Install Zammad Ticketing System on Debian 11

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Welcome to our tutorial on how to install Zammad ticketing system on Debian 11. According to Zammad documentation page, “Zammad is a web based open source helpdesk/customer support system with many features to manage customer communication via several channels like telephone, facebook, twitter, chat and emails”.

Read about Zammad Ticketing system features on its features page, link provided below.

Zammad Ticketing system features.

Install Zammad Ticketing System on Debian 11

Prerequisites

There are a number of requirements that your system must meet (as of this writing) before you can install Zammad Ticketing system on Debian 11.

Refer to these links for Software and Hardware Requirements;

Software Requirements;

Hardware Requirements

Install Zammad Ticketing System on Debian 11

Configure Locales in Debian

In this tutorial, we will be installing Zammad with PostgreSQL which is the recommended database and is supported by default.

As such, if you are using PostgreSQL database backend, you need to enable UTF-8 locale.

To check if UTF-8 local is enabled, run the locale command from terminal as shown below.

locale

LANG=en_US.UTF-8
LANGUAGE=
LC_CTYPE="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_NUMERIC="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_TIME="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_COLLATE="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_MONETARY="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_MESSAGES="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_PAPER="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_NAME="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_ADDRESS="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_TELEPHONE="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_MEASUREMENT="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_IDENTIFICATION="en_US.UTF-8"
LC_ALL=

If you do not see such a line from the above output;

LANG=en_US.UTF-8

The you need to generate and update the locales.

locale-gen en_US.UTF-8
update-locale LANG=en_US.UTF-8

This will update the /etc/default/locale file with the set LANG environment variable.

Install Elasticsearch on Debian

Zammad v5.2+ is compatible with Elasticsearch v7.8+. Hence, we install the current Elasticsearch, v8.9.1, which is the latest version as of this writing, on Debian.

Install the Elasticsearch repository signing key;

apt install sudo gnupg2 apt-transport-https curl vim -y
wget -qO - https://artifacts.elastic.co/GPG-KEY-elasticsearch --no-check-certificate \
| gpg --dearmor > /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/elastic.gpg

Install Elasticsearch repo;

echo "deb https://artifacts.elastic.co/packages/8.x/apt stable main" \
| tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/elastic-8.x.list

Install Elasticsearch on Debian;

apt update
apt install elasticsearch -y

Elasticsearch v8 enabled authentication and HTTPS connection by default. You will see an output similar to the one below during the installation;

--------------------------- Security autoconfiguration information ------------------------------

Authentication and authorization are enabled.
TLS for the transport and HTTP layers is enabled and configured.

The generated password for the elastic built-in superuser is : ucoAPGk-io-hwnPalUle

If this node should join an existing cluster, you can reconfigure this with
'/usr/share/elasticsearch/bin/elasticsearch-reconfigure-node --enrollment-token '
after creating an enrollment token on your existing cluster.

You can complete the following actions at any time:

Reset the password of the elastic built-in superuser with 
'/usr/share/elasticsearch/bin/elasticsearch-reset-password -u elastic'.

Generate an enrollment token for Kibana instances with 
 '/usr/share/elasticsearch/bin/elasticsearch-create-enrollment-token -s kibana'.

Generate an enrollment token for Elasticsearch nodes with 
'/usr/share/elasticsearch/bin/elasticsearch-create-enrollment-token -s node'.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
### NOT starting on installation, please execute the following statements to configure elasticsearch service to start automatically using systemd
 sudo systemctl daemon-reload
 sudo systemctl enable elasticsearch.service
### You can start elasticsearch service by executing
 sudo systemctl start elasticsearch.service

Install Zammad Ticketing System on Debian 11

Install Zammad repo lists on Debian

wget -qO- https://dl.packager.io/srv/zammad/zammad/key \
| gpg --dearmor > /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/zammad.gpg
echo "deb https://dl.packager.io/srv/deb/zammad/zammad/stable/debian 11 main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/zammad.list

