django-helpdesk installation isn’t difficult, but it requires you have a bit of existing know-how about Django.
Before getting started, ensure your system meets the following dependencies:
- Python 3.4+, or Python 2.7
- Django 1.11.x (Django 2.0 support is coming in a future release; older releases such as 1.8-1.10 may work, but are not guaranteed. Django’s deprecation policy suggests that any project that worked with 1.8 should be able to upgrade to 1.11 without any problems)
Ensure any extra Django modules you wish to use are compatible before continuing.
NOTE: Python 2.7 support is deprecated in both
django-helpdesk and Django.
Future releases of
django-helpdesk may remove support for Python 2.7,
and Django will no longer support Python 2.7 as of the Django 2.0 release.
It is highly recommended to start new projects using Python 3.4+, or migrate
existing projects to Python 3.4+.
Getting The Code¶
Installing using PIP¶
pip install django-helpdesk. Go and have a beer to celebrate Python packaging.
master from git (Cutting Edge)¶
If you’re planning on editing the code or just want to get whatever is the latest and greatest, you can clone the official Git repository with
git clone git://github.com/django-helpdesk/django-helpdesk.git. We use the
master branch as our development branch for the next major release of
helpdesk folder into your
Adding To Your Django Project¶
If you’re on a brand new Django installation, make sure you do a
helpdesk to your
INSTALLED_APPS. This will avoid
errors with trying to create User settings.
settings.pyfile and add
INSTALLED_APPSsetting. You also need
INSTALLED_APPSif you haven’t already added it. eg:
INSTALLED_APPS = ( 'django.contrib.auth', 'django.contrib.contenttypes', 'django.contrib.sessions', 'django.contrib.sites', # Required for determining domain url for use in emails 'django.contrib.admin', # Required for helpdesk admin/maintenance 'django.contrib.humanize', # Required for elapsed time formatting 'markdown_deux', # Required for Knowledgebase item formatting 'bootstrapform', # Required for nicer formatting of forms with the default templates 'helpdesk', # This is us! )
settings.pyfile should also define a
SITE_IDthat allows multiple projects to share a single database, and is required by
django.contrib.sitesin Django 1.9+. If you aren’t running multiple sites, you can simply add a default
SITE_ID = 1
Make sure django-helpdesk is accessible via
urls.py. Add the following line to
Note that you can change ‘helpdesk/’ to anything you like, such as ‘support/’ or ‘help/’. If you want django-helpdesk to be available at the root of your site (for example at http://support.mysite.tld/) then the line will be as follows:
url(r'', include('helpdesk.urls', namespace='helpdesk')),
This line will have to come after any other lines in your urls.py such as those used by the Django admin.
Note that the helpdesk namespace is no longer required for Django 1.9+ and you can use a different namespace. However, it is recommended to use the default namespace name for clarity.
Create the required database tables.
Migrate using Django migrations:
./manage.py migrate helpdesk
Include your static files in your public web path:
python manage.py collectstatic
MEDIA_ROOTfolder, inside the
helpdeskfolder, is a folder called
attachments. Ensure your web server software can write to this folder - something like this should do the trick:
chown www-data:www-data attachments/ chmod 700 attachments
(substitute www-data for the user / group that your web server runs as, eg ‘apache’ or ‘httpd’)
If all else fails ensure all users can write to it:
chmod 777 attachments/
This is NOT recommended, especially if you’re on a shared server.
Ensure that your
attachmentsfolder has directory listings turned off, to ensure users don’t download files that they are not specifically linked to from their tickets.
If you are using Apache, put a
.htaccessfile in the
attachmentsfolder with the following content:
You will also have to make sure that
.htaccessfiles aren’t being ignored.
Ideally, accessing http://MEDIA_URL/helpdesk/attachments/ will give you a 403 access denied error.
If it’s not already installed, install
markdown_deuxand ensure it’s in your
pip install django-markdown-deux
If you already have a view handling your logins, then great! If not, add the following to
settings.pyto get your Django installation to use the login view included in
LOGIN_URL = '/helpdesk/login/'
Alter the URL to suit your installation path.
Load initial e-mail templates, otherwise you will not be able to send e-mail:
python manage.py loaddata emailtemplate.json
If you intend on using local mail directories for processing email into tickets, be sure to create the mail directory before adding it to the queue in the Django administrator interface. The default mail directory is
/var/lib/mail/helpdesk/. Ensure that the directory has appropriate permissions so that your Django/web server instance may read and write files from this directory.
Note that by default, any mail files placed in your local directory will be permanently deleted after being successfully processed. It is strongly recommended that you take further steps to save emails if you wish to retain backups.
Also, be aware that if a disk error occurs and the local file is not deleted, the mail may be processed multiple times and generate duplicate tickets until the file is removed. It is recommended to monitor log files for ERRORS when a file is unable to be deleted.
Upgrading from previous versions¶
If you are upgrading from a previous version of django-helpdesk that used
migrations, get an up to date version of the code base (eg by using
git pull or
pip install --upgrade django-helpdesk) then migrate the database:
python manage.py migrate helpdesk --db-dry-run # DB untouched python manage.py migrate helpdesk
Lastly, restart your web server software (eg Apache) or FastCGI instance, to ensure the latest changes are in use.
Unfortunately we are unable to assist if you are upgrading from a version of django-helpdesk prior to migrations (ie pre-2011).
You can continue to the ‘Initial Configuration’ area, if needed.
Notes on database backends¶
NOTE REGARDING SQLITE AND SEARCHING: If you use sqlite as your database, the search function will not work as effectively as it will with other databases due to its inability to do case-insensitive searches. It’s recommended that you use PostgreSQL or MySQL if possible. For more information, see this note in the Django documentation: http://docs.djangoproject.com/en/dev/ref/databases/#sqlite-string-matching
When you try to do a keyword search using sqlite, a message will be displayed to alert you to this shortcoming. There is no way around it, sorry.
NOTE REGARDING MySQL: If you use MySQL, with most default configurations you will receive an error when creating the database tables as we populate a number of default templates in languages other than English.
You must create the database the holds the django-helpdesk tables using the UTF-8 collation; see the MySQL manual for more information: http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.1/en/charset-database.html
You may be able to convert an existing MySQL database to use UTF-8 collation by using the following SQL commands:
ALTER DATABASE mydatabase CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci; ALTER TABLE helpdesk_emailtemplate CONVERT TO CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci;
utf16_general_ci have been reported to work.
If you do NOT do this step, and you only want to use English-language templates, you may be able to continue however you will receive a warning when running the ‘migrate’ commands.