Manage Projects with Redmine on Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic)

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Redmine is a popular open source project management system. Written in Ruby on Rails, it gives teams the ability to track project objectives, integrates well with various source control systems, and includes customizable reporting functionality. This guide will help you install it on your Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) Linode. We’ll be using nginx with Phusion Passenger as the web server daemon for the site. If you already have the Apache web server installed, guidance will be provided for proxying incoming Redmine requests to nginx running on a different port.

We assume you’ve already followed the steps outlined in our Setting Up and Securing a Compute Instance. Please make sure you’re logged into your Linode as root via an SSH session before proceeding. Throughout this guide, we use the example domain “”; please be sure to substitute your own domain name for each step.

Set the Hostname

Before you begin installing and configuring the components described in this guide, please make sure you’ve followed our instructions for setting your hostname. Issue the following commands to make sure it is set properly:

hostname -f

The first command should show your short hostname, and the second should show your fully qualified domain name (FQDN).

Enable Package Repositories

Edit the file /etc/apt/sources.list and uncomment the universe repositories if they’re not already enabled. Your repository list should resemble this:

File: /etc/apt/sources.list
## main & restricted repositories
deb karmic main restricted
deb-src karmic main restricted

deb karmic-security main restricted
deb-src karmic-security main restricted

## universe repositories
deb karmic universe
deb-src karmic universe

deb karmic-updates universe
deb-src karmic-updates universe

deb karmic-security universe
deb-src karmic-security universe

Issue the following commands to update your local package database and install any outstanding updates.

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade --show-upgraded

Nginx Installation and Configuration

Install Prerequisite Packages

Issue the following command to install packages required for Ruby on Rails.

apt-get install wget build-essential ruby1.8 ruby1.8-dev irb1.8 rdoc1.8 zlib1g-dev libopenssl-ruby1.8 libzlib-ruby libssl-dev libpq-dev postgresql subversion

Create symbolic links to the installed version of Ruby:

ln -s /usr/bin/ruby1.8 /usr/bin/ruby
ln -s /usr/bin/irb1.8 /usr/bin/irb

Fetch the newest version of the RubyGems source from the RubyForge download page. Issue the following commands, substituting the download link for the current version:

tar -xf rubygems*tgz
cd rubygems*
ruby setup.rb
ln -s /usr/bin/gem1.8 /usr/bin/gem

Install some required gems:

gem install -v=1.0.1 rack
gem install fastthread
gem install -v=2.3.5 rails
gem install postgres
gem install activerecord
gem install pg

Install Passenger and Nginx

Proceed to the Phusion Passenger site and locate the link for the current source code tarball. Download it as follows (substitute the link for the current version):

cd /opt
tar xzvf passenger*.gz

Run the Phusion Passenger installer for Nginx:

cd passenger*/bin

You’ll be greeted by the Phusion Passenger Nginx installer program. Press “Enter” to continue with the installation. When prompted for the Nginx installation method, we recommend you choose “1” to allow the installer to automatically download, compile, and install Nginx for you. Unless you have specific needs that would necessitate passing custom options to Nginx at compile time, this is the safest way to proceed.

Please do not remove the Passenger files from opt after the install. They need to stay in place or your install will not function correctly.

Configure Nginx

Nginx is now installed in /opt/nginx, but we need a way of controlling it. Issue the following commands to download an “init” script to control the process, set permissions, and configure system startup links:

cd /opt/
wget -O
mv /opt/ /etc/init.d/nginx
chmod +x /etc/init.d/nginx
/usr/sbin/update-rc.d -f nginx defaults

You can now start, stop, and restart Nginx like any other server daemon.

Proxying Redmine with Apache

If you’re already running Apache on your Linode, you’ll need to tell nginx to run on a different port and proxy requests for your Redmine installation back to it. If you’re running another web server, you’ll need to perform similar steps to modify its configuration to support this. This section is entirely optional, and only applies to Apache users.

Issue the following commands to enable proxy support:

a2enmod proxy
a2enmod proxy_http
/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Configure an Apache virtualhost for your Redmine installation. The example shown below assumes Apache is configured as recommended in our Ubuntu 9.10 LAMP guide. Remember to replace “” with your Linode’s IP address.

