This chapter describes the installation and basic configuration of the central OTRS framework.

Follow the detailed steps in this chapter to install OTRS on your server. You can then use its web interface to login and administer the system.

Preparation: Disable SELinux


If your system uses SELinux, you should disable it, otherwise OTRS will not work correctly.

Here’s how to disable SELinux for RHEL/CentOS/Fedora.

  1. Configure SELINUX=disabled in the /etc/selinux/config file:

    # This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
    # SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
    #       enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
    #       permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
    #       disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
    # SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
    #       targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
    #       mls - Multi Level Security protection.
  2. Reboot your system. After reboot, confirm that the getenforce command returns Disabled:

    root> getenforce

Step 1: Unpack and Install the Application

You can obtain either otrs-x.y.z.tar.gz or otrs-x.y.z.tar.bz2. Unpack the source archive (for example, using tar) into the directory /opt, and create a symbolic link /opt/otrs that points to /opt/otrs-x.y.z. Do not forget to replace the version numbers!


Package bzip2 is not installed in some systems by default. Make sure, that bzip2 is installed before unpacking otrs-x.y.z.tar.bz2.

Unpack command for otrs-x.y.z.tar.gz:

root> tar -xzf otrs-x.y.z.tar.gz -C /opt

Unpack command for otrs-x.y.z.tar.bz2:

root> tar -xjf otrs-x.y.z.tar.bz2 -C /opt

It is recommended to create a symbolic link named /opt/otrs that always points to the latest OTRS version. Using symbolic link makes easy to manage the OTRS updates, because you can leave untouched the directory of the previous version, only the symbolic link needs to change. If you need to revert the update, you can change the target of the symbolic link back.

Execute this command to create a symbolic link:

root> ln -fns /opt/otrs-x.y.z /opt/otrs

Step 2: Install Additional Programs and Perl Modules

Use the following script to get an overview of all installed and required CPAN modules and other external dependencies.

root> perl /opt/otrs/bin/
Checking for Perl Modules:
  o Archive::Tar.....................ok (v1.90)
  o Archive::Zip.....................ok (v1.37)
  o Crypt::Eksblowfish::Bcrypt.......ok (v0.009)


Please note that OTRS requires a working Perl installation with all core modules such as the module version. These modules are not explicitly checked by the script. You may need to install a perl-core package on some systems like RHEL that do not install the Perl core packages by default.

To install the required and optional packages, you can use either CPAN or the package manager of your Linux distribution.

Execute this command to get an install command to install the missing dependencies:

root> /opt/otrs/bin/ --list

OTRS requires a supported stable version of Node.js to be installed. Please refer to the Node.js installation instructions.

Step 3: Create the OTRS User

Create a dedicated user for OTRS within its own group:

root> useradd -r -U -d /opt/otrs -c 'OTRS user' otrs -s /bin/bash

Step 4: Activate the Default Configuration File

There is an OTRS configuration file bundled in $OTRS_HOME/Kernel/ You must activate it by copying it without the .dist filename extension.

root> cp /opt/otrs/Kernel/ /opt/otrs/Kernel/

Step 5: Configure the Apache Web Server

OTRS comes with an own built-in web server that is used behind Apache as a reverse proxy (or any other reverse proxy server). A few Apache modules are needed for correct operation: proxy_module, proxy_http_module and proxy_wstunnel_module.

On some systems like Debian and SuSE, these modules need to be specifically enabled:

root> a2enmod proxy
root> a2enmod proxy_http
root> a2enmod proxy_wstunnel

Most Apache installations have a conf.d directory included. On Linux systems you can usually find this directory under /etc/apache or /etc/apache2. Log in as root, change to the conf.d directory and link the appropriate template in /opt/otrs/scripts/apache2-httpd.include.conf to a file called zzz_otrs.conf in the Apache configuration directory (to make sure it is loaded after the other configurations).

# Debian/Ubuntu:
root> ln -s /opt/otrs/scripts/apache2-httpd.include.conf /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/zzz_otrs.conf

Now you can restart your web server to load the new configuration settings. On most systems you can do that with the command:

root> systemctl restart apache2.service

Step 6: Set File Permissions

Please execute the following command to set the file and directory permissions for OTRS. It will try to detect the correct user and group settings needed for your setup.

root> /opt/otrs/bin/

Step 7: Setup the Database

The following steps need to be taken to setup the database for OTRS properly:

  • Create a dedicated database user and database.
  • Create the database structure.
  • Insert the initial data.
  • Configure the database connection in Kernel/


Please note that OTRS requires utf8 as database storage encoding.

