Migration from OTRS 6 or OTRS 7 / ((OTRS)) Community Edition to OTOBO version 10.1


Please migrate your OTRS to OTOBO version 10.1 first and then upgrade your OTOBO to version 11.

Welcome and thank you for choosing OTOBO!

OTRS, ((OTRS)) Community Edition and OTOBO are very comprehensive and flexible in their application. Thus, every migration to OTOBO requires thorough preparation and possibly some rework, too.

Please take your time for the migration and follow these instructions step by step.

If you have any problem or question, please do not despair. Call our support line, write an email, or post your query in the OTOBO Community forum at https://forum.otobo.org/. We will find a way to help you!


After the migration the data previously available in OTRS will be available in OTOBO 10. We do not modify any data of the OTRS installation during the migration.

Overview over the Supported Migration Szenarios

With the OTOBO Migration Interface it is possible to employ the following migration strategies:

  1. The general migration strategy.

    This is the regular way to perform a migration. Many different different combinations are supported:

    Change server:

    Migrate and simultaneously move to a new application server.

    Separate application and web servers:

    It’s your choice whether you want to run application and database server on the same host or each on a dedictated host. This choice is regardless of the previous setup in OTRS / ((OTRS)) Community Edition.

    Different databases:

    Migrate from any of the supported databases to any other supported database.

    Different operating system:

    Switch from any supported operating system to any other supported operating system.


    Migrate to a Docker-based installation of OTOBO 10.

  2. A variant of the general strategy where the database migration is streamlined.

    Use the ETL-like migration when the source database mustn’t suffer from increased load or when access to the source database is a bottleneck. In the general strategy, the data is row by row first read from the otrs database and then inserted into the OTOBO database. In this variant, the complete otrs database tables are first exported, then transformed, and then imported into the otobo database.

  3. Migration from an Oracle based OTRS 6 / OTRS 7 installation to an Oracle based OTOBO installation.

    This is a special case that is not supported by the general migration strategy. This means that a variant of the streamlined strategy must be used.


All strategies work for both Docker-based and native installations. But for Docker-based installations some peculiarities have to be considered. These peculiarities are handled in the optional steps.


It is also feasible to clone the OTRS datase to the OTOBO database server before the actual migration. This can speed up the general migration strategy.

Migration Requirements

  1. Basic requirement for a migration is that you already have an ((OTRS)) Community Edition or OTRS 6.0.* / OTRS 7.0.* running, and that you want to transfer both configuration and data to OTOBO.


Please consider carefully whether you really need the data and configuration. Experience shows that quite often a new start is the better option. This is because in many cases the previously used installation and configuration was rather suboptimal anyways. It might also make sense to only transfer the ticket data and to change the basic configuration to OTOBO Best Practice. We are happy to advise you, please get in touch at hello@otobo.de or ask your question in the OTOBO Community forum at https://forum.otobo.org/.

  1. You need a running OTOBO installation to start the migration from there!
  2. This OTOBO installation must contain all OPM packages installed in your OTRS that you want to use in OTOBO, too.
  3. If you are planning to migrate to another server, then the OTOBO webserver must be able to access the location where your ((OTRS)) Community Edition or OTRS 6.0.* / OTRS 7.0.* is installed. In most cases, this is the directory /opt/otrs on the server running OTRS. The read access can be effected via SSH or via file system mounts.
  4. The otrs database must be accessible from the server running OTOBO. Readonly access must be granted for external hosts. If access is not possible, or when the speed of the migration should be optimised, then a dump of the database is sufficient.


If SSH and database access between the servers is not possible, please migrate OTRS to OTOBO on the same server and only then move the new installation.

Step 1: Install the new OTOBO System

Please start with installing a new OTOBO system. Your old OTRS / ((OTRS)) Community Edition installation will be migrated to that new system. We strongly recommend to read the chapter OTOBO Installation. For Docker-based installations we refer to the chapter Installing using Docker and Docker Compose.


Under Apache, there are pitfalls with running two independent mod_perl applications under on the same webserver. Therefore, it is advised to run OTRS and OTOBO on separate webservers. Alternatively remove the OTRS configuration from Apache before installing OTOBO. Use the command a2query -s and check the directories /etc/apache2/sites-available and /etc/apache2/sites-enabled for inspecting which configurations are currently available and which are enabled.

After finishing the installation please log in as root@localhost. Navigate to the OTOBO Admin Area Admin -> Packages and install all required OTOBO OPM packages.

