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Somebody's coming up. Somebody serious

19 March 2009 21:50

About a year ago I was looking for a "support system", to allow people to report issues and then allow myself and my partner to handle them.

I looked at several packages and eventually decided upon roundup. (Minimal dependencies, included in Debian Stable, Simple to setup.)

Over time my annoyances with this package have grown, so its definitely time to look again at the support landscape. For the moment I decided to give in to pressure and try RT. Unfortunately this was very quickly the result:

[Tue Mar 17 18:54:23 2009] [crit]: <rt-3.6.7-5189-1237316062-367.1-3-0..>

Could not send mail: Couldn't run /usr/sbin/sendmail:
  Cannot allocate memory at
    /usr/share/request-tracker3.6/lib/RT/Action/SendEmail.pm line 334.


How much memory does the system have? 400Mb "real" and 256Mb "swap".

I've bumpted it up to 512Mb + 376Mb respectively. Lets see how that helps.

I'm reminded, once more, that in theory a support system is a small piece of software. In terms of my RT install all I did was install it, configure it such that when a new user submits a ticket they get back an autoreply with login details and can view/edit/close their own ticket via the web interface. This wiki page helped.

This is a step up from roundup which has a weird idea of security - if you allow a ticket submitter to use the UI they can see all open/closed tickets.

Anyway I'll keep testing it for a couple of days and if the memory helps then I guess its a small price to pay but .. ugh. Maybe the home made solution is the more practical solution..

ObFilm: Leon



Comments on this entry

icon Adrian Bridgett at 23:01 on 19 March 2009
JIRA is very good, but commercial (although you can use it on free software products for free).
Redmine looked promising when I first looked at it about 1-2 years ago (but lacked a key feature for us). However it seems to have massively improved and looks quite impressive.
It's more aimed at developers than support tickets, but it maybe worth a try.
icon Micah Gersten at 22:20 on 19 March 2009
How about Launchpad? Do you need to host it yourself? Launchpad manages teams and projects.
icon Steve Kemp at 00:33 on 20 March 2009

Thanks for the recommendations, both of you.

I always want to use software I can control, or which is open source. Unless there are very strong reasons not to.

So I'm uninterested in Launchpad, and I suspect that JIRA is unsuitable too.

Redmine I remember as a multi-project version of trac. So it was very much a solution aimed at integrated problem reports, source viewing, and wiki. (I admit I've not looked and I could be mistaken). If that is the cause it is unsuitable - I literally want an email submission to become a "ticket" which can be picked up by a couple of people, responded to, and tracked.

There's no public codebase to link it to, no matching commits, etc.

Still I will take a look over the weekend, so thanks again!

icon natxo at 08:23 on 20 March 2009
I have successfully installed a vm (kvm based) of rt with 512MB; it was really snappy and 6 support people are using it. The host is pretty powerful, but nothing out of the ordinary if you take today's server hardware (it is a bottom line proliant with a dual core xeon cpu and 8gb ram; it hosts about 10 vm's). After one year of use we have some 15.000 tickets, not a lot but enough to see if the system is up to the task. Fast disks are very important for databases, but you already know that, I presume.
I just followed the documentation in the debian package (debian etch at the time) and had no problems setting it up. it just works.
icon Wayne at 09:38 on 20 March 2009
Our RT install is running fine with just 256Mb with minimal swapping. It was supposed to a temp solution but has become permanent. Granted it is slow but it works.