Over the last few years, developers got some superpowers. Or at least technologies such as open-source bug tracking enabled developers to do amazing things. And that’s incredible. That, combined with understanding user and customer feedback, has made devs more important than ever within a business.
However, there is one big challenge that comes with every new website or app. Something we – the tech-savvy people – call “a bug.” And those bugs are giving us, the developers, a hard time. And those bugs are the reason why we need to use bug-tracking systems in order to find, document, and solve these bugs.
Today I’m going to present you with 10 excellent open-source bug-tracking tools that help you to get started with the bug-tracking game.
Why open-source bug trackers?
Open-source solutions are a great and easy way to make yourself familiar with a new topic. Most open-source tools are the easiest way to learn something new or to set up a new workflow within your team. And most importantly: They are free to use.
The Essentials for Any Bug Tracking Software
There are several essential features that should be present when using bug-tracking software. Here are they:
Being able to integrate APIs is vital when it comes to choosing the best bug-tracking tool. Developers might need to link numerous other apps for different reasons and uses. Hence, watch out for this feature.
- Test Reports and Analytics
Tracking test patterns and gathering insights for future QA initiatives is key during QA testing and bug tracking. You can easily modify and share data obtained from test metrics available in the bug-tracking software with team leaders and members.
Project managers, developers, and testers need to communicate effectively when bug tracking. Having a medium for effective communication in a bug-tracking system will engender clarity during the QA process and support software development initiatives.
It is necessary to identify each entity in a testing procedure. Bugs aren’t different. An effective bug-tracking tool must offer a method for storing, retrieving (searching), and organizing bug-tracking information.
Try an interactive demo of Usersnap – the visual bug-reporting solution
The Big List of Benefits of Having Bug Reporting Tools
There are numerous benefits a bug tracking tool accrues to you when you use it. Here are some of them and how they can help you:
With a bug or issue-tracking tool, members can maintain constant communication and be updated simultaneously with ease. It also improves communication, allowing easy solving of difficulties right from the beginning.
Bug tracking tools allow teams easy access to bug updates and reports. They enable staff to work together in solving problems. Communication is key in solving problems as a team; good bug-tracking tools enhance that.
- Better products are created
If you can increase your bug-tracking speed, then you can definitely produce better products in less time. This is because, with faster bug tracking, you will be able to deliver updates consistently and respond faster to customer feedback and issues.
A bug tracking tool induces better synchronization than manual bug tracking when using agile methodology, as you can regularly push out updates and give fixes to existing problems actively.
Detecting problems before they occur
The ability to spot bug trends and eradicate issues before they occur is one of the most valuable aspects of employing bug-tracking tools. Tools do this by thoroughly analyzing issue causes and attempting to find patterns inside your code.
Ensure the bug tracking tool you choose must offer these benefits – they will make bug tracking easier. If it does not have it, you can request its inclusion as a custom feature. You should be ready to pay extra, though.
- Lowering development expenses
Solving bug issues and tracking them faster saves time and, without a doubt, expenses. There will be fewer testers needed also. Enhancing the overall effectiveness of the process of software development results in generally lower development and testing costs. This means more funds available.
You can use a bug tracking system to identify a bug’s root cause, increasing your bug tracking and discovering experience and reducing the number of bugs in the future.
So…Why need an open-source bug-tracking tool?
A bug tracker is an essential tool for any web- and software project. In order to make progress with our software projects, we need a simple yet effective workflow that allows us to report, document and track errors and failures which our software or website is causing.
All in all, we took a closer look at the following open-source bug-tracking tools:
- Mantis BT
Trac is more than just a bug-tracking tool. It’s an open-source project management tool, wiki, and issue-tracking system. Specifically designed for software development projects.
Trac describes itself as a minimalistic approach for web-based project management systems. It is minimalistic from a design perspective. Yes. But it definitely doesn’t lack any key features.
With trac you can enable to create project roadmaps and milestones, and you can even fully modify the issue-reporting area to your needs. Since we’ve used trac over the last few years, we have an extensive experience with trac and its deep integration possibilities enable you to do a lot of great things.
However, I have to say that it probably takes quite some time to get a deep understanding of trac’s feature-rich interface.
- written in Python and was initially released 9 years ago (Oct. 2006)
- great for tech-savvy software teams looking not only for a bug-tracking solution but for an overall solution for project tracking.^
- available under a modified BSD license
Similar to trac, Redmine is a web-based, open-source bug-tracking & project management tool. It also offers other project management-related tools, such as time-tracking, wikis, calendars, and other reporting tools.
Therefore, Redmine is definitely more than just a bug-tracking tool. Redmine is used by many web development teams around the world for managing their projects. With its features, it can easily be used for agile or scrum workflows.
From my perspective, it can also be an alternative to JIRA or to Microsoft Project because it offers similar benefits.
If you want to take an in-depth look at Redmine, I’d recommend this article on how to get more out of your Redmine projects.
- written in Ruby on Rails
- a cross-platform application offering a wide range of project management & -tracking tools
- released under the GNU General Public Licence, which happened 9 years ago.