The following OPM packages and OTRS “Feature Addons” need NOT and should NOT be installed, as these features are already available in the OTOBO standard:
  • OTRSHideShowDynamicField
  • RotherOSSHideShowDynamicField
  • TicketForms
  • RotherOSS-LongEscalationPerformanceBoost
  • Znuny4OTRS-AdvancedDynamicFields
  • Znuny4OTRS-AutoSelect
  • Znuny4OTRS-EscalationSuspend
  • OTRSEscalationSuspend
  • OTRSDynamicFieldDatabase
  • OTRSDynamicFieldWebService
  • OTRSBruteForceAttackProtection
  • Znuny4OTRS-ExternalURLJump
  • Znuny4OTRS-QuickClose
  • Znuny4OTRS-AutoCheckbox
  • OTRSSystemConfigurationHistory
  • Znuny4OTRS-PasswordPolicy

The following OTOBO packages have been integrated into OTOBO 11.0. This means that they should not be installed in the target system when the target system is OTOBO 11.

  • ImportExport

Step 2: Deactivate SecureMode on OTOBO

After installing OTOBO, please log in again to the OTOBO Admin Area Admin -> System Configuration and deactivate the config option SecureMode.


Do not forget to actually deploy the changed setting.

Step 3: Stop the OTOBO Daemon

This is necessary when the OTOBO Daemon is actually running. Stopping the Daemon is different between Docker-based and non-Docker-based installations.

In the non-Docker case execute the following commands as the user otobo:

# in case you are logged in as root
root> su - otobo

otobo> /opt/otobo/bin/Cron.sh stop
otobo> /opt/otobo/bin/otobo.Daemon.pl stop --force

When OTOBO is running in Docker, you just need to stop the service daemon:

docker_admin> cd /opt/otobo-docker
docker_admin> docker-compose stop daemon
docker_admin> docker-compose ps     # otobo_daemon_1 should have exited with the code 0


It is recommended to run a backup of the whole OTOBO system at this point. If something goes wrong during migration, you will then not have to repeat the entire installation process, but can instead import the backup for a new migration.

See also

We advise you to read the OTOBO Backup and Restore chapter.

Optional Step: Mount /opt/otrs for Convenient Access

Often OTOBO should be running on a new server where /opt/otrs isn’t available initially. In these cases the directory /opt/otrs on the OTRS server can be mounted into the file system of the OTOBO server. When a regular network mount is not possible, then using sshfs might be an option.

Optional Step: Install sshpass and rsync when /opt/otrs Should be Copied via ssh

This step is only necessary when you want to migrate OTRS from another server and when /opt/otrs from the remote server hasn’t been mounted on the server running OTOBO.

The tools sshpass and rsync are needed so that migration.pl can copy files via ssh. For installing sshpass, please log in on the server as user root and execute one of the following commands:

$ # Install sshpass under Debian / Ubuntu Linux
$ sudo apt-get install sshpass
$ #Install sshpass under RHEL/CentOS Linux
$ sudo yum install sshpass
$ # Install sshpass under Fedora
$ sudo dnf install sshpass
$ # Install sshpass under OpenSUSE Linux
$ sudo zypper install sshpass

The same thing must be done for rsync when it isn’t available yet.

Step 4: Preparing the OTRS / ((OTRS)) Community Edition system


Be sure to have a valid backup of your OTRS / ((OTRS)) Community Edition system, too. Yes, we do not touch any OTRS data during the migration, but at times a wrong entry is enough to cause trouble.

Now we are ready for the migration. First of all we need to make sure that no more tickets are processed and no users log on to OTRS:

Please log in to the OTRS Admin Area Admin ->  System Maintenance and add a new system maintenance slot for a few hours. After that, delete all agent and user sessions (Admin ->  Sessions) and log out.

Stop All Relevant Services and the OTRS Daemon

Please make sure there are no running services or cron jobs.

root> su - otrs
otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/Cron.sh stop
otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.Daemon.pl stop --force

Clear the Caches and the Operational Data

The cached data and the operational data doesn’t have to be migrated. The mail queue should at this point already be empty.

root> su - otrs
otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.Console.pl Maint::Cache::Delete
otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.Console.pl Maint::Session::DeleteAll
otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.Console.pl Maint::Loader::CacheCleanup
otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.Console.pl Maint::WebUploadCache::Cleanup
otrs> /opt/otrs/bin/otrs.Console.pl Maint::Email::MailQueue --delete-all

Optional Step for Docker: make required data available inside container

There are some specifics to be considered when your OTOBO installation is running under Docker. The most relevant: processes running in a Docker container generally cannot access directories outside the container. There is an exception though: directories mounted as volumes into the container can be accessed. Also, note that the MariaDB database running in otobo_db_1 is not directly accessible from outside the container network.


