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Perl-based Helpdesks

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Helpdesk systems are very similar to SMTP mail and some Web hosting providers use simple email scripts instead of helpdesk up to this day.

The key issue here is flexibility and email client with their 40 years of development represents powerful and flexible applications functionality of which it is rather difficult to replicate in custom helpdesk system.

The structure of ticket is similar to structure of email. It consists of contains number of fixed fields and a body that is a free flowing text.

Process of resolving of the ticket resemble email thread.

That means that listservers like Majordomo with some postprocessing can serve as a poor man helpdesk ticket system.

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[Aug 09, 2012] 5 Open and Free Help Desk Ticketing Systems by Eric Geier

July 19, 2010 | LinuxPlanet

RT (Request Tracker)

The developer, Best Practical Solutions, touts RT as the "world's leading open-source ticketing system". RT started back in 1996 and is now licensed under the GNU General Public License. Its written in object-oriented Perl and runs on the Apache and lighttpd web servers using mod_perl or FastCGI. Data is stored in either a MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, or SQLite database.

RT installs on Linux, Mac OS X, and other Unix-like systems, in addition to Windows. They also provide hosting plans if you don't want to run the servers yourself.

RT even has a book dedicated to its solution: RT Essentials, published by O'Reilly in 2005. This might hint to how well their following is established.

Like most other ticketing solutions, RT offers a web-based GUI for the customer service personnel and end-users. Permissions can vary among logged in and guest users. You can add custom fields and data to tickets. Its template design lets you easily modify the application's web pages. You can even interface with RT via a REST API and/or a command-line tool.

RT is well integrated with email functionality, supporting auto-responses, attachments, and complete customization and rules. Many end-users actually might only interface with RT via email. Emails can be logged as correspondence for tickets.

Best Practical Solutions offers two additional open source products that make use of the RT platform:

Unfortunately, they don't provide a demo of RT on their site, but they do show screenshots. The online documentation consists of a Wiki. They also have mailing lists, and don't forget about their book.

OTRS (Open Ticket Request System)

The OTRS project started in 2001 and is distributed under the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL). Its written in Perl and runs on the Apache web server. It supports many databases: MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, DB2, and Microsoft SQL Server.

In addition to Windows, OTRS installs on Linux, Mac OS X, and other Unix-like systems. Convenient prebuilt packages are available for openSUSE/SLES, Fedora/RHEL/CentOS, and Windows.

OTRS has the basic ticketing features, such as a web-based GUI and email support. It also features a built-in FAQ feature, giving agents quick access to information for reference or inclusion in tickets. Another notable feature is their own template scheme, called DTL (Dynamic Template Language), giving you the ability to make customizations.

One of the most interesting features of OTRS is their iPhone App. It lets you respond and edit, or create trouble tickets, all from the palm of your hand. This is especially useful for field agents, they won't have to pop open a laptop every time they want to lookup and update tickets.

You can check out their demo site to get an idea of how OTRS looks and works. On their site, you'll also find full HTML and PDF manuals for administrators and developers. You'll also find mailing lists and user forums.

Help Desk Lite

Help Desk Lite, developed by United Web Coders, is more of an entry-level solution. Its great for simpler or smaller applications. It's a CGI script written in Perl and released under the GNU General Public License 2. Both Linux/Unix and Windows web servers are supported. You can use third-party web hosting, as long as CGI scripting is enabled and sendmail or smtp relay is available.

Trouble tickets are started by users via customized HTML forms you create and place on your website. A broadcast email is then sent to customer service personnel and an agent can claim the ticket. Then the agent can respond via their favorite email client.

They provide a demo of Help Desk Lite. They also offer a quick setup and troubleshooting guide.

Trouble Ticket Express

Trouble Ticket Express is from the same developer, United Web Coder, as the previous system. However, it offers additional features and functionality, more of what a traditional ticketing system provides. Like Help Desk Lite, it's a CGI script that installs onto your Linux/Unix or Windows web sever. Third-party web hosting is supported as long as CGI scripting is enabled and sendmail or smtp relay is available. Or you can use their fully hosted service, called SmartAnswer.

Trouble Ticket Express provides more ticket states than Help Desk Lite. Instead of just Pending and Open, it also lets you select Responded, On Hold, and Solved. Correspondence is also improved, which is a web-based bulletin board style instead of just through your email client. Customization is easier via HTML templates instead of having to manually edit the script. File attachments, email piping, and external database support are available via modules you can purchase.

There's also a demo for Trouble Ticket Express. For the documentation and support, they provide a full operators manual and have a discussion forum.


eTicket is a PHP-based ticketing system, now distributed under a license certified by the Open Source Initiative. It's an improved and enhanced version of a previous project called osTicket. It uses a Perl gateway, PHP backend, and MySQL database.