An alternative to Redmine is OTRS. OTRS stands for Open-source Ticket Request System and is a free and open-source ticketing system. Being a ticketing system, it can not only be used for your bug-tracking efforts. With its help desk features, OTRS is a great, free customer service solution too.
- OTRS is mainly used for customer support, ticketing, and issue tracking.
- Written in PERL, it was initially released in 2001.
4. Mantis BT
Initially released in 2000, Mantis BT is one of the old kids in town. Written in PHP and available in 49 different languages, Mantis BT is a widely used bug-tracking tool.
Mantis got its name from the Mantidae family of insects, colloquially referred to as bugs. That’s also the reason why Mantis BT uses a bug as its logo.
With the release of Mantis BT version 1.2.0, an event-driven plugin system was introduced. As one of the elder kids in town, I personally found Mantis BT quite old school. Also if you compare it to other issue tracking tools.
- Compared to other open-source tools, Mantis BT primarily focuses on the topic of bug tracking.
- Initially released in 2000, Mantis BT was written in PHP and is still used by a lot of development teams.
Bugzilla was one of the first web-based bug-tracking tools. It was originally used by the Mozilla project. Bugzilla was (and probably still is) one of the best-known bug-tracking tools. And I guess there was a time when there was no way around Bugzilla if you were looking for a bug-tracking system.
Today, Bugzilla is still used by big enterprises as well as some pretty huge open-source projects.
- Bugzilla’s main focus always was (and still is) the topic of bug tracking.
- Initially released in 1998, written in Perl, it’s an old dinosaur that is still around.
WebIssues is an open-source, multi-platform issue-tracking system. As it says on its website, it can be used to “store, share and track issues with various attributes, description, comments and file attachments”.
The latest version of 1.1.4 was released in August 2015, providing a simplified mobile version of the web client.
- Compared to the other covered open-source bug tracking tools, WebIssues is one of the less popular ones.
- Its clear focus is on issue and defect management
Fossil is another simple-to-use issue-tracking system. However, Fossil not only supports bug tracking but also offers a wiki and other project management-related features.
The key component of Fossil is its distributed version control system. Though Fossil seems to be a pretty stable bug-tracking tool, its clear focus is on version control. This leads to the problem that it might not be the easiest tool for not-so-tech-savvy people.
- Fossil is written in C and provides issue-tracking features as well as project management tools.
- Its clear focus is on version control
This simple bug tracker is a user-friendly, web-based application for visual, straightforward bug process management. Cloud-based software like this makes getting information from end users simple. This Bugs Queue Template may be used to keep track of the issues.
- Monday issue tracker can be used to customize the workflow
- Easily use this simple bug tracker filter to prioritize
This bug tracker software can help you streamline your problem reporting and tracking. Utilizing these streamlined bug report forms can be used to get all the data you want. The bug reports may now be prioritized, checked for reproducibility, and acted upon easily. You can easily track bugs by gathering specific data for your bug reports by adding new Custom Fields.
- The Trello issue-tracking software can be used to send email
- You can easily adjust the date the issue was reported
This bug-tracking tool is one of the best modern issue trackers that can be used to log problems and bugs right in your web browser. However, it’s not open source. Usersnap simplifies problem-tracking in a practical way.
As the best issue-tracking software, the Usersnap program takes screenshots and provides annotating tools to help you keep track of bugs right in your browser. There’s no need to fill out dozens of forms. This program is a fantastic solution if you need a simple bug tracker to track bugs.
Enjoy this bug-tracking tool, as it doesn’t require a credit card.
- The screenshots tool can be used to track issue immediately as it happens.
- Filling out the form is not required
- Track and manages issues in one central place
- You can Enjoy a Free trial with no credit card details.
Other Excellent Open Source Bug Tracking Tools include:
Hubspot Service Hub
The issue tracking software from HubSpot makes it simple to identify what factors influence critical metrics like response time and customer happiness. To understand the status of any problem, you can use the categories, statuses, and owner assignment fields to assign or escalate as appropriate.
- A client can easily receive an updated response
- You can be notified of your status in your mailbox
- Use tags to learn customer’s history
Bug tracking software with a free trial and no credit card commitment
Get started, as no credit card is required to use Usersnap.
Use this bug-tracking software to track and prioritize bugs for free! Enjoy Free trial
Wrapping up on bug-tracking tools
We at Usersnap are fans of bugs. Yep. Because we accepted the fact that life is full of bugs. And we love them. Therefore, we decided to build our super-cool bug-tracking tool more than three years ago. If you are looking for an alternative to open-source bug tracking, I’d highly recommend checking out our very own visual bug-tracking tool. It’s free for 15 days and allows you to easily set up a bug-tracking tool. Also loved by non-developers.
Anyway: I hope you enjoyed our article on the best open-source bug-tracking tools. Feel free to check out Usersnap and give it a try. It’s free for 15 days. Otherwise, I hope to see you on this blog again in the future 🙂
Try the interactive demo of Usersnap.
Capture user feedback easily. Get more insights and make confident product decisions.
Getting feedback has never been easier and we hope you’ve realized that after reading this article. Let us know what you think, your feedback is important.
And if you’re ready to try out a customer feedback software, Usersnap offers a free trial. Sign up today or book a demo with our feedback specialists.