11 November 2007

Installing trac

I started using trac a few weeks ago, and now I don't know what I did without it. It's great for project management. trac is a multi-user Web-based ticket-tracking system which has a built-in wiki, integrates with Subversion, and offers a wide array of plugins.

It's written in python. Oh, well. Nothing is perfect.

Here I'll be describing how to install trac v0.10 with the WebAdmin plugin on CentOS 5. We'll pretend to be installing it at http://myserver.org/trac/ (upcoming posts will talk about using and maintaining trac).

Start by installing the trac and python-clearsilver RPMs from the EPEL repositories. This will add the /etc/httpd/conf.d/trac.conf file to your Apache configuration. I suggest replacing the default contents of that file with the following:

<LocationMatch /trac>
SetHandler mod_python
PythonInterpreter main_interpreter
PythonHandler trac.web.modpython_frontend
PythonOption TracEnvParentDir /var/www/trac/tracroot
PythonOption TracUriRoot /trac
SetEnv PYTHON_EGG_CACHE /var/www/trac/egg_cache
AuthType Basic
AuthName trac
AuthUserFile /var/www/trac/htpasswd
Require valid-user

(Don't forget to restart Apache to make the new configuration take effect.)

I'll be putting all the trac files in /var/www/trac (outside the Apache docroot at /var/www/html). Each trac project will have its own directory in /var/www/trac/tracroot, and the subversion repository will be at /var/www/trac/svn.

The 'egg cache' (I guess that's some wierd Python drivel) will be at /var/www/trac/egg_cache. The egg cache is for plugins. It's actually not necessary for the WebAdmin plugin, but you may as well set it up, anyway, in case you want to add other plugins. It needs to be Apache-writeable: chown -R apache.apache /var/www/trac/egg_cache.

You'll notice that I've set up Basic Apache authentication. Use the command-line htpasswd command (part of the httpd package) to create and maintain the /var/www/trac/htpasswd. In my case, I created a user called carl: htpasswd -c /var/www/trac/htpasswd carl

If you want to use the Subversion integration, put your repository at /var/www/trac/svn (either drop in a hotcopy or use svnadmin load /var/www/trac/svn). Remember to make it Apache-writeable: chown -R apache.apache /var/www/trac/svn.

To install the WebAdmin plugin, you'll need setuptools. Download ez_setup.py and run
python ez_setup.py (this is all described on the TracPlugins node of the trac wiki). This installs the easy_install utility. Running easy_install http://svn.edgewall.com/repos/trac/sandbox/webadmin should install the plugin (verify the URL on the WebAdmin wiki node). Now you'll need to enable the plugin by adding the following text to /usr/share/trac/conf/trac.ini (this file probably doesn't exist yet, so you'll be creating it):

webadmin.* = enabled

You'll probably need another Apache restart at this point (editing /usr/share/trac/conf/trac.ini seems to require an Apache restart).

And now we can actually create a trac project. We'll call it foo, for laughs:

trac-admin /var/www/trac/tracroot/foo initenv

This will ask you a few questions (I'm assuming that your Subversion repository is set up such that there's a foo item just under the repository root, and that it corresponds to this trac project):
  • project name: keep this short but descriptive
  • DB connection string: just use the default (SQLite)
  • repository type: use the default if you're doing the Subversion integration
  • repository path: /var/www/trac/svn/foo
  • templates: use the default
Your answers are used to create a project configuration file at /var/www/trac/tracroot/foo/conf/trac.ini. You can later edit this file by hand, but if you change the repository location (the repository_dir item), you'll need to run the following command:

trac-admin /var/www/trac/tracroot/foo resync

Now give yourself administrative rights to the project (using the same username you used with the htpasswd command, above):

trac-admin /var/www/trac/tracroot/foo permission add carl TRAC_ADMIN

Well, this has already run pretty long, so I'll break for now. In the next exciting episode, I'll talk a bit about actually using trac.


Sean Tierney said...

have you tried the JumpBox for Trac? ->

It makes installation a lot easier. There's a 2min video here that shows the setup start to finish->


mbrisby said...

Thanks, Sean. JumpBox looks pretty cool.