MySQL or MariaDB

Log in to MySQL console as database admin user:

root> mysql -uroot -p

Create a database:


Special database user handling is needed for MySQL 8, as the default caching_sha2_password can only be used over secure connections. Create a database user in MySQL 8:

mysql> CREATE USER 'otrs'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY 'choose-your-password';

Create a database user in older MySQL versions:

mysql> CREATE USER 'otrs'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'choose-your-password';

Assign user privileges to the new database:

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON otrs.* TO 'otrs'@'localhost';
mysql> quit

Run the following commands on the shell to create schema and insert data:

root> mysql -uroot -p otrs < /opt/otrs/scripts/database/otrs-schema.mysql.sql
root> mysql -uroot -p otrs < /opt/otrs/scripts/database/otrs-initial_insert.mysql.sql
root> mysql -uroot -p otrs < /opt/otrs/scripts/database/otrs-schema-post.mysql.sql

Configure database settings in Kernel/

$Self->{DatabaseHost} = '';
$Self->{Database}     = 'otrs';
$Self->{DatabaseUser} = 'otrs';
$Self->{DatabasePw}   = 'choose-your-password';
$Self->{DatabaseDSN}  = "DBI:mysql:database=$Self->{Database};host=$Self->{DatabaseHost};";


The following configuration settings are recommended for MySQL setups. Please add the following lines to /etc/my.cnf under the [mysqld] section:

max_allowed_packet   = 64M
query_cache_size     = 32M
innodb_log_file_size = 256M



We assume, that OTRS and PostgreSQL server run on the same machine and PostgreSQL uses Peer authentication method. For more information see the Client Authentication section in the PostgreSQL manual.

Switch to postgres user:

root> su - postgres

Create a database user:

postgres> createuser otrs

Create a database:

postgres> createdb --encoding=UTF8 --owner=otrs otrs

Run the following commands on the shell to create schema and insert data:

otrs> psql < /opt/otrs/scripts/database/otrs-schema.postgresql.sql
otrs> psql < /opt/otrs/scripts/database/otrs-initial_insert.postgresql.sql
otrs> psql < /opt/otrs/scripts/database/otrs-schema-post.postgresql.sql

Configure database settings in Kernel/

$Self->{DatabaseHost} = '';
$Self->{Database}     = 'otrs';
$Self->{DatabaseUser} = 'otrs';
$Self->{DatabasePw}   = 'choose-your-password';
$Self->{DatabaseDSN}  = "DBI:Pg:dbname=$Self->{Database};host=$Self->{DatabaseHost};";

Finishing the Database Setup

To verify your database setup, run the following command:

otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/ Maint::Database::Check
Trying to connect to database 'DBI:Pg:dbname=otrs;host=localhost' with user 'otrs'...
Connection successful.

Once the database is configured correctly, please initialize the system configuration with the following command:

otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/ Maint::Config::Rebuild
Rebuilding the system configuration...


For security reasons, please change the default password of the admin user root@localhost by generating a random password:

otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/ Admin::User::SetPassword root@localhost
Generated password 'rtB98S55kuc9'.
Successfully set password for user 'root@localhost'.

You can also choose to set your own password:

otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/ Admin::User::SetPassword root@localhost your-own-password
Successfully set password for user 'root@localhost'

Step 8: Setup Elasticsearch Cluster

OTRS requires an active cluster of Elasticsearch 6.x (higher versions are not supported). The easiest way is to setup Elasticsearch on the same host as OTRS and binding it to its default port. With that, no further configuration in OTRS is needed.

Additionally, OTRS requires plugins to be installed into Elasticsearch:

root> /usr/share/elasticsearch/bin/elasticsearch-plugin install --batch ingest-attachment
root> /usr/share/elasticsearch/bin/elasticsearch-plugin install --batch analysis-icu


Restart Elasticsearch afterwards, or indexes will not be built.

To verify the Elasticsearch installation, you can use the following command:

otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/ Maint::DocumentSearch::Check
Trying to connect to cluster...
  Connection successful.

Step 9: Start the OTRS Daemon and Web Server

The new OTRS daemon is responsible for handling any asynchronous and recurring tasks in OTRS. The built-in OTRS web server process handles the web requests handed over from Apache. Both processes must be started from the otrs user.

otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/ start
otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/

Step 10: First Login

Now you are ready to login to your system at http://localhost/otrs/ as user root@localhost with the password that was generated (see above).

Use http://localhost to access the external interface.

Step 11: Setup Systemd Files

OTRS comes with example systemd configuration files that can be used to make sure that the OTRS daemon and web server are started automatically after the system starts.

root> cd /opt/otrs/scripts/systemd
root> for UNIT in *.service; do cp -vf $UNIT /usr/lib/systemd/system/; systemctl enable $UNIT; done

With this step, the basic system setup is finished.

Step 12: Setup Bash Auto-Completion (optional)

All regular OTRS command line operations happen via the OTRS console interface. This provides an auto completion for the bash shell which makes finding the right command and options much easier.

You can activate the bash auto-completion by installing the package bash-completion. It will automatically detect and load the file /opt/otrs/.bash_completion for the otrs user.

After restarting your shell, you can just type this command followed by TAB, and it will list all available commands:

otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/

If you type a few characters of the command name, TAB will show all matching commands. After typing a complete command, all possible options and arguments will be shown by pressing TAB.


If you have problems, you can add the following line to your ~/.bashrc to execute the commands from the file.

source /opt/otrs/.bash_completion

Step 13: Further Information

We advise you to read the OTRS Performance Tuning chapter.