Quantum Thoughts

The absolute all-in-one project managment tool. Redmine. Extensive HOWTO

Posted on: August 22, 2008

Ruby on RailsMany times, especially after a kick-off when we initiate a large scale project I make my traditional whatsoever search for better and more mature issue tracking and project management tools.I have literally tried most of them under heavy load conditions but always there is a trade off between functionality, learning curve for configuration and extensibility (actually this is an OLAP cube ;-)).

Recently I found out about a very net tool called redmine written in ruby and deploying on Rails. OK I will give it a shot I thought. The tool surprised me in most of ways. It is simple to use, extensible, supports both pm and issue tracking tasks, has build in support for auto generated ogg charts and numerous other functionality. Redmine can watch straight to the eye commercial software like Jira. My comments and some installations tips follow.

In the beginning you need to install RoR. OK there a number of ways for someone to do this but if you deploying to a server that will be your project tracking application server that you may use the direct web server that RoR provides called webbricks. Is optimized and very fast.

Alternatively if you like to install redmine in a sub domain of your existing IIS or Apache runtime you need to install fast_cgi module. We will go with the webbricks alternative here but in a future article I will demonstrate how I have configured RoR on my development linux box under xampp(I have done a nice trick with mod_rewrite).  Anyhow, if you want to go with the existing web server solution Google your way on how to configure fast_cgi. All the other steps are pretty much straight forward.

1. So step one is to install a bundled solution of RoR with gem support on your machine. Get One-Click Ruby Installer for Windows and run it on your machine.

The great thing about the one-click installer is that it comes with Ruby Gems, Scite and FreeRIDE preinstalled. The thing to watch out for is that one-click installer does not have the very latest version of Ruby, so when you are reading Ruby Docs, make sure you know which version of Ruby you have (run “ruby -v” in the command prompt).

2. Install MySQL. This is pretty much for most of us people, developing free software, something we have done a numerous times. However, you can get the latest version from here. A trick that I always use, to override the subscription policy MySQL has on their site, is when the package name for download is displayed and I am being asked to provide credentials, I Google the package name. This way you will be directed to a corresponding repository without providing any credentials to MySQL. We will not cover MySQL configuration and optimization procedures, but if you download the installer version a wizard will guide you through the process. On the other hand if you go with the just-extract version you need to do it manually by messing with the my.cnf configuration file. This is my preferred approach since I like doing things manually.

3. Anyway suppose we get as far as here yuo should run

gem install rails --include-dependencies

which will install rails and extra documentation

gem update

to update to the latest ruby version and then

4.  Create the databasefrom mysql client

prompt>mysql -u root -p yourpawssword

sql>create database redmine character set utf8;

5.  Copy config/database.yml.example to config/database.yml and edit this file in order to configure your database settings for “production” environment. In our case database is MySQL and the configuration is as follows

production:
  adapter: mysql
  database: redmine
  host: localhost
  username: username
  password: password

6. Create the database structure, by running the following command under the application root directory:
rake db:migrate RAILS_ENV="production"

7. Insert default configuration data in database, by running the following command:
rake redmine:load_default_data RAILS_ENV="production"
This step is optional but highly recommended, as you can define your own configuration from scratch. It will load default roles, trackers, statuses, workflows and enumerations.

7. Test the installation by running WEBrick web server:

ruby script/server -e production

Once WEBrick has started, point your browser to http://localhost:3000/. You should now see the application welcome page.

8. Use default administrator account to log in:

  • login: admin
  • password: admin

You can go to Admin & Settings to modify application settings.

9. In config/environment.rb, you can set parameters for your SMTP server. Our configuration should look like

config.action_mailer.smtp_settings = {
:address => "smtp_host",
:port => 25,
:domain => "mydomain.com"
}

This is actually the case for exchange server smtp configuration.

So everything is done. You should walk that learning curve really fast since configuration is pretty much intuitive in a high degree.

Enjoy well organized projects and drop me a comment if you experience any difficulties.

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1 Response to "The absolute all-in-one project managment tool. Redmine. Extensive HOWTO"

“One-Click Ruby Installer for Windows” link is not working

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