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OpenProject – the better and improved Redmine (bug tracking system / project manager)

OpenProject logo

Maybe you’ve read my article about Redmine. I really love Redmine, but to be honest Redmine has a really old frontend. And as we all now we are all driven by beauty. Personally I use OpenProject in production only for 2 months but I think I got a good overview.

So first we start how OpenProject has started. I need to start at Redmine. First there was Redmine, than a few developers of Redmine didn’t liked the way how Redmine is developed or how it evolve. So they they forked Redmine and started a own project called ChilliProject. OpenProject was developed in parallel to ChilliProject. In 2012 was the official fork with the name OpenProject. OpenProject is in development under the OpenProject Foundation. The foundation has in the very moment more developers than Redmine and is more actively developed.

To say it very simple OpenProject is Redmine but more actively developed and userfriendlier through the new and fresh interface.

What features has OpenProject or how does it look like?


A project is the root in OpenProject. A project has its own jobs, documents, users. See it like a separation.

OpenProject - project overview


Work packages

A work package is like a todo, you can tell whats need to be done. Within a work package you can attach documents or files, link to other issues, change the states or create comments.

OpenProject - work package overview


Same like in Redmine you can create milestones, too. But here it is only a type of a work package.


I think I don’t need to explain this.


A documentation is simplified a piece of text which you can store in redmine.

OpenProject - document overview

Send and import emails

That function I use everyday. I tell you my usecase:

  • My customer wants an offer for a feature he would like to have in his software. He writes me an email about that.
  • That email is my magic OpenProject email address
  • That email will automatically imported inOpenProject as a new job
  • I worked on that job and write a comment inOpenProject
  • The customer get a new email with me comment fromOpenProject
  • The customer responses to that mail and that answer will be imported in OpenProject as a comment in the specific job


OpenProject is through plugins extensible, too. But there are not so many plugins like in Redmine.

Role-based access control

You can create roles and give the roles some rights. The roles you can apply to users. As an example:

The customer-role can only create and see tickets within an specifc project.

LDAP auth

Thats really nice – if you have LDAP than redmine can connect with your LDAP server and gets the users incl. the login data for your users.


You can link it with a git repo. Then you’re able to close issues and import your spent time in the issue with a small piece of text which you write in your commit message.

Enterprise version

For OpenProject there exists a enterprise version, with a few more features:

  • Custom theme and logo
  • Single Sign-On
  • Create custom workflows
  • Full text search for attachments

More you will find out here.

Pro and cons


  • used by big companies
  • seamless integration with emails and git
  • stable
  • very flexible (you can add fields and rename labels of options by yourself)
  • good frontend


  • not so many plugins like for Redmine
  • could be tricky to setup if you don’t use a docker image and do it by yourself

If you need a free project management system or bug tracker than you should have a look at OpenProject. I really like to use it and it’s easy to install and test it through Docker.

Redmine – the free bug tracking system / project manager which does the job

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