Manage Development with Mantis Bug Tracker on Debian 5

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This guide has been deprecated and is no longer being maintained.

Mantis Bug Tracker (commonly referred to as MantisBT) is a free web-based bug tracking system. Mantis offers many of the same capabilities as other trackers like Bugzilla, but is simpler and easy to set up.

Before beginning this guide, we assume that you’ve completed the Setting Up and Securing a Compute Instance. If you are new to Linux server administration, we recommend considering the beginner’s guide and the article concerning systems administration basics. Additionally, you’ll need to have followed both the LAMP guide for Debian Lenny as well as the Exim guide if you don’t already have a means of sending mail from your server.

Installing Prerequisites

Before we begin installing Mantis, we’ll need to install PHPMailer, an additional PHP library that allows Mantis to send email via PHP. Install this package using the following command:

apt-get install libphp-phpmailer

Before restarting Apache, modify your php.ini file to match MantisBT’s upload file size. Find the following line in your php.ini file and tweak it to match the example below:

File: /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini
; Maximum allowed size for uploaded files.
upload_max_filesize = 5M

Afterwards, restart Apache by running the following command:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Installing Mantis

For this installation, you will install Mantis to a directory under the document root (in this example the directory is named Mantis) for your server. To begin, change to the site directory, download the latest MantisBT package, and unpack it. When running the following commands, be sure to download the latest release. You can find the latest version of MantisBT on the SourceForge page for MantisBT. Additionally, replace with the name of your site:

cd /srv/www/
tar zxvf mantisbt-1.2.3.tar.gz

Next, move the mantisbt-1.2.1 directory to the public_html directory under the name mantis. Additionally, modify the permissions and ownership of Mantis to enable the proper files to be modified and executed by the web server:

mv mantisbt-1.2.3/ /srv/www/
chown -R root:root /srv/www/
chmod -R 755 /srv/www/
chmod 777 /srv/www/

Visit the location of MantisBT in your browser. In this example, the URL would be Follow the installation instructions by providing the credentials to the MySQL database you created in the LAMP guide, or especially for Mantis. For additional information regarding MySQL, see the MySQL guide. At this point Mantis is installed and ready to configure.

Configuring Mantis

After the installation completes, you will be redirected to the login page. The default account credentials are administrator/root. Immediately log in and create another administrative account, and delete the default administrator account. You can manage users in the "Manage" section of the MantisBT interface.

Next, set the timezone in config_inc.php. You can find a list of supported timezones at the List of Supported Timezones in the PHP Manual page. You’ll need to add the $g_default_timezone line yourself. This section of the files should look similar to the following:

File: /srv/www/\\_html/mantis/config\\_inc.php
    $g_hostname = 'localhost';
    $g_db_type = 'mysql';
    $g_database_name = 'mantis';
    $g_db_username = 'mantisuser';
    $g_db_password = 'p@$$w0rd';

    # You can add this at the end of the file
    $g_default_timezone = 'America/New_York';

Ensure that you have no whitespace at the end of this file, or Mantis will throw an error. Save and close the file. Finally, make sure to remove the admin folder under your MantisBT installation and reset the permissions as follows. In our example, the command would resemble the following. Note: Make sure to double-check your syntax when using the rm -rf command:

rm -rf /srv/www/
chmod 755 /srv/www/

At this point, MantisBT is ready to use for your development project! For specific Mantis help and instruction, see the administration guide available on the MantisBT website. You can also install a number of plugins that allow you to customize MantisBT to your needs. Each of these plugins has a specific set of instructions that come with it. You can read more about these on the plugins section of the MantisBT site, listed below.

Monitor for Software Updates and Security Notices

When running software compiled or installed directly from sources provided by upstream developers, you are responsible for monitoring updates, bug fixes, and security issues. After becoming aware of releases and potential issues, update your software to resolve flaws and prevent possible system compromise. Monitoring releases and maintaining up to date versions of all software is crucial for the security and integrity of a system.

Please monitor the Mantis project blog, development list, and announcement list to ensure that you are aware of all updates to the software and can upgrade appropriately or apply patches and recompile as needed:

When upstream sources offer new releases, repeat the instructions for installing the Mantis software as needed. These practices are crucial for the ongoing security and functioning of your system.

More Information

You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

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