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5 open source help desk apps to watch

Keep track of support calls while keeping help desk apps within your budget.

If your help desk software is giving you trouble, there are some open source options available to help ease your pain – without the high cost.

In this instalment of CIO's five open source applications to watch we take a look at help desk software, which is the basis of incident response and IT service delivery.

RT: Request Tracker

RT is a ticketing system which enables a group of people to manage tasks, issues and requests submitted by a community of users. The RT platform has been under development since 1996, and is claimed to be used at thousands of sites around the world. Written in object-oriented Perl, RT manages tasks like the identification, prioritisation, assignment, resolution and notification for applications including project management, help desk, NOC ticketing, CRM and software development.

URL: Licence: GPL

Help Desk Software

Help Desk Software (also Freehelpdesk) is feature-rich help desk system designed from the ground up to meet the demands of help desk staff and their users. It is a Web-based system that can accept new calls from your users directly into the system. Calls can be tracked and searched to enable faster response times. Help Desk Software has been updated to support PHP 5, but development pace has slowed since mid-2008.

URL: Licence: GPL


OTRS (Open source Ticket Request System) has features to manage customer telephone calls and e-mails. The system is built to allow support, sales, pre-sales, billing, internal IT and help desk functions to react quickly to inbound inquiries. OTRS is a Web-based help desk and ticket system that provides a set of features to help service organisations to manage requests more efficiently. As a framework, it is the basis of OTRS::ITSM, an ITIL-compliant IT service management solution. It supports MySQL, MS SQL, PosgreSQL, Oracle and DB2.

URL: Licence: AGPL


A Web-based help desk application written in Java using the Hibernate and ZK libraries. Triage provides interfaces for handling tickets with notes and solutions, full-text search indexing, and allowing for plug-ins which can generate tickets from external sources (for example Asterisk, OpenNMS, Nagios, and e-mail). The initial development is being done on Linux, using the Eclipse development environment. The idea is that as a technician enters a new ticket, the application will present them with previous tickets/solutions which may be related and be able to present a quick answer. This way, knowledge is not lost and can be easily leveraged even with new personnel in the IT work force.

URL: Licence: GPL

PHP Help Desk

PHD Help Desk is an application designed for the registry and follow-up of help desk incidents. A registry of incidents allows classification in two levels (type and subtype), the state of the incident, a description, ticket assignment and priority, historical registry, and an audit. Information can be reported in consultation format, to give reports or export the information for later processing in a database or spreadsheet.

URL: Licence: GPL

For more articles in this series, be sure to check out:
5 open source security projects to watch
5 open source network management projects to watch
5 open source virtualisation technologies to watch
5 open source CRM systems to watch
5 open source VoIP softphones to watch
5 open source billing systems to watch
5 open source office suites to watch
5 open source IP telephony projects to watch
5 enterprise open source wiki apps to watch
5 open source project management apps to watch
5 free project management applications you must try

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More about: Asterisk, Eclipse, etwork, Hewlett-Packard, HP, Linux, MySQL, Oracle, Request DSL
References show all




Web Help Desk Free Edition

Notable is Web Help Desk. It's not open source, but it doesn't really need to be :) It already has it all....and there is a free edition!
<a href="">Help Desk Software by Web Help Desk</a>

Mihir Patel


Nice Article


It's very nice tools which you mentioned for Help Desk in Linux/Open Source.

Thanks for sharing information.




Um, you're missing the point

"Notable is Web Help Desk. It's not open source, but it doesn't really need to be :) It already has it all....and there is a free edition!"

That's great but you've missed the point. Free as in cost != Free. Open Source is about having access to the code and not being restricted. I'd bet my savings that the "free" version of Notable has tonnes of restrictions.



Um, you're missing the point Part 2

Yep, just checked. You are allowed 1 "tech" to log into the system with the free version.





How about roundup?

Michel Vasic




I would mention GLPI as well It's biggest added-value is the integrated asset management, but it can be used as a helpdesk solution only, and includes interesting business rules (a problem in such location or such category will be routed to such team).


M Vasic



May I suggest another one:




You should probably check this one :

Very easy to setup and use.



See allso open source Support Incident Tracker


Gabriel Pugliese


I've just developed a help desk system inside Google Apps Domain with just 1 click install from Google Docs all made with Apps Script.
See more at:

Best Regards

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