Update package cache;

apt update

Next, install Zammad ticketing system on Debian 11 and all the other required packages.

apt install zammad -y

As the installation completes, you will see such an output;

# Configuring Elasticsearch...
-- Nevermind, no es_url is set, leaving Elasticsearch untouched ...!
-- The above is all right if you don't want to use Elasticsearch (locally) - if this is not intended, consult https://docs.zammad.org !
I, [2023-09-02T01:24:31.583414 #40090]  INFO -- : ActionCable is using the redis instance at redis://localhost:6379.
I, [2023-09-02T01:24:31.596668#40090-5420]  INFO -- : Using Zammad's file store as Rails cache store.
I, [2023-09-02T01:24:31.597131#40090-5420]  INFO -- : Using the File back end for Zammad's web socket session store.
W, [2023-09-02T01:24:31.701645#40090-5420]  WARN -- : Setting "timezone_default" is empty. Using UTC instead. Please set system timezone.
I, [2023-09-02T01:24:33.439663#40090-5420]  INFO -- : Setting.set('models_searchable', ["Chat::Session", "KnowledgeBase::Answer::Translation", "Organization", "Ticket
", "User"])
I, [2023-09-02T01:24:34.136039#40090-5420]  INFO -- : Setting.set('es_url', "")
# (Re)building Elasticsearch searchindex...
# Enforcing 0600 on database.yml ...
Setting default Logging to file, set via "zammad config:set RAILS_LOG_TO_STDOUT=true" if you want to log to STDOUT!
# Starting Zammad
Enabling module proxy.
To activate the new configuration, you need to run:
  systemctl restart apache2
Considering dependency proxy for proxy_http:
Module proxy already enabled
Enabling module proxy_http.
To activate the new configuration, you need to run:
  systemctl restart apache2
Considering dependency proxy for proxy_wstunnel:
Module proxy already enabled
Enabling module proxy_wstunnel.
To activate the new configuration, you need to run:
  systemctl restart apache2
# Creating webserver bootstart
Synchronizing state of apache2.service with SysV service script with /lib/systemd/systemd-sysv-install.
Executing: /lib/systemd/systemd-sysv-install enable apache2
# Restarting webserver apache2
####################################################################################

Add your fully qualified domain name or public IP to servername directive of
apache2, if this installation is done on a remote server. You have to change:
/etc/apache2/sites-available/zammad.conf and restart apache2 process.
Otherwise just open http://localhost/ in your browser to start using Zammad.

####################################################################################
Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.36-9+deb11u1) ...
Processing triggers for man-db (2.11.2-2) ...
Processing triggers for fontconfig (2.14.1-4) ...

Managing Zammad Services

Zammad

systemctl status zammad
systemctl stop zammad
systemctl start zammad
systemctl restart zammad
systemctl enable zammad

Only web application server

systemctl status zammad-web
systemctl stop zammad-web
systemctl start zammad-web
systemctl restart zammad-web

Only worker process

systemctl status zammad-worker
systemctl stop zammad-worker
systemctl start zammad-worker
systemctl restart zammad-worker

Only websocket server

systemctl status zammad-websocket
systemctl stop zammad-websocket
systemctl start zammad-websocket
systemctl restart zammad-websocket

Configure Elasticsearch for Zammad

Next, configure Elasticsearch search engine for Zammad.

Running Elasticsearch

We have already installed Elasticsearch 8.9.1. Thus, you can start and enable it to run on system boot by running the command below;

systemctl enable --now elasticsearch

Elasticsearch is now running with the default settings. Note that by default, Elasticsearch 8.x enables HTTPS and Authentication.

Initial credentials are printed to standard output during installation. Check Elasticsearch installation above.

