How to Install Redmine on CentOS (Detailed)


I spent a fair bit of time looking for a good issue tracking / project management solution. Having considered extensively both open source and commercial solutions (up to about $200/month price range like Jira+Confluence and Zoho Projects) I decided to go with Redmine as it offers a good mix of issue tracking and project management capability, most specifically status workflows, sub-tasking and task dependencies and everything else we need.

However, when I decided to deploy Redmine I encountered numerous difficulties, as at my workplace we use PHP and are not familiar with Ruby on Rails and setting up Ruby on Rails for anyone not familiar with it is rather difficult, largely due to the various version dependencies and incompatibilities and lack of decent detailed documentation on how to do it. I managed to setup Redmine on Windows XP using MySQL, Apache and Mongrel, but when I tried to install the same setup on Windows Server 2008 I encountered all sorts of issues with RoR and MySQL, so I decided to setup on CentOS, which is what we use for our production web hosting anyway.

CentOS is one of the most frequently chosen Linux operating systems for Linux based production environments. There is extensive documentation available on setting up CentOS and it is arguably the best choice for deploying and running production Linux servers for organisation with all levels of in-house Linux server deployment and administration capability.

Redmine is one of the best (if not THE best) open source issue tracking and project management applications, but because it is developed using Ruby on Rails it can be rather complex to deploy for anyone not familiar with the Ruby on Rails environment.

This How-To provides detailed steps required to get Redmine up and running on a CentOS operating system using the following components:
  • Apache web server
  • MySQL database management system
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Mod Passenger Apache module

The How-To provides detailed instructions on the installation and explains what each step does, so that it can be easily follows by people experienced and new to the Ruby on Rails environment.


  • CentOS is installed and works
  • Apache is installed and works
  • MySQL is installed and works
  • Your are logged as root
  • The next steps are done successively without errors

Installation Instructions

Install gem and passenger dependencies

yum -y install zlib-devel curl-devel openssl-devel httpd-devel apr-devel apr-util-devel mysql-devel

Get Ruby

# Create the directory where you will store the Downloads
mkdir ~/Downloads # This can be any directory.

# Change to directory where you will store the download
cd ~/Downloads # This can be any directory.

# FTP to where you will download ruby from.
# When asked to login use user/password of anonymous/anonymous
Name ( anonymous
Password: anonymous

ftp> cd /pub/ruby
ftp> get ruby-1.8.7-pXXX.tar.gz
ftp> quit

# You have now downloaded ruby and need to untar it
tar zxvf ruby-1.8.7-pXXX.tar.gz

# Compile ruby
cd ruby-1.8.7-pXXX
make install

# Verify ruby installation
ruby -v
which ruby

# Change back into your downloads directory
cd ..

Get Gems 1.4.2 (does not work with Gems 1.5)

tar zxvf rubygems-1.4.2.tgz
cd rubygems-1.4.2
ruby setup.rb
gem -v
which gem
cd ..

Install Passenger (requires gcc)

gem install passenger

An alternate method is to install mod_passenger RPM for Apache from the following location:


rpm -Uvh
yum install mod_passenger


rpm --import
yum install
yum install mod_passenger

Restart Apache

service httpd restart

Download Redmine

Download page:

tar zxvf redmine-1.3.0.tar.gz

Copy the folder to its HTTP document root folder

cp -av redmine-1.3.0/* /var/www/redmine

Configure Apache to host the documents

more information can be found here: HowTo configure Apache to run Redmine

Install Bundler

gem install bundler

Add the Bundler Boot and preinitializer code

For more info go to the Bundler site.

Create the Gemfile and register these gems in it

vi /var/www/redmine/Gemfile
# file: /var/www/redmine/Gemfile
source "" 
gem "rake", "0.8.3" 
gem "rack", "1.1.0" 
gem "i18n", "0.4.2" 
gem "rubytree", "0.5.2", :require => "tree" 
gem "RedCloth", "~>4.2.3", :require => "redcloth" # for CodeRay
gem "mysql" 
gem "coderay", "~>0.9.7" 
bundle install

Create the Redmine MySQL database

yum install mysql-server
chkconfig mysqld on
service mysqld start

For MySQL:
start the mysql client (mysql -u root -p) and enter the following commands

create database redmine character set utf8;
create user 'redmine'@'localhost' identified by 'my_password';
grant all privileges on redmine.* to 'redmine'@'localhost'; 

For versions of MySQL prior to 5.0.2 - skip the 'create user' step and instead:

 grant all privileges on redmine.* to 'redmine'@'localhost' identified by 'my_password';

Configure /var/www/redmine/config/database.yml (rename database.yml.example)

Set the production environment (optional)

Uncomment the following line in file redmine/config/environment.rb:

ENV['RAILS_ENV'] ||= 'production'

Generate the session store

RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec rake generate_session_store

Migrate the database models

RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec rake db:migrate

Load default data (optional)

RAILS_ENV=production bundle exec rake redmine:load_default_data

Follow instructions.

Rename dispatch CGI files in /var/www/redmine/public/

mv dispatch.cgi.example dispatch.cgi
mv dispatch.fcgi.example dispatch.fcgi
mv dispatch.rb.example dispatch.rb

Edit .htaccess file for CGI dispatch configuration

mv htaccess.fcgi.example .htaccess

Chown and Chmod files for read/write access for the Apache user

cd ..
chown -R apache:apache redmine-1.x
chmod -R 755 redmine-1.x

Redmine should be fully installed now and fully usable


Updated by Nick Shel over 12 years ago · 3 revisions