Top 20 Best Open Source Bug Tracking Tools (Pros and Cons)

Top 20 Best Open Source Bug Tracking Tools (Pros and Cons). Software development has been on a sharp rise in the last decade. To be competitive in whichever industry, you need a great software or web based services for daily operations. However, with every software development comes the risk of running into bugs quite often. It’s crucial to capture the bugs and determine their cause, but it is annoying to dig through a heap of logs to find the bugs.

Fortunately, there are lots of bug tracking tools to help users catch and eliminate those bugs without losing productivity. The tools manage software bugs at each lifecycle stage, from discovering to resolving them. Therefore, it’s best to have a reliable bug tracking tool to minimize manual hunting and optimize software performance.

Let’s start with Top 20 Best Open Source Bug Tracking Tools.

Top 20 Best Open Source Bug Tracking Tools

1. Bugzilla

Bugzilla is a commonly used open source development tool with advanced issue tracking capabilities. It’s a product uniquely tracks bugs in the initial phases of project development, like the Netscape Communicator suite and the Firefox web browser.

Bugzilla has a version ported to Perl, originally from TCL routers, for greater accessibility. Ideal for large open source projects like KDE, GNOME, and Linux Kernel. Its advanced and flexible reporting and charting allow daily scheduling and weekly and hourly reports received through email.

Pros of Bugzilla

  • Supports automatic duplicate detection of bugs, letting you add yourself to the CC list of the duplicate bug as opposed to filing a new one.
  • Has custom email notifications defined by user preferences. 
  • Advanced search capabilities to allow for custom time based searches as well as other specific queries.
  • Supports private attachments and comments for “insiders” in the team.

Cons of Bugzilla

  • The interface is not well organized, hence easy to get lost in the application. 
  • Does not support for agile developments.

2. osTicket

osTicket is a popular and widely used open source support ticketing system. It has numerous features that you download from the dashboard depending on your business goals and needs. The tool easily integrates inquiries through phone, email, and web based forms into a simple and easy to use multiuser web interface.

The configurable help topic feature allows you to add, edit, and delete desk topics according to your preference. The ticket filtering system is powerful enough to ensure the right ticket goes to the relevant department for an environment free of clutter. 

Pros of osTicket

  • Multiple features to quickly download from the dashboard to meet various needs. 
  • Fully customizable depending on the environment in which you or your team needs to use. 
  • An open source tool that is easy to set up, deploy, and maintain. 

Cons of osTicket

  • Lacks statistical measurements for insights into resolved issues. 
  • The release of new versions is slow, and the user interface looks old.

3. Redmine

Redmine is a web based, open source project management software with time and issue tracking capabilities. Written using Ruby on Rails, thus tool is both cross database and cross platform. Provides advanced tools to manage multiple projects like calendars, Gantt charts, and support for various databases. The software integrates seamlessly with different version control systems for multiple databases. 

Redmine provides access controls to enable you to define permissions on a project. It also tracks issues to remove duplicates and simplify workflows. This tool is used by DevOps teams to manage projects and agile/scrum workflows

Pros of Redmine

  • The tool has LDAP authentication for ease in setting up accounts. 
  • Self registration of the admin and additional users is seamless. 
  • Features calendars for highlighting project deadlines. 
  • Quickly define permissions on a project using the access control feature.

Cons of Redmine

  • Lacks core features for some types of projects. 
  • Doesn’t fully integrate with some other project management tools, such as Bitbucket.

4. Kanboard

Kanboard is a project management software ideal for task and project visualization based on the Kanban methodology. Offers project overviews and flexible and agile project management and board sharing. Also provides analytics for task distribution and user repartition reports.

The tool has predetermined project limitations that ensure you only focus on your current projects and don’t leave projects unattended. If you’re a project managers or employer, you easily assign tasks to team members with access to the dashboard, allowing for a visualized timeline.

Pros of Kanboard

  • Available in over 30 languages.
  • Search functionality that allows you to search by custom filters such as categories, task descriptions, due dates, and employees currently working on a specific task. 
  • An open source and free tool that doesn’t come with the additional cost of adding new users. 
  • Automate your workflow to avoid repetitive tasks.
  • Simple query language and custom filters to help you find what you need.

Cons of Kanboard

  • The basic version of the tool lacks many features and requires additional plugins to make the product ready to use. 
  • Initial set up process can be a hustle, especially if you don’t understand PHP.

5. Taiga

Taiga features an intuitive interface ideal for multifunctional agile teams. Offers a digital environment that defines deliverables to enable you to pick the high priority ones on time. Additionally, the software provides complete visibility into the deliverables and ongoing activities to facilitate agile methodologies. Customize it to fit your workloads including sub tasks and EPICS.