File: /etc/apache2/sites-available/

     ProxyPass / http://localhost:8080/

     # Uncomment the line below if your site uses SSL.
     #SSLProxyEngine On

Issue the following commands to enable the site and reload Apache:

/etc/init.d/apache2 reload

Next, you’ll need to tell nginx to run on a different port. Edit your nginx configuration file, setting the following value:

File: /opt/nginx/conf/nginx.conf
listen 8080;

Installing and Configuring Redmine

Obtain Redmine

Check the Redmine project site for the link to the current stable SVN stable branch. As of this writing, version 0.9.3 is stable; issue the following commands to check it out.

mkdir -p /srv/www/
cd /srv/www/
svn co svn:// redmine-1.0

You can use svn up from the redmine directory to keep it up to date in the future.

Create and Configure the Database

Switch to the postgres user and start up the psql shell by issuing the following commands:

su - postgres

Issue these commands in the psql shell to set up the database for Redmine. Be sure to specify a unique, strong password in place of “changeme”.

ALTER DATABASE "redmine" SET datestyle="ISO,MDY";
cd redmine

Create the file config/database.yml with the following contents:

File: config/database.yml
  adapter: postgresql
  database: redmine
  host: localhost
  username: redmine
  password: changeme
  encoding: utf8
  schema_search_path: public

Issue the following commands to complete database configuration:

chmod 600 config/database.yml
rake config/initializers/session_store.rb
RAILS_ENV=production rake db:migrate
RAILS_ENV=production rake redmine:load_default_data

Configure Email Service

Issue the following commands to install exim4 and configure it for outgoing Internet email delivery. You can Exim installation if you already have an SMTP server configured that accepts unauthenticated locally sent mail, although you will still need to create Redmin’s email configuration file as shown at the end of the section.

apt-get install exim4
dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config

Select “internet site” as the type of mail configuration to use:

Exim general configuration on Ubuntu 9.10.

Specify your systems’s fully qualified domain name as the system mail name:

Exim system mail name configuration on Ubuntu 9.10.

Enter “” when asked for the IP address to listen on for SMTP connections. For purposes of allowing Redmine to send mail, we only want to listen on localhost.

Exim IP address configuration on Ubuntu 9.10.

Enter “localhost.localdomain” and your fully qualified domain name when asked for the list of recipient domains.

Exim destination domains configuration on Ubuntu 9.10.

Relay domains and machines should be left blank.

Exim relay domains configuration on Ubuntu 9.10.

Exim relay machines configuration on Ubuntu 9.10.

Specify “No” when asked about DNS queries.

Exim DNS queries configuration on Ubuntu 9.10.

When asked about maildirs versus mbox format, you may choose either. Maildirs are increasingly preferred by many modern mail tools.

Exim maildirs or mbox configuration on Ubuntu 9.10.

Specify “No” when asked whether to split the configuration into smaller files.

Exim config file splitting configuration on Ubuntu 9.10.

Enter “root” and an email address at your domain for the postmaster mail query.

Exim postmaster configuration on Ubuntu 9.10.

Create the file config/email.yml and copy in the following contents. Be sure to replace the domain field with your fully qualified domain name.

File: config/email.yml
  delivery_method: :smtp
    port: 25
    authentication: :none

This completes email configuration for your Redmine installation.

Final Configuration and Testing

We’ll create a “redmine” user to manage the installation. Issue the following commands to set ownership and permissions on your Redmine files, taking care to assign a unique, strong password for the Redmine user:

adduser redmine
cd /srv/www/
chown -R redmine:redmine *
cd redmine
chmod -R 755 files log tmp public/plugin_assets

Edit the file /opt/nginx/conf/nginx.conf, setting the “user” parameter to “redmine”:

File: /opt/nginx/conf/nginx.conf
user  redmine;

Add a server section after the first example server as follows. If you’re proxying to nginx from another web server, be sure to change the listen directive to listen 8080; instead of the default.

File: /opt/nginx/conf/nginx.conf
server {
     listen 80;
     root /srv/www/;
     access_log /srv/www/;
     error_log /srv/www/;
     index index.html;
     location / {
        passenger_enabled on;
        allow all;

Start nginx:

/etc/init.d/nginx start

Your Redmine installation should be accessible at; if you encounter issues, please refer to your log files for a listing of any errors that may have occurred. The default login is username “admin” and password “admin”. Congratulations, you’ve installed Redmine for project management on your Linode!

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 Redmine project issue queue and news feed 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 Redmine 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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