OTOBO Installation

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

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


As of OTOBO version 10.0.7, we recommend Docker and Docker Compose for the OTOBO installation. By using the provided Docker images, all recommended dependencies (such as Elasticsearch, Redis Cache, etc.) are installed and configured automatically. Updates are thus greatly simplified and the performance has been improved. You can find the instructions for Docker-based installation at https://doc.otobo.org/manual/installation/stable/en/content/installation-docker.html .

Preparation: Disable SELinux when it is installed and enabled


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

Try the command sestatus and getenforce when you are not sure whether SELinux is installed and enabled on your system.

The sestatus command returns the SELinux status and the SELinux policy being used. SELinux status: enabled is returned when SELinux is enabled. Current mode: enforcing is returned when SELinux is running in enforcing mode. Policy from config file: targeted is returned when the SELinux targeted policy is used.

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 OTOBO

Download the latest otobo release from https://ftp.otobo.org/pub/otobo/. Unpack the source archive (for example, using tar) into the directory /opt/otobo-install:

root> mkdir /opt/otobo-install                                          # Create a temporary install directory
root> cd /opt/otobo-install                                             # Change into the update directory
root> wget https://ftp.otobo.org/pub/otobo/otobo-latest-10.0.tar.gz     # Download he latest OTOBO 10 release
root> tar -xzf otobo-latest-10.0.tar.gz                                 # Unzip OTOBO
root> cp -r otobo-10.x.x /opt/otobo                                     # Copy the new otobo directory to /opt/otobo

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/otobo/bin/otobo.CheckModules.pl -list
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 OTOBO 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/otobo/bin/otobo.CheckModules.pl -inst


There are a number of optional or alternative modules which can be installed, mostly for more customized versions of OTOBO. Calling CheckModules.pl without any argument will list its full functionality.

Step 3: Create the OTOBO User

Create a dedicated user for OTOBO within its own group:

root> useradd -r -U -d /opt/otobo -c 'OTOBO user' otobo -s /bin/bash

Add the user to web server group (if the web server is not running as otobo user):

root> usermod -G www-data otobo
(SUSE=www, Red Hat/CentOS/Fedora=apache, Debian/Ubuntu=www-data)

Step 4: Activate the Default Configuration File

There is an OTOBO configuration file bundled in $OTOBO_HOME/Kernel/Config.pm.dist. You must activate it by copying it without the .dist file name extension.

root> cp /opt/otobo/Kernel/Config.pm.dist /opt/otobo/Kernel/Config.pm

Step 5: Configure the Apache Web Server

First of all, you should install the Apache2 web server and mod_perl; you’d typically do this from your system’s package manager. Below you’ll find the commands needed to set up Apache on the most popular Linux distributions.

# RHEL / CentOS:
root> yum install httpd mod_perl

# SuSE:
root> zypper install apache2-mod_perl

# Debian/Ubuntu:
root> apt-get install apache2 libapache2-mod-perl2

A critical setting of the Apache web server is the choice of the multi-processing module. For running OTOBO, the recommended choice is the module mpm_prefork. Like other Apache modules the multi-processing module can be managed with the tools a2dismod and a2enmod.

root> # check which MPM is active
root> apache2ctl -M | grep mpm_

All is fine whem mpm_prefork already is enabled.

Disable mpm_event when it is currently active.

root> a2dismod mpm_event

Disable mpm_worker in case that MPM is enabled.

root> a2dismod mpm_worker

Finally activate mpm_prefork.

root> a2enmod mpm_prefork

OTOBO requires a few more Apache modules to be active for optimal operation. Again, on most platforms you can make sure they are active via the tool a2enmod.

root> a2enmod perl
root> a2enmod deflate
root> a2enmod filter
root> a2enmod headers


On some platforms not all Apache modules exist and an error is displayed when installing. Do not worry and finish the installation, in most cases the module will not be needed.

Most Apache installations have a conf.d directory included. On Linux systems you can usually find this directory under /etc/apache or /etc/apache2.

Configure Apache without SSL support

Copy the template file /opt/otobo/scripts/apache2-httpd.include.conf to the apache sites-available directory. In most cases no further editing of the template is required. Then enable the new configuration.

# Debian/Ubuntu:
root> cp /opt/otobo/scripts/apache2-httpd.include.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/zzz_otobo.conf
root> a2ensite zzz_otobo.conf
root> systemctl restart apache2

Configure Apache with SSL support

Copy the template files /opt/otobo/scripts/apache2-httpd-vhost-80.include.conf and /opt/otobo/scripts/apache2-httpd-vhost-443.include.conf to the apache sites-available directory.

# Debian/Ubuntu:
root> cp /opt/otobo/scripts/apache2-httpd-vhost-80.include.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/zzz_otobo-80.conf
root> cp /opt/otobo/scripts/apache2-httpd-vhost-443.include.conf /etc/apache2/sites-available/zzz_otobo-443.conf

Please edit the files and add the required information like SSL certificate storage path. After that, enable the OTOBO Apache configuration:

root> a2ensite zzz_otobo-80.conf
root> a2ensite zzz_otobo-443.conf

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

root> systemctl restart apache2

Step 6: Set File Permissions

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

root> /opt/otobo/bin/otobo.SetPermissions.pl

Step 7: Setup the Database

First of all, you should install the database package. It is recommended to use the MySQL or MariaDB package, which will be delivered with your Linux system, but it is possible to use PostgreSQL or Oracle as well.

