[This document is no longer maintained. It is presented here is it's last version, although some dead hyperlinks have been removed.]
$Id: FAQ.html,v 1.3 1999/12/16 04:56:03 jesse Exp $ -*- text -*-
Archive-name: rt-faq
Last-modified: Wednesday October  6 16:31:20 EST 1999

RT Frequently Asked Questions


This is the RT Frequently Asked Questions list.

RT is an automated system for monitoring, answering, and documenting requests. It was designed as a system to aid helpdesks, but could conceivably work just as well for development teams, construction groups, political insurgencies, or circus performers -- in short, any situation in which a particular group of people needs to request information or action from another group of people, while monitoring the status of these requests.

RT was developed by Jesse Vincent <jesse@fsck.com> and he remains the primary maintainer aided and abetted by the members of the rt-devel mailing list. Development of RT has been sponsored in part by Utopia Inc, by The Leftbank Operation and by Wesleyan University. Some of the RT code has been derived from Remy Evard's req package.

This FAQ is maintained by Michael Brader. All errors are mine unless otherwise attributed :-) Special thanks to Jesse, Tobias, Charlie and the rt-devel mailing list for their contributions.

What's changed since last time?

This file was last modified on Wednesday December 15

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction

Q1.1 What is the latest version of RT?

The latest stable version is 1.0.7 which was released in November, 1999.

Q1.2 Where do I get RT?

The latest released version of RT can be found at ftp://ftp.fsck.com/pub/rt/release/rt-1.0.7.tar.gz

[Developement of RT v.1 has stopped, it is recommended that you install RT 2, which may be found in the same directory.]

You will find alpha releases in ftp://ftp.fsck.com/pub/rt/devel/ directory. You should not use these unless you are on the rt-devel mailing list (rt-devel@lists.fsck.com)

2. Installation

Q2.1 What other packages/modules are required?

You will need the following packages to install and run RT successfully. The download URL for some of these resources can change frequently. If it doesn't work, go to the general URL and navigate to the version you require.

You will need the following Perl packages, all available from CPAN:

Q2.2 Upgrading from RT version 0.9.1 or lower.

This is the contents of the file README.91UPGRADE which should be part of the release:

Since RT 0.9.1, the codebase and database format have undergone
incompatible changes.  This version of the installation package
does NOT come with an easy upgrade path from 0.9.1 or before.
However, the instructions below should make the upgrade possible.

To upgrade from .9.1 to a post-.9.4 version :

"mysqldump -c -t rt > (YOUR_RT_DUMP_FILE)"  
edit (YOUR_RT_DUMP_FILE) to remove the ACL line for "root"
(Something like 
grep -v "INSERT INTO users VALUES ('root'" \
should do the trick

copy your current RT installation to a safe location
"mysqladmin drop rt"    
install a fresh copy of RT .9.8, as if for the first time
mysql rt < (YOUR_RT_DUMP_FILE2)
copy your transaction tree back into place
copy rt/etc/templates/queues back into place

Q2.3 How do I get a clean RT installation?

While you are installing and testing RT, you may end up with a lot of test transactions cluttering up the database. If you would like to clear them out, the following should do the trick (from Bryan Allbery allbery@ece.cmu.edu):

Run mysql, connect to the MySQL database, and delete everything in the each_req and transaction tables.

Then remove everything under the transactions directory wherever you installed RT (/usr/local/rt/transactions in my case).

Q2.4 How do I handle Can't locate Mysql.pm in @INC

You either have not yet installed Msql-Mysql-Modules or you did not answer "Y"es when asked if you wanted to enable MysqlPerl emulation.

Q2.5 How can I install RT's components on seperate servers

There are several options. It is possible to run all services on seperate servers by sharing the transaction directory via NFS or any other networked file system connecting remotely to Mysql.

It's possible to use i.e. fetchmail or another POP/IMAP let RT suck mail from the mail server. Clark Shishido explains:

How to install RT on a standalone/non-mailhub machine

Overview: Use sendmail to send everything to a central mailhub, create rt 
related aliases and mail accounts on the hub, use fetchmail to suck the mail 
directly into RT.

If you don't already send all outgoing email to a central mailhub, create a 
sendmail.cf configuration that will give you this functionality. Add the 
following line to the bottom of the generic-[your platform].mc file.

FEATURE(`nullclient', `yourmailhub.yourdomain.com')  

Then run it through m4 to generate your nullclient sendmail.cf. See 
sendmail documentation for your UNIX flavor.

Create rt aliases and email accounts on your central mailserver, with 
real usernames and mailboxes for the user "rt" and each of your queues. 
Make the login shell /nonexistent or /dev/null or whatever so  no one 
can actually login with a shell. You do not need to modify /etc/aliases 
on the machine with the RT installation.                          

On the RT server, make sure fetchmail is installed. Also check to see 
if you have a home directory and shell for RT. Create a .fetchmailrc 
in RT's home directory. Here's the first two lines of a sample 
.fetchmailrc with the password asterixed (normally this is stored in 
clear text, but at least fetchmail forces you to 700 the file):  

poll mail.yourdomain.com proto pop3:                             
username rt password ***** mda "/usr/local/rt/bin/rt-mailgate rt correspond"

subsequent lines would have each be 
	username [queue-username] password [password] 
	mda "path to rt-mailgate [queue] [correspond/comment]"  
See RT's README for full details on mailgate options.

As the rt user, run "fetchmail -d 300" to have fetchmail run every 300 
seconds as a daemon to check for mail on the mail server. You may want to 
put this into a startup script.
Caveats: time lag in processing email becuase of dependency on fetchmail
Benefits: can place RT behind a firewall without increasing complexity 
	  of mailhub


Q2.6 What do I do when RT can't find CGI::Vars

Your version of CGI.pm is out of date. Please upgrade to at least version 2.53.