In the sample commands, we assume that the user docker_admin is used for interacting with Docker. The Docker admin may be either the root user of the Docker host or a dedicated user with the required permissions.

Copy /opt/otrs into the volume otobo_opt_otobo

In this section, we assume that the OTRS home directory /opt/otrs is available on the Docker host.

There are at least two viable possibilities:

  1. copy /opt/otrs into the existing volume otobo_opt_otobo
  2. mount /opt/otrs as an additional volume

Let’s concentrate on option a. here.

First we need to find out where the volume otobo_opt_otobo is available on the Docker host.

docker_admin> otobo_opt_otobo_mp=$(docker volume inspect --format '{{ .Mountpoint }}' otobo_opt_otobo)
docker_admin> echo $otobo_opt_otobo_mp  # just a sanity check

For safe copying, we use rsync. Depending on your Docker setup, the command rsync might need to be run with sudo.

docker_admin> # when docker_admin is root
docker_admin> rsync --recursive --safe-links --owner --group --chown 1000:1000 --perms --chmod "a-wx,Fu+r,Du+rx" /opt/otrs/ $otobo_opt_otobo_mp/var/tmp/copied_otrs
docker_admin> ls -la $otobo_opt_otobo_mp/var/tmp/copied_otrs  # just a sanity check

docker_admin> # when docker_admin is not root
docker_admin> sudo rsync --recursive --safe-links --owner --group --chown 1000:1000 --perms --chmod "a-wx,Fu+r,Du+rx" /opt/otrs/ $otobo_opt_otobo_mp/var/tmp/copied_otrs
docker_admin> sudo ls -la $otobo_opt_otobo_mp/var/tmp/copied_otrs  # just a sanity check

This copied directory will be available as /opt/otobo/var/tmp/copied_otrs within the container.

Step 5: Perform the Migration!

Please use the web migration tool at http://localhost/otobo/migration.pl. Be aware that you might have to replace “localhost” with your OTOBO hostname and you might have to add your non-standard port. The application then guides you through the migration process.


Sometimes, a warning is shown that the deactivation of SecureMode has not been detected. Please restart the webserver in this case. This forces the webserver to read in the current configuration.

# native installation
root> service apache2 restart

# Docker-based installation
docker_admin> cd /opt/otobo-docker
docker_admin> docker-compose restart web
docker_admin> docker-compose ps     # otobo_web_1 should be running again


If OTOBO runs inside a Docker container, keep the default settings localhost for the OTRS server and /opt/otobo/var/tmp/copied_otrs for the OTRS home directory. This is the path of the data that was copied in the optional step.


The default values for OTRS database user and password are taken from Kernel/Config.pm in the OTRS home directory. Change the proposed settings if you are using a dedicated database user for the migration. Also change the settings when you work with a database that was copied into the otobo_db_1 Docker container.


In the Docker case, a database running on the Docker host won’t be reachable via from within the Docker container. This means that the setting won’t be valid for the input field OTRS Server. In that case, enter one of the alternative IP-addresses reported by the command hostname --all-ip-addresses for OTRS Server.


When migrating to a new application server, or to a Docker-based installation, quite often the database cannot be accessed from the target installation. This is usually due to the fact that the otobo database user can only connect from the host the database runs on. In order to allow access anyways it is recommended to create a dedicated database user for the migration. E.g. CREATE USER 'otrs_migration'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'otrs_migration'; and GRANT SELECT, SHOW VIEW ON otrs.* TO 'otrs_migration'@'%';. This user can be dropped again after the migration: DROP USER 'otrs_migration'@'%'.

Custom settings in Kernel/Config.pm are carried over from the old OTRS installation to the new OTOBO installation. When you have custom settings, then please take a look at the migrated file /opt/otobo/Kernel/Config.pm. You might want to adapt custom pathes or LDAP settings. In the best case you might find that some custom setting are longer needed.

When the migration is complete, please take your time and test the entire system. Once you have decided that the migration was successful and that you want to use OTOBO from now on, start the OTOBO Daemon:

root> su - otobo
otobo> /opt/otobo/bin/Cron.sh start
otobo> /opt/otobo/bin/otobo.Daemon.pl start

In the Docker case:

docker_admin> cd ~/otobo-docker
docker_admin> docker-compose start daemon

Step 6: After Successful Migration!

  1. Uninstall sshpass if you do not need it anymore.
  2. Drop the databases and database users dedicated to the migration if you created any.
  3. Have fun with OTOBO!

Known Migration Problems

1. Login after migration not possible

During our migration tests, the browser used for the migration sometimes had problems. After restarting the browser, this problem usually was solved. With Safari it was sometimes necessary to manually delete the old OTRS session.

