Redmine is a web-based project management application written in Ruby and is based on the Ruby on Rails (RoR) framework. It has a very clean user interface and a good list of features. It is probably the easiest to use and a complete web-based (software) project management tool available.

Redmine package is available in Ubuntu, which makes installation easy. It is, however, not very straightforward, and this tutorial will guide you step-by-step in installing Redmine on your Ubuntu machine.

This tutorial is based on Ubuntu 10.10, though it might also be compatible with other releases. The steps below detail the installation. It assumes you are to use and do a fresh installation of Apache and MySQL. A screencast of the whole installation and configuration process is also available at the end of this article.

Step-by-step video guide:

How to install Redmine on Ubuntu:

Install packages

Redmine package is available in the default Ubuntu repository. Run the following command at the terminal to install Redmine and its related packages.

sudo apt-get install redmine redmine-mysql subversion apache2 mysql-server libapache2-mod-passenger

Configure MySQL

When installing the MySQL server package, you'll be required to set the root password.

Key in your desired password and press Enter

You'll then need to type in the password again for confirmation.

Re-enter password and press Enter

Configure Redmine database

During Redmine package installation, you'll come to these configuration windows.

Select Yes to configure it with dbconfig-common

Select database backend

You'll then be presented with the list of supported and available database backend.

Select MySQL and press enter.

Provide MySQL root access

You'll be asked to enter login credentials to your MySQL database.

Enter MySQL root password and press enter.

Set Redmine database password

You'll need to configure the password for your Redmine installation.

Enter the desired password for your Redmine's database and press enter.

Don't use the random password feature (leave password blank) as it doesn't work

Confirm password

Confirm that the password you entered is correct.

Re-enter Redmine's database password and press enter.

Configure dispatcher

Add the following lines to the file /usr/share/redmine/public/dispatch.cgi


require File.dirname(__FILE__) + "/../config/environment" unless defined?(RAILS_ROOT)

require "dispatcher" 

ADDITIONAL_LOAD_PATHS.reverse.each { |dir| $:.unshift(dir) if } if defined?(Apache::RubyRun)

Configure file, directory and permissions

Some directories were not created by default during the package installation. Run the following command to create the directories.

sudo mkdir /usr/share/redmine/log /usr/share/redmine/tmp

These directories need to be writable by the user, so running these commands will change the ownership of the directories.

sudo chown username /usr/share/redmine/log /usr/share/redmine/tmp

Be sure to change username with your username.

The log file needs to be created, or the service will not start. Run the following command to do just that.

touch /usr/share/redmine/log/production.log

These files need to be given the right permission. Run the following command at the terminal to set the permission.

sudo chmod 644 /etc/redmine/default/session.yml /etc/redmine/default/database.yml

Configure apache

The next part is to configure Virtualhost in Apache for Redmine to work. Add the following line in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default

<VirtualHost *:80>
        ProxyPass /
        ProxyPassReverse /

The above lines assume that you want your Redmine installation to be accessible via the address. You can change that to fit your need.

The ProxyPass above requires you to enable the proxy modules in Apache. Run the following command to do that.

sudo a2enmod proxy proxy_http

Configure htaccess

The next step is to configure Apache's htaccess. Change the file /usr/share/redmine/public/.htaccess to the following

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^$ index.html [QSA]
RewriteRule ^([^.]+)$ $1.html [QSA]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ dispatch.cgi [QSA,L]

Restart apache

Once everything is configured, Apache needs to be restarted for changes to take effect. Run the following command at the terminal.

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Start service

You can start the web service with the following command and start using Redmine at the address you configured your Apache web server or by pointing your browser to port 3000 of the server's address.

ruby /usr/share/redmine/script/server webrick -e production

Configure cron

The web service needs to be started every time the system is booted. To do this, run the following command to edit your crontab.

crontab -e

And add the following line to start the service automatically during system boot.

@reboot ruby /usr/share/redmine/script/server webrick -e production
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