Like other full-featured ticketing systems, it can receive tickets via email messages or a web form. Additionally, it can include a Captcha verification field on web forms to help prevent SPAM. Plus it includes a configurable Spam Assassin mod for

Try the Demo and see eTicket for yourself. On their site you'll also find online installation and configuration documentation. For specific questions or issues, you can try the community forum.

Eric Geier is a freelance tech writer. He's authored many networking and computing books for brands like For Dummies and Cisco Press. He is also the Founder and CEO of NoWiresSecurity, which helps businesses easily protect their Wi-Fi networks with the Enterprise mode of WPA/WPA2 encryption.

Back: Request Tracker, OTRS, Help Desk Lite


The Helpdesk::Mail System is a Perl application intended to assist Helpdesks and Support Centers in organizing their email communication with their customers. Especially if there is one email address and several people who reply to those emails and answer questions, Helpdesk::Mail can come in handy. It is not just another webmail application; one can assign a "user-id" for an e-mail (e.g. an account number) to track how often one user asks for help. It also has an additional "Knowledge Base" feature: if your customers ask the same questions over and over again, you can save the answer in the Knowledge Base and prefill a reply with this answer by simply typing in some keywords and click on a link. There's also a public interface to the Knowledge Base.


1 Helpdesk XP Perl is a very powerful Web-based helpdesk system. It supports file attachments, hidden remarks, priority marking, etc. Unlike other similar products, this script does not use the conventional "assign/completed" method to close past tickets. Instead, it uses an intelligent method to sort/rank inquiry tickets. You can even tell whether your replies have been read by the visitors.


OTRS (Open Ticket Request System) is an open source Ticket Request System and email management system with many features to manage customer telephone calls and email. The system is built to allow your support, sales, pre-sales, billing, internal IT, helpdesk, etc. department to react quickly to inbound inquiries. It is useful for people who receive many emails and want to answer them with a team of agents. It has been tested on Linux, Solaris, AIX, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Mac OS 10.x, and Windows.

OTRS is an Open source Ticket Request System (also well known as trouble ticket system) with many features to manage customer telephone calls and e-mails. The system is built to allow your support, sales, pre-sales, billing, internal IT, helpdesk, etc. department to react quickly to inbound inquiries. Do you receive many e-mails and want to answer them with a team of agents? You're going to love the OTRS!

It is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and tested on Linux, Solaris, AIX, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Mac OS 10.x and Windows.

The ((otrs)) company provides commercial services (e.g. support, consulting, pre-build-systems, etc.) for the OTRS (English and German).

Try our demo system to get an impression of this kind of magic.


To install PerlDesk you need the following software on your computer:

Perl ( /


Web Server e.g. Apache

Perl Modules (



PerlDesk Features / Overview

Using PerlDesk in your organization will make your user emails/support requests easy to track and manage, it allows staff members to be assigned to single or multiple departments saving time assigning user requests.

PerlDesk makes submitting tickets easy for users, by allowing two methods:

Direct Email Submission

Users can send email to your company which will be logged, assigned to a specific department and given a tracking number. You can setup multiple incoming email addresses allowing you to completely manage user communications.

Web Based Submission

Included in PerlDesk is a web based client area and submission form, where users can login and track/submit any support requests easily.

Client Area Features

View PDF OverView

The web based user area can optionally be used as a resource for users to submit and track help desk submissions and emails. An overview of the features:

Multiple Language Support

Quick User Signup

File Attachments from web based form

Ability to assign a priority for the request

View support request histor

Submission Tracking without logging in (via submission key)

Unlimited number of users.

Flood Prevention for incoming emails, this only allows a user to submit a request every x seconds.

Searchable Knowledge Base (managed by staff members)

Staff Area Features

View PDF OverView

An additional section of PerlDesk is the staff area, this is where you can allow staff members to login and respond to user requests.

Performance Tracking, staff members can view the % of calls they have closed

Rating Performance, users can rate how helpful a staff member was allowing satisfaction reporting in the administration

Private Staff notes can be set on help desk requests, so that users cannot view them

Assign requests to other departments or staff members

Staff Members can view/attach files when responding to user requests.

Easy call display, showing Emergency, new and open requests

Predefined response templates

Knowledge Base management

Ticket notifications

Many, many more features

Administration Area Features

View PDF OverView

The administration is where you can control all users/bills and the system setup. Some of the main features of the admin area are:

Change layout via the template editor

User Management, including the ability to create user accounts

Manage Staff, view staff members performance and response time

Ticket Overview

Create an unlimited number of support categories

Ban email addresses (bannin an email address will remove its ability to email submissions)

Manage software configuration, many options.

E-mail All Users

E-mail All Staff Members

Search Customers

View online/active staff members

Customize the whole design via the templates very easily

Edit the email response templates

Etc Project details for CRM-CTT


CRM-CTT is a tool for tracking "entities". It creates management summaries, PDF status reports and lots more. It is suitable for any department in which something comes in, must be handled, and goes out.