You can verify by running the command below;

curl -XGET "https://localhost:9200" \
--cacert /etc/elasticsearch/certs/http_ca.crt \
-u elastic

Enter host password for user 'elastic':
{
  "name" : "debian",
  "cluster_name" : "elasticsearch",
  "cluster_uuid" : "f4ri8w0DTuWRBvITLjl8Rg",
  "version" : {
    "number" : "8.9.1",
    "build_flavor" : "default",
    "build_type" : "deb",
    "build_hash" : "a813d015ef1826148d9d389bd1c0d781c6e349f0",
    "build_date" : "2023-08-10T05:02:32.517455352Z",
    "build_snapshot" : false,
    "lucene_version" : "9.7.0",
    "minimum_wire_compatibility_version" : "7.17.0",
    "minimum_index_compatibility_version" : "7.0.0"
  },
  "tagline" : "You Know, for Search"
}

Define Elasticsearch Server Address on Zammad

To define Elasticsearch server address for Zammad, run the command below;

zammad run rails r "Setting.set('es_url', 'https://localhost:9200')"

Note that we set HTTPS on the address.

Define Elasticsearch Authentication Credentials

As already mentioned, ES 8.x enables authentication by default. Note that we are using the default credentials for the super-admin Elasticsearch user

Thus, define the ES connection credentials accordingly.

Disable credentials saving on history;

set +o history

NOTE: Be wary about using the elastic super user here. You can create a user that Zammad can use to manage it’s indices! Refer to other online documentation for the same.

zammad run rails r "Setting.set('es_user', 'elastic')"
zammad run rails r "Setting.set('es_password', 'ucoAPGk-io-hwnPalUle')"

Enable history;

set -o history

Other Elasticsearch Settings

Run the command below to rebuild index, adjust the index namespacing as well as the file attachment indexing rules.

zammad run rake zammad:searchindex:rebuild

Sample output;

** Invoke zammad:searchindex:rebuild (first_time)
** Invoke zammad:searchindex:version_supported (first_time)
** Invoke zammad:searchindex:configured (first_time)
** Invoke environment (first_time)
** Execute environment
** Execute zammad:searchindex:configured
** Execute zammad:searchindex:version_supported
** Execute zammad:searchindex:rebuild
** Execute zammad:searchindex:drop
Dropping indexes... done.
** Execute zammad:searchindex:drop_pipeline
Deleting pipeline... done.
** Execute zammad:searchindex:create
Creating indexes... done.
** Execute zammad:searchindex:create_pipeline
Creating pipeline... done.
** Execute zammad:searchindex:reload
Reloading data... 
  - Chat::Session... 
    done in 0 seconds.                    
  - Cti::Log... 
    done in 0 seconds.                    
  - Group... 
    done in 6 seconds.                    
  - KnowledgeBase::Answer::Translation... 
    done in 0 seconds.                    
  - KnowledgeBase::Category::Translation... 
    done in 0 seconds.                    
  - KnowledgeBase::Translation... 
    done in 0 seconds.                    
  - Organization... 
    done in 19 seconds.                    
  - StatsStore... 
    done in 0 seconds.                    
  - Ticket::Priority... 
    done in 13 seconds.                    
  - Ticket::State... 
    done in 20 seconds.                    
  - Ticket... 
    done in 10 seconds.                    
  - User... 
    done in 8 seconds.

Disable Elasticsearch indexing of some of the attachment extensions to reduce resource consumption;

zammad run rails r "Setting.set('es_attachment_ignore', [ '.png', '.jpg', '.jpeg', '.mpeg', '.mpg', '.mov', '.bin', '.exe', '.box', '.mbox' ] )"
zammad run rails r "Setting.set('es_attachment_max_size_in_mb', 50)"

[Optional] If you are connection mutiple Zammad instances into Elasticsearch, consider defining index namespacing to able to create indices based on Zammad host hostname.

zammad run rails r "Setting.set('es_index', Socket.gethostname.downcase + '_zammad')"

Tune Elasticsearch

Increase the virtual memory map count;

echo vm.max_map_count=262144 >> /etc/sysctl.conf
sysctl -p

Increase the maximum size of an HTTP request body (default is 100MB).

echo "http.max_content_length: 400mb" >> /etc/elasticsearch/elasticsearch.yml

Update Elasticsearch JVM heap size settings. You need to update this value depending on the size of the RAM your system is assigned.