Its rich set of features on the intuitive user interface is highly compatible with Kanban, Scrum, or Scrumban. Taiga is also helpful for teams that want to track issues, primarily because of the intuitive backlog and sprint planning capabilities. With this tool, you prioritize bugs depending on issue type, severity, and priority.

Pros of Taiga

  • Easily integrates with platforms such as GitHub, Gitlab, Mattermost, and Slack
  • Suitable for agile methodologies of project management. 
  • Conveniently tracks the progress of development issues. 
  • Excellent user interface that easily integrates cards and tracks team progress.

Cons of Taiga

  • It is sometimes clunky, a setback that leads to project delays. 
  • Lacks features for more complex projects.

6. GitLab

GitLab is an open source software that offers task management functionalities for source code and project planning. Its design is such that you enjoy continuous integration and issue tracking. Gitlab works hand in hand with to speed up bug reporting. Once you capture a bug wwith, you send it to your Gitlab project. Once on Gitlab, developers act on the bug and document results.

Designed to provide code transparency. This makes it a reliable tool for managing vulnerabilities, cluster costs and value streams. The granular user roles and SSG keys restriction come in handy for managing compliances. 

Pros of GitLab

  • Streamlines all collaborative workflows and is ideal for you if you and your team use Agile, Waterfall, or Conversational Development. 
  • Keeps track of the progress and activities across multiple projects. 
  • Delivers performance metrics for the integrated apps through Prometheus.
  • Quickly detects errors and shortens feedback cycles with the in built code review, code quality, and review apps.
  • Automatically merge requests during CI/CD

Cons of GitLab

  • Dashboard does not provide analytical insights.
  • Does not integrate with Jira.
  • Simultaneous bulk actions are only possible at the project level.

7. Restyaboard

Restyaboard is a convenient bug tracking tool based in the Restya platform. Provides visual boards for task management and creating tickets. As an open source platform, it supports Kanban boards for planning, tracking, and collaborating on tasks while offering sticky notes for task organization and management of to do lists.

Pros of Restyaboard

  • Easy to import prevailing boards into Restyaboard. 
  • Option for changing user permissions ideal for multi user environments.
  • Provides quick data transmission and migration
  • Keyboard shortcuts for ease of access to various functions.

Cons of Restyaboard

  • The design is not very attractive.
  • The only support available is through email. 

8. Request Tracker for Incident Response (RTIR)

RTIR is a bug tracking tool that builds on request tracker’s features. Features preconfigured workflows and queues specifically for incident response teams. Crucial tool for many CSIRT and CERT teams and communities that want to integrate their functions with LDAP authentication

Odoo offers a range of features to manage and prevent issues. Records and organizes bugs within projects or categories, providing clear information on their status. Also tracks the frequency of problems, including the number of times it has been reported in order to measure success in resolving them. Allows users to assign tasks and keep track of their progress for more efficient work. 

Pros of RTIR

  • Supports time tracking and reporting
  • New modern and responsive layout that most open source bug tracking tools lack.
  • Easy to integrate with authentication systems like SAML and Active Directory. 
  • Easy to customize the dashboards with critical ticket automation.

Cons of RTIR

  • Doesn’t offer a dedicated mobile app for  iOS or Android users.
  • Doesn’t offer Visual Studio, SOAP, and GUI input interfaces for users.

9. Flyspray

Flyspray is simple to use, open source bug tracking system. Helps developers manage the development process, issue reports, and other project tasks. Use Flyspray to track bugs throughout the software development process. Supports multiple databases such as PostgreSQL and MySQL. Written against the LAMP stack and supports Jabber(XMPP) and email notifications. This makes it an suitable choice to track issues with an easy to use tool.

Pros of Flyspray

  • Advanced yet easy to use search features.
  • Provides dependency graphs to help plan and manage dependencies across teams and projects.
  • Provides test planning integration.
  • It’s web based and hence platform independent.

Cons of Flyspray

  • Very limited documentation.
  • Not extensible as it doesn’t support plugins.

10. Tuleap

Tuleap is deployed for improving collaboration across teams with multiple user profiles. Open source software that supports DevOps tools and practices for building innovative workspaces and managing large datasets. Ideal for project and product development and has drag and drop cards to visualize upcoming sprints and releases.

Tuleap documents and delivers various versions and controls. Its issue tracking is ideal for workflow automation. The test management feature is suitable for effective traceability, and the requirement baseline allows for snapshot comparison. 