2. Final page of the migration has a strange layout due to missing CSS files

This can happen when the setting ScriptAlias has a non-standard value. The migration simply substitutes otrs for otobo. This might lead to the effect that the CSS and JavaScript can no longer be retrieved in OTOBO. When that happens, please check the settings in Kernel/Config.pm and revert them to sane values.

3. Migration stops due to MySQL errors

On systems that experienced problems with an upgrade in the past, the migration process may stop due to MySQL errors in the tables ticket and ticket_history. Usually these errors are NULL values in the source table that are no longer allowed in the target table. These conflicts have to be manually resolved before you can resume the migration.

There is a check in migration.pl that checks for NULL values before the data transfer is done. Note, that the resolution still needs to be performed manually.

4. Errors in Step 5 when migrating to PostgreSQL

In these cases the not so helpful message “System was unable to complete data transfer.” is shown by migration.pl. The Apache logfile, and the OTOBO logfile, show a more meaningful message: “Message: ERROR: permission denied to set parameter “session_replication_role”, SQL: ‘set session_replication_role to replica;’”. In order to give the database user otobo the needed superuser privileges, run the following statement as the PostgreSQL admin: ALTER USER otobo WITH SUPERUSER;. Then retry running http://localhost/otobo/migration.pl. After the migration, return to the normal state by running ALTER USER otobo WITH NOSUPERUSER.

It is not clear yet, whether the extended privileges have to be granted in every setup.

5. Problems with the Deployment the Merged System Configuration

The system configuration is migrated after the database tables were migrated. In this context, migration means merging the default settings of OTOBO with the system configuration of the source OTRS system. Inconsistencies can arise in this step. An real life example is the setting Ticket::Frontend::AgentTicketQuickClose###State. This setting is new in OTOBO 10 and the default value is the state closed successful. But this setting is invalid when the state closed successful has been dropped or renamed in the source system. This inconsistency is detected as an error in the migration step Migrate configuration settings. Actually, the merged system configuration is stored in the database, but additional validity checks are performed during deployment.

The problem must be alleviated manually by using OTOBO console commands.

  • List the inconsistencies with the command bin/otobo.Console.pl Admin::Config::ListInvalid
  • Interactively fix the invalid values with bin/otobo.Console.pl Admin::Config::FixInvalid
  • Deploy the collected changes from migration.pl, including the deactivated SecureMode with bin/otobo.Console.pl Maint::Config::Rebuild

After these manual steps you should be able to run migration.pl again. The migration will continue with the step where the error occurred.

Step 7: Manual Migration Tasks and Changes

1. Password policy rules

With OTOBO 10 a new default password policy for agent and customer users is in effect, if local authentication is used. The password policy rules can be changed in the system configuration (PreferencesGroups###Password and CustomerPersonalPreference###Password).

Password Policy Rule Default
PasswordMinSize 8
PasswordMin2Lower2UpperCharacters Yes
PasswordNeedDigit Yes
PasswordHistory 10
PasswordTTL 30 days
PasswordWarnBeforeExpiry 5 days
PasswordChangeAfterFirstLogin Yes

2. Under Docker: Manually migrate cron jobs

In a non-Docker installation of OTOBO, there is at least one cron job which checks the health of the Daemon. Under Docker, this cron job no longer exists. Furthermore, there is no cron daemon running in any of the Docker containers. This means that you have to look for an individual solution for OTRS systems with customer-specific cron jobs (e. g. backing up the database).

Special topics

Migration from Oracle to Oracle

For migration to Oracle the ETL-like strategy must be employed. This is because Oracle provides no easy way to temporarily turn off foreign key checks.

On the OTOBO host a Oracle client and the Perl module DBD::Oracle must be installed.


When using the Oracle instant client, then the optional SDK is also needed for installing DBD::Oracle.

There are many ways of cloning a schema. In the sample commands we use expdb and impdb which use Data Pump under the hood.


The connect strings shown in this documentation refer to the case when both source and target database run in a Docker container. See also https://github.com/bschmalhofer/otobo-ideas/blob/master/oracle.md .

  1. Clear out otobo

Stop the webserver for otobo, so that the DB connection for otobo is closed.