We will set this to 1GB in our demo server.

echo '-Xms1g
-Xmx1g' > /etc/elasticsearch/jvm.options.d/jvm-custom-heap.options

Restart Elasticsearch

systemctl stop elasticsearch
systemctl start elasticsearch

Configure Web Server for Zammad

By default, Zammad installs Nginx web server. You can choose to use Nginx as installed by default or simply install Apache and copy the configurations in place.

To use Nginx, check here;

How to use Nginx Web server with Zammad

I will be using Apache Web server in this guide, so I have to install it as follows;

apt install apache2 apache2-utils

Running Zammad on Apache via HTTP is not recommended security wise. You can only use this for your local environment testing.

If you want to go this route, update the default Zammad Apache configuration for HTTP, /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/zammad.conf, and modify it to suite your needs.

cp /opt/zammad/contrib/apache2/zammad.conf /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/
vim /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/zammad.conf

Sample Zammad Apache site configuration file;


#
# this is the apache config for zammad
#

# security - prevent information disclosure about server version
ServerTokens Prod

<VirtualHost *:80>
    # replace 'localhost' with your fqdn if you want to use zammad from remote
    ServerName localhost

    ## don't loose time with IP address lookups
    HostnameLookups Off

    ## needed for named virtual hosts
    UseCanonicalName Off

    ## configures the footer on server-generated documents
    ServerSignature Off

    ProxyRequests Off
    ProxyPreserveHost On

    <Proxy 127.0.0.1:3000>
	Require local
    </Proxy>

    ProxyPass /assets !
    ProxyPass /favicon.ico !
    ProxyPass /apple-touch-icon.png !
    ProxyPass /robots.txt !
    ProxyPass /ws ws://127.0.0.1:6042/
    ProxyPass / http://127.0.0.1:3000/

    # change this line in an SSO setup
    RequestHeader unset X-Forwarded-User

    DocumentRoot "/opt/zammad/public"

    <Directory />
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride None
    </Directory>

    <Directory "/opt/zammad/public">
        Options FollowSymLinks
	Require all granted
    </Directory>

</VirtualHost>

It is recommended to setup Zammad with HTTPS for secured connection.

This is the method that we will use in this guide. Our SSL certificates are Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates. If you have your commercial CA signed certificates, you can use it.

Thus, copy the default Zammad Apache configuration for HTTPs, /opt/zammad/contrib/apache2/zammad_ssl.conf, and modify it to suite your needs.

cp /opt/zammad/contrib/apache2/zammad_ssl.conf /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/

This is our modified configuration file;

cat /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/zammad_ssl.conf
# security - prevent information disclosure about server version
ServerTokens Prod

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName zammad.kifarunix.com
    Redirect permanent / https://zammad.kifarunix.com
</VirtualHost>

<VirtualHost *:443>
    SSLEngine on
    SSLProtocol -all +TLSv1.3 +TLSv1.2
    SSLCipherSuite EECDH+AESGCM:EDH+AESGCM:AES256+EECDH:AES256+EDH

    SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/kifarunix.com/fullchain.pem
    SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/kifarunix.com/privkey.pem
    SSLOpenSSLConfCmd DHParameters /etc/ssl/dhparam.pem

    # replace 'localhost' with your fqdn if you want to use zammad from remote
    ServerName zammad.kifarunix.com

    ## don't loose time with IP address lookups
    HostnameLookups Off

    ## needed for named virtual hosts
    UseCanonicalName Off

    ## configures the footer on server-generated documents
    ServerSignature Off

    ProxyRequests Off
    ProxyPreserveHost On

    <Proxy 127.0.0.1:3000>
      Require local
    </Proxy>

    ProxyPass /assets !
    ProxyPass /favicon.ico !
    ProxyPass /apple-touch-icon.png !
    ProxyPass /robots.txt !
    # legacy web socket server
    ProxyPass /ws ws://127.0.0.1:6042/
    # action cable
    ProxyPass /cable ws://127.0.0.1:3000/cable
    ProxyPass / http://127.0.0.1:3000/