Pros of Tuleap

  • The agile dashboard is suitable for a multi user environment. 
  • Easy to use software that doesn’t  require technical experience. 
  • Includes multiple features to manage various projects, mainly wiki project management. 
  • Effectively designed for test and ticket management. 
  • Easily adapts to different workflow versions.

Cons of Tuleap

  • Lacks various useful integrations like JetBrains and Visual Studio. 
  • Doesn’t provide options for limiting the number of users when managing a team.

11. Launchpad

Launchpad is an open source hosting and collaboration platform. Ideal for sharing ideas across projects and tacking software bugs. With this tool, developer collaborates seamlessly to work on bug reports and fixes. Supports mirroring services and registries for code branches and projects. Other capabilities include fixing, translating, mailing lists, and code hosting.

Pros of Launchpad

  • Thoroughly designed to incorporate multiple business features such as client communication, ad tracking, and order entry. 
  • Provides multiple ways of tracking and classifying bugs. 
  • The helpdesk is thorough and prompt in resolving resolve issues. 
  • In depth documentation and knowledge base with videos that describe complex procedures.

Cons of Launchpad

  • The Pickup feature is a bit complex to use. 
  • Some of the functions are not straightforward. So steep learning curve.

12. Mantis BT

Mantis BT is an open source bug tracking software written PHP. Available with many revision control systems and hosts a notification system based on events. While it doesn’t feature a wiki, it easily integrates with many popular wiki platforms.

Mantis BT is easy to download and install for use. Depending on your needs and preferences, you can have a hosted version. With an extensive library of plugins, it’s easy to add custom functionalities to meet your company’s needs. The advanced access control allows user access control at each project level. 

Pros of Mantis BT

  • Implement access control on per project basis.
  • Supports platform that run on PHP i.e Windows, Android and iOS, Solaris platforms. 
  • Easily customize the features as per your team’s needs and requirements. 
  • Provides regular updates, comments, and resolutions notifications through email. 
  • Extend is functionality through hook/custom functions.

Cons of MantisBT

  • Some configuration options on the tool are complex to understand. 
  • The software sometimes experiences hiccups like missing token error messages, forcing one to go back to the browser to submit the ticket again.

13. Trac

Trac is an open source bug tracking tool with a minimalistic approach to software project management. Written in Python and integrates its bug tracking capabilities with a revision control system of your choice. It also comprises a wiki and a simple a simple interface to Subversion and Git.

Currently available as an open source platform under a modified BSD license. The self hosted repository and roadmap allow you to check the tool’s source from the project team for future release plans. 

Pros of Trac

  • Comes with a customizable reporting system and supports advanced timeline features.
  • Features project management capabilities such as roadmaps and milestone generation. 
  • Support for multiple repositories. 
  • Supports advanced timeline features and has security features, including built in span filter.

Cons of Trac

  • The tool is sometimes slow, causing you to miss out on essential updates.
  • Lacks automated customer notification of due dates.

14. Open Source Ticket Request System (OTRS)

OTRS is a free, modern ticketing and process management system written in PERL. Enables users to manage their business environments by delivering fast results. 

Provides templates, complete request histories, and assignments that enable users to avoid errors and complete tasks quickly. Also, supports automation and processes to create daily work routines, while establishing and digitizing workflows. Easily individualize projects through themes, workspace personalization, and themes.

Pros of OTRS

  • Highly secure, with advanced security features such as end to end encryption and two factor authentication.
  • Sends scheduled reports on the current customer performance or situation. 
  • Includes a personal organizer for the generation, saving, and management of search results and lists by each agent. 
  • Entails service management tools for ticket and process automation.

Cons of OTRS

  • The design is based on CGI and is relatively inefficient.
  • Lacks features like the search function and latency to refresh large CMDB.

15. Eventum

Eventum is written in PHP and developed by the MySQL development team. Ideal for use as a bug or issue tracking tool.

Support departments can track incoming technical support requests, while development teams can use it for bugs and tasks. Available under an open source license and includes email integration to send and receive emails from the platform. Also, it has an advanced email routing interface.

Pros of Eventum

  • Utilize full text searches to make queries using FULLTEXT support or MySQL.
  • Features an advanced reporting system.
  • Easy to assign user roles and projects depending on the desired levels of access, including Developer, Customer, Admin, and Standard User. 
  • Supports RSS feeds and has a setup for granular preferences and queuing for each user.

Cons of Eventum

  • Lacks robust modelling capabilities which are key for users in specific industries. 
  • You may not find the tool friendly or easy to use as a beginner.

16. Lavagna

Lavagna is an open source bug tracking tool designed for small teams. Lightweight and easy to use tool aimed at improving collaboration among teams. Provides custom labels and checklists to define the scope of bug handling. Besides, it has a powerful search feature with full text search and metadata.