3. Request Manipulation

Q3.1 How do I access the database directly?

Mysql has a command line interface. Log onto the database host and enter the following command, substituting symbols in ALL CAPS for those specified in the Makefile (or in etc/config.pm) where appropriate:

mysql -u <MYSQL_DBADMIN> -p -h <RT_MYSQL_HOST> rt

Enter the password at the prompt. The password is the one specified as RT_MYSQL_PASS in the Makefile.

You should see a prompt similar to this:

Reading table information for completion of table and column names
You can turn off this feature to get a quicker startup with -A

Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 4985 to server version: 3.22.23b

Type 'help' for help.


You can then access the database using SQL commands. Enter "help" to get a summary of the available commands. For example, to see all RT users, enter "select * from users;" and you should see something like the following (the output has been edited, removing columns to fit inside 80 characters - missing fields are password, email, phone, office and comments):

| user_id  | real_name             | ... | admin_rt |
| testuser | RT test user          | ... |        0 |
| charlieb | Charlie Brady         | ... |        1 |
| chris    | Chris Maltby          | ... |        0 |
| mbrader  | Michael Brader        | ... |        1 |
4 rows in set (0.01 sec)

4. Web Interface

Q4.1 When I use webrt, it comes up with "You are not logged in" or "No valid RT credentials found". What's going on?

Until you are successfully authenticated, this message and a login box are displayed. Enter your RT username and password and click OK.

If you still can't log in, you (or your administrator) will have to check whether you are in the database of users and that your password is correct.

The most common problems with authentication are:

  1. User have turned off cookies.
  2. MSIE bug
  3. You're not using the right domain name (i.e. <URL:http://skylight.fsck.com/rt/webrt.cgi> gives same behaviour while <URL:http://www.fsck.com/rt/webrt.cgi> doesn't)
  4. The cookie is based at several things, also the IP people are sitting at - sites using IP masquerading and similar stuff might get the broken authentication.
  5. You set a password directly through mysql and the users was unable to log in, because this password was shorter than the minimum password length.

Q4.2 How do I merge two requests from the web interface?

Select the request you would like to merge into another request. Click on "Serial number", enter the serial number of the second request and click on the merge button.

5. Mail

Q5.1 Sendmail won't let me run rt-mailgate

If you get an error like the following:

----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors -----
|"/usr/local/rt/bin/rt-mailgate general action"
(expanded from: <rt-action@mustang.hiwaay.net>)

----- Transcript of session follows -----
sh: rt-mailgate not available for sendmail programs
554 |"/usr/local/rt/bin/rt-mailgate general action"... Service unavailable

then, the following information from Jesse should help:

Sendmail has a program called smrsh. smrsh restricts what binaries can
be run from sendmail aliases.  I think it keeps the programs in
/etc/smrsh on redhat6.  add a symlink from
/usr/local/rt/bin/rt-mailgate to /etc/smrsh/rt-mailgate and things
should work better.

Q5.2 Why are mail messages being split in two?

Older versions of RT (before 0.99.9) has a bug where lines beginning with 'From' were not being correctly escaped. You should upgrade to the latest version of RT.

Q5.3 Does RT have MIME support?

RT 1.0.x does not currently have support for MIME. However, stripmime, a program contributed by Dave Troy is available at ftp://ftp.fsck.com/pub/rt/contrib/stripmime [Link broken] will help overcome this deficiency.

Q5.4 Does RT work with exim?

Peter Radcliffe has figured out how to get RT working with exim's native command execution subsystem. Documentation can be found at ftp://ftp.fsck.com/pub/rt/contrib/exim.README [Link Broken]

9. Miscellaneous

Q9.1 Are there any newsgroups for discussing RT. Mailing lists?

Currently, there are no newsgroups but there are several mailing lists:

Q9.2 My problem is not in the FAQ. What now?

If you're still having problems, I suggest the following steps:

Q9.3 Why did Jesse write RT?

Jesse began RT at the urgings of a coworker while working for the summer for Utopia, Inc, and continued work while attending Wesleyan University and working for Cohesive Network Systems' New England Division (at the time, the LeftBank Operation). All three groups have benefitted from it, and hoped to share these benefits with the user community at large by keeping Jesse fed and amused while working.

Q9.4 Who has helped or sponsored the development of RT?

From Jesse:

A lot of people are responsible for making RT a better
program.  Many thanks to Lauren Burka, who originally tasked
me with writing this beast.  She forced me to use a database
backend.  I've thanked her for it every day since.  Rich
West rewrote this readme and did some UI hacking.  Adam
Hirsch, Kit Kraysha, Robin Garner, Jens Glaser, John Adams,
Trey Belew, Sean Dague, Nathan Mehl, Kee Hinckley, Rich
West, Dale Bewley, Serge Zhuk, Gerald Abshez, Dave Hull,
Dave Schenet Dave Walton, Jan Okrouhly, Tobias Brox Lamont
Lucase and Charlie Brady have all contributed bug reports,
code or ideas that have helped RT along.

Arepa, Inc., Utopia Inc, Wesleyan University and The
Leftbank Operation have paid me to update RT and release it
to the public.  Without their support RT would not exist.
If I've left you out, please drop me a line ....it wasn't


Jesse Vincent

Q9.5 What other resources are available?

Jesse maintains a web site for RT at http://www.fsck.com/projects/rt/

RT is 1996-1999 by Jesse Vincent <jesse@fsck.com>

This FAQ is Copyright 1999 Michael Brader <mbrader@stoic.com.au>. Please send comments, and suggestions to me and the development mailing list <rt-devel@fsck.com>