Lead Image © Ignard ten Have, 123RF.com

Lead Image © Ignard ten Have, 123RF.com

Ticket Management with osTicket


Article from ADMIN 27/2015
osTicket is a lean ticket system that limits itself to the core functions of receiving and processing requests.

If you need a particularly flexible and easily expandable ticket system, OTRS is certainly a good choice, as long as you can spare the time to set it up. However, osTicket [1] is the system of choice wherever a streamlined ticket solution is required.

The open source environment is much easier to set up than OTRS and offers a variety of design customization options. osTicket offers excellent reporting and SLA support in addition to the basic ticket processing functions. Whereas OTRS can be operated with PostgreSQL, Oracle, and SQL server databases, osTicket is bound to a MySQL database.

Simple Basic Installation

Commissioning osTicket is no great challenge for an experienced administrator and can even be handled by less tech-savvy users. The system requirements are also quite manageable: You need a recent Apache installation, including MySQL Database Server 5.x, PHP 5.3 or higher, and the MySQLi extension. It is also possible to implement it on the Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), for which you will need PHP Manager [2]. If these conditions are met, you can begin the installation by unzipping the archive and copying the folder data from the Upload folder into a directory (e.g., /osticket or /support in the web server document root directory).

osTicket has an installer that you simply start using the URL http://<IP-address>/<ost-directory>/upload/ . The installer must be able to read and write the osTicket configuration file, ost-config.php. The first step that the installer performs is to check the environment and provide you with the necessary guidance regarding which mandatory and optional components are missing. Depending on the environment, you will need the PHP IMAP module or the PHP XML extension in place.

The osTicket environment includes a sample configuration file ost-sampleconfig.php, which is located in the include subdirectory. Simply rename this to ost-config.php and then click Continue . The next step involves configuring the osTicket environment. You assign the ticket system a name, the default email address, and the default language in the system settings. The next configuration section deals with setting up the administrator, where you add the typical contact information.

Next, the installer asks you to specify the database data. You need to specify the table prefix in addition to the database server, the database, and the access credentials. You need to set up the database in advance, but this can be accomplished easily using, say, phpMyAdmin. Finally, click the Install button to complete the ticket environment basic setup.

Ideally, osTicket will show you a success message after the installation. Table 1 lists the default URLs to access osTicket functionality.

Table 1

osTicket URLs

Function URL
Installer http://<IP-address>/<ost-directory>/upload/
Ticket system http://<IP-address>/osticket/upload
Admin and staff access http://<IP-address>/osticket/upload/scp/
Re-run installer http://<IP-address>/osticket/support/setup/
Email piping http://<IP-Address>/osticket/api/tickets.email

Getting Started and Troubleshooting

Once the installation is successfully completed, you should verify it by logging on for the first time. If everything looks normal, adjust the permissions for the configuration file /include/ost-config.php and remove the write permissions. Also delete the setup osTicket directory so that potential attackers do not overwrite the current installation. osTicket is now fully up and running.

In the unlikely event of problems with the setup and configuration, you can use a simple trick: Enable Show Errors in the PHP file main.inc.php. Edit the section


by changing it as follows:


Error messages are then output directly in the browser window at run time or written to the server's error.log file. You should also check the dashboard and the mail server logfile for related entries. The system logs are output to the Home tab on the Dashboard.

Numerous Ticket Settings

After successfully installing osTicket, you can start to set up the environment (Figure 1). This includes, for example, creating an operator profile, customizing ticket settings and options, creating users, and customizing email templates. Enabling and configuring the autoresponder and the notifications are among the administrative tasks.

Figure 1: A first look at the osTicket basic system administration center.

Now you need to check the environment data via Dashboard | Information . Here you can immediately see whether all required PHP modules are available. Next, you need to customize the operator information, which you will find via the Settings | Company menu. Specify the company name, the website, and other contact-specific settings here. You can also customize various help desk pages like the online, offline, and thank-you pages. You can also include your company logo in these settings.

You can make a wide range of ticket-specific adjustments under Settings | Tickets . For example, you can determine whether the ticket ID is assigned sequentially or randomly. Now select the Default SLA plan, where you can determine how long a ticket can be left open before it is marked overdue. You can access the dialog for creating additional SLA plans by clicking on the question mark at the end of the selection menu. Only a 48-hour plan is created by default.

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