Top 10 Open Source Bug Tracking System

by Ramesh Natarajan on August 31, 2010

All IT projects needs a bug tracking (or issue tracking, or defect tracking) system.

Sure, we need a bug tracking system for a software development project. But, what about a sysadmin team, dba team, network team? They all need some help to track their work, and issues of their system, database and network.

I’ve listed 10 open source bug tracking systems, that you can experiment, and choose based on your taste and requirement. This is not a comprehensive list by any means. I’ve used all the systems listed in the top 5, and I strongly recommend that you choose one from the top 5 list.

I love bugzilla, and have been using it for several years. If you don’t have time to play around with multiple systems to figure-out which one you like, just go with Bugzilla.

What is your favorite bug tracking system? Leave a comment and let me know.

1. Bugzilla

Are you looking for a stable, actively maintained, widely adapted bug tracking system? Look no further. Bugzilla is for you.

This is used by various big open source projects to track their bugs. For example, Linux kernel development team, Apache development team, GNOME development team uses bugzilla. Red Hat also uses bugzilla to track the issues found in Red Hat Distribution system.

Bugzilla is written in Perl, and works on various databases including MySQL and Oracle. This step-by-step instruction guide on how to install bugzilla will get you started.

Bugzilla Features:

  • Time tracking
  • Private attachment and commenting
  • Flexible reporting and charting. Including ability to to scheduled reports and receive it via email.
  • Add custom fields and workflows.
  • View full list of features here.

Additional Info:

  • Home Page:
  • Developed by: Mozilla foundation
  • Stable Release: 3.6.1
  • License: Mozilla public license

2. Mantis

Mantis issue tracking system is written in PHP, and works on various databases including MySQL, MS SQL, PostgreSQL.

Mantis Features:

  • Source code integration
  • Time tracking
  • Issue relationship graph
  • Custom fields and workflow
  • Anonymous access
  • View full list of features here.

Additional Info:

3. Trac

Trac is written in Python. Apart from issue tracking, it also provides wiki, and integration to subversion. The web interface is very simplistic and easy to use. This also provides project management features including roadmap and milestone tracking.

4. Redmine

Redmine is written in Ruby on Rails. Apart from tracking issues, it provides a full project management features.

Redmine Features:

  • Project management including Gantt chart
  • Project Wiki
  • Time Tracking
  • LDAP Authentication
  • View full list of features here.

Additional Info:

5. Request Tracker

RT is written in Perl. Apart from the standard issue management, you can use this as a ticket tracking system. RT Features:

  • Time tracking and reporting
  • Integrate with LDAP authentication
  • View full list of features here.

Additional Info:


OTRS bug tracking software is written in Perl. OTRS has all standard defect tracking features that you would expect. View full list of features here.

7. EventNum

This was developed by the MySQL team, and written in PHP. You can use this as a bug tracking tool, or issue tracking system. This provides all the basic features that you might expect in a tracking system.

Home Page:
Stable Release: 2.2
License: GPL

8. Fossil

Fossil is written in C, and uses SQLite database. Apart from bug tracking, it also provides Wiki. Installation is very straight forward, as it is a single executable that contains everything you need to get fossil up and running.

Home Page:
License: BSD

9. The Bug Genie

Bug genie is written in PHP. Provides a wizard based bug tracking software. It also integrates the openSearch functionality. Integrates with Subversion. You can develop your custom modules on top of bug genie.

Home Page:
Stable Release: 2.1.1
License: MPL

10. WebIssues

WebIssue is written in PHP, and uses MySQL database for the server side. Everything in this top 10 list is web based bug tracking system except WebIssues. This is at number#10 because it doesn’t provide a web-based interface. You need webissues client that runs on Windows, or Linux to access the server component.

Home Page:
Stable Release: 0.9.6
License: Open Source

Did I miss any bug tracking system that you like? What is your favorite bug tracking system? Leave a comment and let me know.

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ikon August 31, 2010 at 2:18 am

I would recommend Flyspray. It is small, easy to use/install, uses PHP.
Must have a look at it :)

2 Venkatesh.S August 31, 2010 at 7:46 am

I think you missed FLYSPRAY bug tracking system, its really good and I liked it very much, based on php and mysql

3 Jeffrey August 31, 2010 at 9:21 am

what about JIRA?

4 Keith August 31, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I’ve just had a look at some of these and perhaps Flyspray might fit my needs, but I’m really after a change request/control system for a small number of Linux and networking/firewall changes.

I don’t need anything big or to meet any standards, it basically just for me to keep a track on things with some history and also so my boss can see what changes I’ve made. Have googled for the past month looking for something and nothing really meets the above requirement.

Any suggestions would much appreciated.

5 Ikon August 31, 2010 at 11:26 pm


I do think that Flyspray will fit for your needs. It is really easy to get used to it, understand it and to configure to such small needs. Give it a try for a few days and you’ll see. I think I was able to set it up in 3 minutes and use it in 10. :)

6 Nightfly October 7, 2010 at 8:31 am

@Jeffrey Jira is great, but the topic is “_Open Source_ Bug Tracking Systems”.

7 Eljun December 16, 2010 at 12:15 am

I am using Mantis. It is easy to install and is a great tool.
I think all others are all good. But for me, it is Mantis.

8 x-f June 16, 2011 at 4:57 am

The Bug genie 3.1 is out. REALLLY nice.
With a wikisystem, complete rewriten.

9 raghava kumari August 27, 2011 at 6:08 am

I want bug bit bug tracking tool.

10 chris March 14, 2012 at 3:32 am

Having problems installing redmine. Anybody can guide me?