You’d typically do this from your systems package manager. Below you’ll find the commands needed to set up MySQL on the most popular Linux distributions.

# RHEL / CentOS:
root> yum install mysql-server

# SuSE:
root> zypper install mysql-community-server

# Debian/Ubuntu:
root> apt-get install mysql-server

After installing the MySQL server you need configure it.

In MySQL higher or equal version 5.7 a new authentication module is active, and it is not possible to use the OTOBO web installer for database creation. Please login to the mysql console and set a different authentication module and password for the user root if this is the case:

root> mysql -u root
root> ALTER USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY 'NewRootPassword';

For MariaDB > 10.1 use instead the following command:

root> mysql -u root
root> update mysql.user set authentication_string=password('NewRootPassword') plugin='mysql_native_password' where user='root';

If this command not work, please try the following commands:

root> mysql -u root
root> UPDATE mysql.user SET password = PASSWORD('NewRootPassword') WHERE user = 'root';
root> UPDATE mysql.user SET authentication_string = '' WHERE user = 'root';
root> UPDATE mysql.user SET plugin = 'mysql_native_password' WHERE user = 'root';

After OTOBO installation it is possible to change the authentication module again, if needed.


The following configuration settings are minimum requirements for MySQL setups. Please add the following lines to the MySQL Server configuration file /etc/my.cnf, /etc/mysql/my.cnf or /etc/mysql/mysql.conf.d/mysqld.cnf under the [mysqld] section:

max_allowed_packet   = 64M
innodb_log_file_size = 256M

For MySQL prior to MySQL 8.0 the query cache size should also be set:

query_cache_size     = 32M

Also add the following lines to the MySQL Server configuration file /etc/my.cnf, /etc/mysql/my.cnf or /etc/mysql/mysql.conf.d/mysqldump.cnf under the [mysqldump] section:

max_allowed_packet   = 64M

For production purposes we recommend to use the tool mysqltuner to find the perfect setup. You can download the script from github https://github.com/major/MySQLTuner-perl or install it on Debian or Ubuntu systems via package manager:

root> apt-get install mysqltuner

After installing execute the script:

root> mysqltuner --user root --pass NewRootPassword

Step 8: Setup Elasticsearch

OTOBO recommends an active installation of Elasticsearch for quick search. The easiest way is to setup Elasticsearch on the same host as OTOBO and binding it to its default port.

Elasticsearch installation example based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

JDK Installation

root> apt update
root> apt install openjdk-8-jdk

Elasticsearch Installation

root> wget -qO - https://artifacts.elastic.co/GPG-KEY-elasticsearch | sudo apt-key add -
root> echo "deb https://artifacts.elastic.co/packages/7.x/apt stable main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elastic-7.x.list
root> apt update
root> apt -y install elasticsearch

Elasticsearch Installation on another Linux distribution

Please follow the installation tutorial found at https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/elasticsearch/reference/current/setup.html.

Elasticsearch Module Installation

Additionally, OTOBO 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

Elasticsearch Configuration

Elasticsearch has a multitude of configuration options and possibilities.

In order to ensure error-free operation, you should adjust the jvm heap space for larger OTOBO systems. Please adjust the settings in the file /etc/elasticsearch/jvm.options. You should always set the min and max JVM heap size to the same value. For example, to set the heap to 4 GB, set:


In our tests, a value between 4 and 10 GB for medium-sized installations has proven to be the best.


See https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/elasticsearch/reference/current/heap-size.html for more information.

Now you can restart your Elasticsearch server to load the new configuration settings. On most systems you can use the following command to do so:

root> systemctl restart elasticsearch

Step 8: Basic System Configuration

Please use the web installer at http://localhost/otobo/installer.pl (replace “localhost” with your OTOBO hostname) to set up your database and basic system settings such as email accounts.

Step 9: First Login

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

Step 10: Start the OTOBO Daemon

OTOBO daemon is responsible for handling any asynchronous and recurring tasks in OTOBO. What has been in cron file definitions previously is now handled by the OTOBO daemon, which is required to operate OTOBO. The daemon also handles all GenericAgent jobs and must be started from the OTOBO user.

otobo> /opt/otobo/bin/otobo.Daemon.pl start

Step 11: Cron jobs for the OTOBO user

There are two default OTOBO cron files in /opt/otobo/var/cron/\*.dist, and their purpose is to make sure that the OTOBO Daemon is running. They need to be be activated by copying them without the “.dist” filename extension.

root> cd /opt/otobo/var/cron/
root> for foo in *.dist; do cp $foo `basename $foo .dist`; done

root> cd /opt/otobo/
root> bin/Cron.sh start

With this step, the basic system setup is finished.

Step 12: Setup Bash Auto-Completion (optional)

All regular OTOBO command line operations happen via the OTOBO 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/otobo/.bash_completion for the otobo user.

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

otobo> /opt/otobo/bin/otobo.Console.pl

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 execute the following line as user otobo and add it to your ~/.bashrc to execute the commands from the file.

source /opt/otobo/.bash_completion

Step 13: Further Information

We advise you to read the OTOBO Performance Tuning chapter.