CRM-CTT will replace any spreadsheet and MS Access database you or your employees use to track things - only this time it will be web-based, configurable, and controllable.

This tool is designed to track "entities". One can attach files to such an "entity", own it, assign it, put alerts on it, prioritize it, etcetera. The tool is multi-lingual (currently available in English, Spanish, French, German, Brasilian Portuguees, Italian, Slovenian, Slovak and Dutch) and is fully customizable. Besides that your webmaster will need about half an hour to get it up and running, after which it takes about another 30 minutes to import your data - and off you go.

The advantage of CRM-CTT over similar software is the way it can be configured. Wether you want to register customer requests, computer assets, help desk tickets, or just your own to-do list, it can be simply modified to act the way you like it to act. Virtually everything can be adjusted to your needs.

CRM-CTT's praised user interface

Unlike most common web-based CRM systems, CRM-CTT has a clean, tight and intuitive user interface. It's not loaded with links and images; it just focusses on the things the current user needs to focus on. For a new user with no experience with CRM systems, it's a matter of minutes to get used to the interface. Besides that, a user profile can be adjusted to bother the user only with the things he/she needs to be bothered with. No endless lists or options; just the things the user needs.

Configurable to your needs

You can add extra fields (textboxes, drop-down menus, etcetera), create custom reports, and all text in the application can be modified. Futhermore all the priority- and status variables can also be adjusted to your needs, including the colors. CRM-CTT supports so-called language masks; easy-to-make lists enabling you to change any text in the application and the reports. For instance; the language mask "CHANGE REQUEST DB" turns CRM-CTT from handling customer requests (the default) to a Change Management application. Many of these masks can be auto-installed using the administration interface.

CRM-CTT Integration in your organisation

Because of CRM-CTT's simple setup, it's easy for new users to get used to the user interface. It's clean and clear, so you're up and running with your department within a day. Next to that, customers could from now on start register their own request using the limited interface CRM-CTT provides. It's even possible to hook up your e-mail system with CRM-CTT in a way that customers can e-mail their requests - they will appear on the "incoming request" list automatically. If desired, customers can track their request on-line until closure. Triggers enable you to implement your current work flow processes into CRM-CTT.


Using CRM-CTT's "Event Triggers" you can create workflows. Using event triggers you can make CRM-CTT action on certain events like the value change of a field. As an example; when the status of a record changes from "Open" to "Closed", inform the customer that his ticket has been closed, using a given e-mail template. They can also be used for common things like approval processes; when an entity reaches a certain status, the appropriate person is notified that he/she has to approve something.


Virtually everything you see or create with CRM-CTT can be templated - and it's not the layout of the application itself. E-mails which are sent are based on a template; in this template you can use all data stored in your database in an easy way - you don't need to be a programmer to understand how to create such a template.


CRM-CTT supports exporting and importing of all its tables. It even has a "I don't want to use this anymore"-option which dumps all contents to a directory structure on disk enabling you to keep working with your CRM-CTT data. It's also able to create command-line PDF-summary reports for batch usage. The management summary gives you a perfect view on everybodies whereabouts, the most active customers, most slow requests, etcetera.

Invoice and mail-merge

CRM-CTT is able to generate invoices based on the data you register in the database and will create mailmerges based on the customers and tasks registered by you and your employees. These documents are based on templates which can be created using your favourite text editor (MS Word, OpenOffice) and thus be fully compliant with your companies style, including logo's, disclaimers etcetera.


As CRM-CTT supports WebDAV a.k.a. webfolders, there is no need for project network directories anymore; simply check out your file, edit it online (from the office, or at home) and check it back in. Always access to your and your collegues' data!

Because of CRM-CTT's built-in WebDAV subsystem, your web-server doesn't need any plug-ins. Just install CRM-CTT, and off you go.


Here's a list of some of the ways CRM-CTT proved it's value:

Applications CRM-CTT is known to replace:

Administration and management information

All this is managed by a powerful management information interface to help you keep track of your employee-activity, the average number of requests per customer, average days an entity takes to be closed, etc. You are able to track all actions a user or customer performed. Besides that, you can add, edit and remove fields, comments, templates, and lay-outs on the fly; no reboots or restarts ever. Adding a navigation tab to integrate your corporate intranet site into CRM-CTT is only a matter of seconds.


Using the available plugins, or by writing a plugin yourself, it's quite easy to connect CRM-CTT to another application. With the InsertPlugin entities can be added from within other applications. As an example; when a transaction system logs all transaction logs into CRM-CTT, it will leave you with a powerful frontend to control your transactions, export reports, and create statistics.


If you like to take a look at CRM-CTT with full functionality



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Ministry of Truth


The Ministry of Truth is a web-based job, equipment, and software tracking system built on top of PHP and MySQL. MOT provides a handy way for an IT support department to keep change logs for its machines and software at the same time it keeps track of its support calls.

Last updated: March 12, 2019