Install Mantis Bug Tracking tool on your Ubuntu Server

Jack Wallen
Sep 8, 2009
Updated • Feb 13, 2018

Here we go again, building upon that rock solid Ubuntu Server installation. If you haven't already done so, you should read the first article in this series ("Installing Ubuntu Server 9.04").

Once you've read that (and followed the steps), you are ready to go for installing one of the easiest to use and most reliable bug tracking systems available from the open source community.

Mantis is an open source bug tracking tool that is as feature-rich and stable as it is free. It is written in PHP and works with MySQL, MS SQL, and PostgreSQL databases. Mantis can be installed on Linux, Windows, and OS X and can use nearly any modern web browser.


Naturally, before you try a bug tracking software, you will want to see the feature listing. Mantis Bug Tracking includes such features as:

  • Simple or Advanced issue pages.
  • Multiple projects per instances.
  • User access levels.
  • Projects, sub-projects, and category support.
  • Built in reporting.
  • Custom fields.
  • Email notification.
  • Issue monitoring.
  • Sponsorship support.
  • Issue report via email.

And much, much more (for a full list see the Mantis Feature List page). But enough said with the what, let's get on with the how.

Getting and installing

The first step is to download the file. You can download the latest, stable release from the Mantis Sourceforge site. Once you have that file move it into the Apache document root with the command:

sudo mv mantis-XXX.tar.gz /var/www/

Where XXX is the release number.

Now unpack the tar file with the command;

sudo tar xvzf mantisbt-XXX.tar.gz

Where XXX is the release number.

Now change the name of the mantis directory with the command:

mv mantisbt-XXX mantis

Where XXX is the release number.

Before you move on to the web-based installation, you need to create a database. I use phpmyadmin to do this (Read how to set this up in my article "Install phpmyadmin for easy MySQL administration".) Create a database called "bugtracker" (no quotes). Once you have done that you then need to go to the file /var/www/mantis/config_inc.php.sample and edit the Database Settings variables. You will need to edit the variables:

  • g_hostname
  • g_db_username
  • g_db_password

Make these reflect your particular installation. Once you have that finished change the name of that file to config_inc.php and you are ready to check your installation.

You are now ready to point your browser to:


Where ADDRESS_OF_SERVER is the actual IP or URL for your server.

You will see four links:

  • Check your installation.
  • Upgrade your installation.
  • Modify stylesheets.
  • System utilities.

Click on the Check your installation link. This address will take you to the page that will check your server for all the necessary requirements for installation. Once that passes you are ready for the installation.

Web-based setup

Figure 1
Figure 1

Now point your browser to http://ADDRESS_OF_SERVER/admin/install.php This page will walk you through the steps for the database setup (see Figure 1.)

Oddly enough it looks like you are being asked to create an admin acccount here. You're not, for the Admin Username/Password you will want to use the same Username/Password that you used for the Database user.

Fill that information out and click the Install button. The next page will greet you with a bunch of information that informs you (Hopefully) that everything passes. At the bottom of that page is a small link to continue with login. Click that link and you will find yourself at the Mantis Log In screen. The default username/login for a mantis installation is:

Username: administrator

Password: root

The first thing you will want to do, upon logging in, is to change the account information for this login. Click on the My Account button and make the necessary changes.

You are now ready to start using your Mantis Bug Tracking system.

Final thoughts

I have found the Mantis Bug Tracking system to be one of the easiest to use in a category that is often filled with overly complicated tool (either to install or use). I think you will find that Mantis meets (or exceeds) all of your bug tracking needs.

Install Mantis Bug Tracking tool on your Ubuntu Server
Article Name
Install Mantis Bug Tracking tool on your Ubuntu Server
Mantis is an open source bug tracking tool that is as feature-rich and stable as it is free. It is written in PHP and works with MySQL, MS SQL, and PostgreSQL databases. Mantis can be installed on Linux, Windows, and OS X and can use nearly any modern web browser.
Ghacks Technology News

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Vasilis said on May 19, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    I also had problems installing Mantis on my Ubuntu box. Here is a more up to date tutorial about how to install Mantis on debian based distros.

  2. rusty said on February 26, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Well, I just tried mantis 1.2.14 and 1.1.8, and BOTH (once I got my mouth held right on the database user names and such) died with the error “Database query failed. Error received from database was #-1: ERROR: could not determine data type of parameter $1 for the query: INSERT INTO mantis_config_table (value, type, access_reqd,config_id,project_id, user_id) VALUES ($4, $5, $6, $7, $8, $9).”

    Sorry, but I give up on mantis.

  3. guest said on September 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    When I try to navigate to the localhost/mantis/admin/install.php Web browser ask the login password, but
    Username: administrator
    Password: root
    do not valid (error 401). Can I reset theme?

  4. g33k said on November 21, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    How do you configure gmail smtp with mantis ? Anyone tried this?

    1. HeadLess said on January 26, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      Just throw exim in there, and configure it as sattelite.
      Will work.

  5. Chyne said on September 26, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Great article! If I knew this website at the first place, I won’t have to spend so much time for doing the installation and configuration.

  6. Rakesh Ginjupalli said on September 9, 2009 at 3:40 am

    sudo mv mantis-XXX.tar.gz /var/www/ — what should be the destination?

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.