt.example.com"
    rt-comment: "|/opt/rt5/bin/rt-mailgate --queue general --action comment --url http://rt.example.com"

    You'll need to add similar lines for each queue you want to be able to send email to. To find out more about how to configure RT's email gateway, see bin/rt-mailgate.

  5. Set up full text search

    Full text search (FTS) without database indexing is a very slow operation, and is thus disabled by default. You'll need to follow the instructions in docs/full_text_indexing.pod to enable FTS.

  6. Set up automatic backups for RT and its data as described in docs/system_administration/database.pod.


If RT is mission-critical for you or if you use it heavily, we recommend that you purchase a commercial support contract. Details on support contracts are available at http://www.bestpractical.com or by writing to sales@bestpractical.com. We also offer managed hosting plans if you prefer to have someone else manage the RT server.

If you're interested in having RT extended or customized or would like more information about commercial support options, please send email to sales@bestpractical.com to discuss rates and availability.


To keep up to date on the latest RT tips, techniques and extensions, you may wish to join the RT Community Forum website. You can find it here:


You'll find many different categories of discussion there including the RT Users category for general RT topics. If you're interested in customizing RT code, there is a category for RT Developers with more technical topics.

The RT wiki, at https://rt-wiki.bestpractical.com, is also an excellent resource.


If you believe you've discovered a security issue in RT, please send an email to security@bestpractical.com with a detailed description of the issue, and a secure means to respond to you (such as your PGP public key). You can find our PGP key and fingerprint at https://bestpractical.com/security/


RT's a pretty complex application, and as you get up to speed, you might run into some trouble. Generally, it's best to ask about things you run into on the Community Forum (or pick up a commercial support contract from Best Practical). But, sometimes people do run into bugs. In the exceedingly unlikely event that you hit a bug in RT, please report it! We'd love to hear about problems you have with RT, so we can fix them.

To report a bug, go to our public RT instance and create a ticket. Note that this is a public RT instance, so the information you share will be visible to others. You can browse some other bug tickets to see what is shown.



This software is Copyright (c) 1996-2024 Best Practical Solutions, LLC sales@bestpractical.com

(Except where explicitly superseded by other copyright notices)


This work is made available to you under the terms of Version 2 of the GNU General Public License. A copy of that license should have been provided with this software, but in any event can be snarfed from www.gnu.org.

This work is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 or visit their web page on the internet at http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0.html.


(The following paragraph is not intended to limit the rights granted to you to modify and distribute this software under the terms of the GNU General Public License and is only of importance to you if you choose to contribute your changes and enhancements to the community by submitting them to Best Practical Solutions, LLC.)

By intentionally submitting any modifications, corrections or derivatives to this work, or any other work intended for use with Request Tracker, to Best Practical Solutions, LLC, you confirm that you are the copyright holder for those contributions and you grant Best Practical Solutions, LLC a nonexclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free, perpetual, license to use, copy, create derivative works based on those contributions, and sublicense and distribute those contributions and any derivatives thereof.