11 Jayesh iyer March 15, 2012 at 12:43 am

Guys can you tell me is an excel sheet the simplest bug tracking tool. In our company we use excel sheet to report the defects,Quite simple but at the same time quiet tedious when it comes to regression testing.We dont write test cases. so the testing most of the times is adhoc.. in such cases, i,e without writing the test cases which is the best defect tracking tool?

12 mahaboob May 16, 2012 at 11:40 pm

what abt bugtracker….its the best tracking system

13 Chirag Shah June 12, 2012 at 1:44 am

Redmine us great tool

14 Peter Jordan August 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm

I actually heard that bontq and jira are free for education, non-profits and small startups.

All you need to do is to contact the support and ask them for a free account.

15 sveta August 20, 2012 at 9:12 am

Well, I can add some more software which is great at bug tracking and this is Comindware tracker. I have been using it for a long time and I can say that it is not worth than Mantis for example.

16 Rachana September 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Rational CQ

17 Reto September 19, 2012 at 6:17 am

What about Spiceworks?

18 Serdar October 23, 2012 at 1:01 am

Redmine is really a great open-source bug-tracking tool. You don’t regret.

19 Palani Arunachalam January 9, 2013 at 8:06 am

I would like Jira as an issue tracking tool. Not only Jira is an issue tracker but also it provides wiki, crowd authendication. But one thing…It is not a open source…

20 Anonymous January 22, 2013 at 6:42 pm

bug genie is like jira…. impressive !

21 jeemi January 27, 2013 at 11:45 pm

I would like Quality Center it I an best option but it is most beneficial foe me so would happy with these.

22 Isxek February 24, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Fossil is a distributed version control system, packaged with a wiki and issue-tracking capabilities. It can be used as a bug-tracker, of course, but its main purpose as a VCS should be emphasized more.

23 Anonymous March 27, 2013 at 11:03 pm

I am using bugzilla for a long long it is simple and nice and does work.

24 Hassaan April 18, 2013 at 4:53 am

Hello all

I am working as SQA, We have started a new set up few years back. Currently I am looking for a tool or simple software, where I can report the BUG and errors we find while testing. Currently we just use SHARED GOOGLE DOC.

But I want a tool which is user friendly and very interactive. Simple as in Developers and Tester could use while closed eyes. Could you or any one here can help me in this regards.


25 helio henriques May 7, 2013 at 2:50 am

I would say Mantis.
Used in various web developing projects and always worked nicely.
Also has the advantage of being totally user friendly.


26 Antti May 31, 2013 at 9:34 am

Hey guys, I’m looking for a bug reporting tool running on CentOS 5. I’m after some really basic features as it’s enough if the user can run the tool manually after noticing an issue. The tool should be configurable so that it would then automatically archive our log files from couple of dedicated directories, maybe check the sofware versions, and ask for an error description from the user. Then it would put everything in an archive, save the archive on the users desktop, and tell the user to email it to a predefined address. Any ideas on where to look for this?

27 tiensu October 30, 2013 at 2:17 am

I prefer Bugzilla!

28 vakis November 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I think I will go with Flyspray

29 Vas December 10, 2013 at 10:43 am

I am looking for simple bug track tool, I like to download bugSpray, can I enter e-mail id for testers, so when I update bug status, assignee should know status.i am looking some way of inform status to all project members (developers, testers, project managers)

30 Keith December 10, 2013 at 10:38 pm

I ended up going with Redmine and it really has worked out very well. When I first looked at it I thought it was too much for what I wanted, but then after taking another look and customising it to suit my needs I’m now using this for CR, Projects both personal and work and anything else that I have come up and not sure where to put the info. The built in Wiki and Documentation section is also very good.

Just thought I would add this feedback after seeing these comments again after all this time!

31 Satin January 1, 2014 at 6:16 am

Thanks for the informative article.
Will you tell me the best a Ms user friendly bug tracking tool. I am using it to check the bug and defects and genrating the report. Its look easy but some time horriable. When i start testing it comes to regression. I cant write test cases so most of time its bit difficult. So tell me the best way for tracking bugs.

32 bibhishan January 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

track is the best tool for windows os it is essay to install & use.

33 Karthik February 14, 2014 at 7:28 am

Please can any tell which tool is best because i am beginner… please

34 Tom March 13, 2014 at 5:49 am

Stay away from Redmine if you value your sanity. It’s a great tool and makes you addicted to it, but deployment and upgrades are such a PITA that it kills every benefit it has twice over. Trying to get it running is like a time back to the 1990s when we compiled our own text editors from source. And the documentation is horrible.

Trac is great, but shows its age, as does Mantis. JIRA requires a Java environment. Right now, there really is no tool on the market that takes it home. There’s an opportunity there to take from each one what they did right and make the one great tool of the future. I hope someone does.

35 s.laxmi March 28, 2014 at 11:05 am

jira is also a bug tracking tool or not???

36 Kinetik April 8, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Hey, Eventom is no longer available.
It says “Page Not Found”.

*note that MySQL is part of oracle now. Surely they use their own software.

37 Jeff September 1, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Redmine is great, but needs some work to get running.
Using “redmine git hosting” plugin, you can even easily host git repositories.

38 Jack October 8, 2014 at 2:50 am

Have been using Bugzilla in our project. It is good with some limitation on the Search functionality.

39 Samuel November 20, 2014 at 5:18 pm

I am new to SVN and JIRA. I am asked to set up a svn pre-commit hook which blocks developers from committing to repository without entering “Open Jira” ticket number.
If there is no open jira ticket mentioned in the comment, that commit will be rejected and will not be saved to the repository.
That why, we can know what open jira ticket is being currently dealt with. Our svn repositories are on Linux. Please help, I will very be thankful to you.

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