    # change this line in an SSO setup
    RequestHeader unset X-Forwarded-User
    RequestHeader set X_FORWARDED_PROTO 'https'

    # Use settings below if proxying does not work and you receive HTTP-Errror 404
    # if you use the settings below, make sure to comment out the above two options
    # This may not apply to all systems, applies to openSuse
    #ProxyPass /ws ws://127.0.0.1:6042/ "retry=1 acque=3000 timeout=600 keepalive=On"
    #ProxyPass /cable ws://127.0.0.1:3000/cable "retry=1 acque=3000 timeout=600 keepalive=On"
    #ProxyPass / http://127.0.0.1:3000/ "retry=1 acque=3000 timeout=600 keepalive=On"

    DocumentRoot "/opt/zammad/public"

    <Directory />
        Options FollowSymLinks
        AllowOverride None
    </Directory>

    <Directory "/opt/zammad/public">
        Options FollowSymLinks
	      Require all granted
    </Directory>
</VirtualHost>

Disable the default Apache site;

a2dissite 000-default.conf

Also, generate Deffie-Hellman certificate to ensure a secured key exchange. The -dsaparam option in the command below is added to speed up the generation.

openssl dhparam -dsaparam -out /etc/ssl/dhparam.pem 4096

Enable Require Apache Modules

Enable some of the required modules;

a2enmod proxy proxy_html proxy_http proxy_wstunnel headers ssl

Check for errors on Apache configurations and restart Apache2;

apachectl -t

If syntax is Ok, restart Apache;

systemctl restart apache2

Install Postfix for Zammad Email Notifications

To have Zammad deliver email notifications, you can install postfix and choose Internet Site option if prompted.

apt install postfix -y

Accessing Zammad Web Interface

You can now access your Zammad from the browser.

First of all, open the web server ports if you have firewall running;

Using UFW;

ufw allow "WWW Full"

You can now access Zammad Web interface by navigating to the URL, http://<server-fqdn> or https://<server-fqdn>.

You will be welcomed by Zammad setup page;

Install Zammad Ticketing System on Debian 11

Click on Setup new system to proceed.

Setup Zammad Administrator account.

Install Zammad Ticketing System on Debian 11

Next, set you organization name, logo and the zammad url;

Install Zammad Ticketing System on Debian 11

Configure Email notification settings. We use Gmail relay in our case.

If you are using Gmail relay, then check this guide on how to setup app passwords in the guide Configure Postfix to Use Gmail App Passwords

email notifications relay

Click Continue to setup your email notifications.

Install Zammad Ticketing System on Debian 11

Password required is the app password.

You can setup the Zammad communications channels. Click Email to setup email communication channel.

communication channels
zammad support email account

A verification Email will be sent to your inbox as a confirmation of the function of the communications channel.

Once you have set your Zammad communications channel, you can choose to invite colleagues;

invite colleagues zammad

Click Continue to go to the dashboard, stats.

zammad dashboard

Dashboard, First Steps

zammad first steps

OverView

zammad overview

And that is all on how to install Zammad Ticketing System on Debian 11.

You can continue with the setup in order to fully use the Zammad ticketing system.

Reference

Zammad Documentation

Other Tutorials

Install Zammad Ticketing System on Ubuntu 20.04

Install Request Tracker (RT) with MariaDB on CentOS 8

Configure Request Tracker (RT) to send Mails using MSMTP via Office 365 Relay

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gen_too
Co-founder of Kifarunix.com, Linux Tips and Tutorials. Linux/Unix admin and author at Kifarunix.com.

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