-- in the OTOBO database
  1. Export the complete OTRS schema.
mkdir /tmp/otrs_dump_dir
-- in the OTRS database
expdp \"sys/Oradoc_db1@// as sysdba\" schemas=otrs directory=OTRS_DUMP_DIR dumpfile=otrs.dmp logfile=expdpotrs.log
  1. Import the OTRS schema, renaming the schema to ‘otobo’.
impdp \"sys/Oradoc_db1@// as sysdba\" directory=OTRS_DUMP_DIR dumpfile=otrs.dmp logfile=impdpotobo.log remap_schema=otrs:otobo
-- in the OTOBO database
-- double check
select owner, table_name from all_tables where table_name like 'ARTICLE_DATA_OT%_CHAT';

-- optionally, set the password for the user otobo
  1. Adapt the cloned schema otobo
cd /opt/otobo
scripts/backup.pl --backup-type migratefromotrs # it's OK that the command knows only about the otobo database, only last line is relevant
sqlplus otobo/otobo@// < /home/bernhard/devel/OTOBO/otobo/2021-03-31_13-36-55/orclpdb1.localdomain_post.sql >sqlplus.out 2>&1
double check with `select owner, table_name from all_tables where table_name like 'ARTICLE_DATA_OT%_CHAT';
  1. Start the web server for otobo again
  2. Proceed with step 5, that is with running migration.pl.


If migrating to OTOBO version greater or equal 10.1 the script /opt/otobo/scripts/DBUpdate-to-10.1.pl has to be executed, to create the tables stats_report & data_storage, which were newly added in version 10.1.

Optional Step: Streamlined migration of the database (only for experts and spezial scenarios)

In the general migration strategy, all data in the database tables is copied row by row from the OTRS database into the OTOBO database. Exporting the data from the OTRS database and importing it into the OTOBO database might save time and is more stable in some circumstances.


This variant works for both Docker-based and native installations.


These instructions assume that OTRS is using MySQL as its backend.

First of all, we need a dump of the needed OTRS database tables. Then we need to perform a couple of transformations:

  • convert the character set to utf8mb4
  • rename a couple of tables
  • shorten some table columns

After the transfomation we can overwrite the tables in the OTOBO schema with the transformed data from OTRS. Effectively we need not a single dump file, but several SQL scripts.

When mysqldump is installed and a connection to the OTRS database is possible, you can create the database dump directly on the Docker host. This case is supported by the script bin/backup.pl.


This requires that an OTOBO installation is available on the Docker host.

otobo> cd /opt/otobo
otobo> scripts/backup.pl -t migratefromotrs --db-name otrs --db-host= --db-user otrs --db-password "secret_otrs_password"


Alternatively, the database can be dumped on another server and then be transferred to the Docker host afterwards. An easy way to do this is to copy /opt/otobo to the server running OTRS and perform the same command as above.

The script bin/backup.pl generates four SQL scripts in a dump directory, e.g. in 2021-04-13_12-13-04 In order to execute the SQL scripts, we need to run the command mysql.

Native installation:

otobo> cd <dump_dir>
otobo> mysql -u root -p<root_secret> otobo < otrs_pre.sql
otobo> mysql -u root -p<root_secret> otobo < otrs_schema_for_otobo.sql
otobo> mysql -u root -p<root_secret> otobo < otrs_data.sql
otobo> mysql -u root -p<root_secret> otobo < otrs_post.sql

Docker-based installation:

Run the command mysql within the Docker container db for importing the database dump files. Note that the password for the database root is now the password that has been set up in the file .env on the Docker host.

docker_admin> cd /opt/otobo-docker
docker_admin> docker-compose exec -T db mysql -u root -p<root_secret> otobo < /opt/otobo/<dump_dir>/otrs_pre.sql
docker_admin> docker-compose exec -T db mysql -u root -p<root_secret> otobo < /opt/otobo/<dump_dir>/otrs_schema_for_otobo.sql
docker_admin> docker-compose exec -T db mysql -u root -p<root_secret> otobo < /opt/otobo/<dump_dir>/otrs_data.sql
docker_admin> docker-compose exec -T db mysql -u root -p<root_secret> otobo < /opt/otobo/<dump_dir>/otrs_post.sql

For a quick check whether the import worked, you can run the following commands.

otobo> mysql -u root -p<root_secret> -e 'SHOW DATABASES'
otobo> mysql -u root -p<root_secret> otobo -e 'SHOW TABLES'
otobo> mysql -u root -p<root_secret> otobo -e 'SHOW CREATE TABLE ticket'

or when running under Docker

docker_admin> docker-compose exec -T db mysql -u root -p<root_secret> -e 'SHOW DATABASES'
docker_admin> docker-compose exec -T db mysql -u root -p<root_secret> otobo -e 'SHOW TABLES'
docker_admin> docker-compose exec -T db mysql -u root -p<root_secret> otobo -e 'SHOW CREATE TABLE ticket'

The database is now migrated. This means that during the next step we can skip the database migration. Watch out for the relevant checkbox.