Kanban board manager and multiple login providers i.e GitLab, LDAP, Twitter, and Google. Also, it supports OAuth login. 

Pros of Lavagna

  • Provides fine grained access control.
  • Seamless integration with IDM systems.
  • Lightweight tool that requires few system requirements.
  • Allows users to add scripts that react on system events.

Cons of Lavagna

  • Not suitable for large enterprise DevOps teams.
  • Requires Java programming skills to use.

17. Fossil

Fossil is a simple and highly flexible issue tracker and distributed software configuration management platform. Written in C, it features crucial components like a distributed version control system, a wiki, and a bug tracker. Ideal for project managers as it comes with numerous project management features.

Easy to install the tool, as it only requires a single executable file with everything needed to get the platform up and running. The in-built, extensible, and intuitive web interface is another attractive feature.

Pros of Fossil

  • Enables you to conduct automatic self checks to verify various aspects of the repository and to check that they’re consistent before each commit. 
  • Supports an auto-sync mode that propels projects forward while reducing the need for forking and merging in distributed projects. 
  • Uses simple protocols such as SSH and HTTP for network communications work well behind proxies and firewalls. 
  • Allows you to store content using an enduring file format that enables atomic transactions in an SQLite database

Cons of Fossil

  • Hard to customize, not be ideal for large projects. 
  • Scripts must be written in TCL

18. Pachno

Pachno is a free, open source bug tracker based on open source technologies. Comprehensive tracking system works well to detect and eliminate bugs. Its design incorporates customer feedback management and requests to improve the product development process.

One of Pachno’s outstanding bug tracking features is its ability to create custom transition screens specific to each process. It allows you to personalize the tracking and bug reporting system. Custom text input fields, bug status fields, multiple choice drop down, and other features. 

Pros of Pachno

  • A completely integrated platform that incorporates tickets, code review, authentication, and viewing of code repositories. 
  • Feature rich documentation editor to help you with all documentation needs.
  • Provides Kanban and Scrum planning boards.
  • Quickly set up notification schedules. 
  • Offers a broad range of possibilities that suit your business needs. 
  • Has integrated features such as authentication, code review, and viewing or code repositories.

Cons of Pachno

  • Requires adequate PHP knowledge to implement.
  • Complex initial set up process.

19. Webissues

Webissues is a powerful, open source bug tracking tool that provides an efficient way to communicate and collaborate on shared projects. Use it to store, share, and track issues as it streamlines the process of identifying, reporting, and resolving issues. Enables users to create tasks, log work time, attach files, and assign issues to project members with just a few clicks. Personalize it according to the nature of your bugs.

Webissues has a desktop client available for Linux, Mac, and Windows systems. Its server includes an integrated web client that requires newer versions of PHP after 5.3 and a database either SQL Server, PostgreSQL, or MySQL.

Pros of Webissues

  • Easy to install and use.
  • Highly customizable to fit your individual needs.
  • Add comments, attachments, descriptions, and attributes to the logged issues.
  • Provides flexible way to filter logged issues.
  • Export reports as PDF and HTML files.

Cons of Webissues

  • The UI is simplistic at best and not ideal when handling lots of bugs.
  • Limited documentation and support.

20. Roundup

RoundUp is another excellent open source bug tracker that features command lines and email interfaces. The platform is simple to integrate and use. The most current release is quite extensive, with a range of new features that improve the tool’s issue management.

Pros of Roundup

  • Simple configuration and implementation process. 
  • Comes with ideal features for tracking errors while informing you and your team through fault reports. 
  • Ideal for managing a to do list with the classic installation. 
  • The customer help desk support has a wizard for the agents, linking to networking and development issue trackers.

Cons of Roundup

  • Not ideal for large companies with many departments. 
  • Not suitable for handling complex projects.

Thank you for reading Top 20 Best Open Source Bug Tracking Tools. We conclude this article. 

Top 20 Best Open Source Bug Tracking Tools Pros and Cons Conclusion

When working on any software, it’s inevitable to experience bugs that slow you down. Fortunately, you utilize bug tracking tools to help you record, report, assign, and track defects in software development projects. While there are many bug tracking tools are available on the market, they differ significantly in terms of features. The guide highlights the top 20 handpicked bug tracking tools with their popular features and pros and cons. They are ideal if you are looking for reliable bug tracking to streamline your workflows.

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Avatar for Dennis Muvaa
Dennis Muvaa

Dennis is an expert content writer and SEO strategist in cloud technologies such as AWS, Azure, and GCP. He's also experienced in cybersecurity, big data, and AI.

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