Administration Guide

What does Roundup install?

There’s two “installations” that we talk about when using Roundup:

  1. The installation of the software and its support files. This uses the standard Python mechanism called “distutils” and thus Roundup’s core code, executable scripts and support data files are installed in Python’s directories. On Windows, this is typically:


    <python dir>\scripts\...

    Core code

    <python dir>\lib\site-packages\roundup\...

    Support files

    <python dir>\share\roundup\...

    and on Unix-like systems (eg. Linux):


    <python root>/bin/...

    Core code

    <python root>/lib-<python version>/site-packages/roundup/...

    Support files

    <python root>/share/roundup/...

  2. The installation of a specific tracker. When invoking the roundup-admin “inst” (and “init”) commands, you’re creating a new Roundup tracker. This installs configuration files, HTML templates, detector code and a new database. You have complete control over where this stuff goes through both choosing your “tracker home” and the main -> database variable in the tracker’s config.ini.

Configuring Roundup’s Logging of Messages For Sysadmins

You may configure where Roundup logs messages in your tracker’s config.ini file. Roundup will use the standard Python (2.3+) logging implementation.

Configuration for standard “logging” module:
  • tracker configuration file specifies the location of a logging configration file as logging -> config
  • roundup-server specifies the location of a logging configuration file on the command line
Configuration for “BasicLogging” implementation:
  • tracker configuration file specifies the location of a log file logging -> filename
  • tracker configuration file specifies the level to log to as logging -> level
  • roundup-server specifies the location of a log file on the command line
  • roundup-server specifies the level to log to on the command line

(roundup-mailgw always logs to the tracker’s log file)

In both cases, if no logfile is specified then logging will simply be sent to sys.stderr with only logging of ERROR messages.

Configuring roundup-server

The basic configuration file layout is as follows (take from the roundup-server.ini.example file in the “doc” directory):

port = 8080
;host =
;user =
;group =
;log_ip = yes
;pidfile =
;logfile =
;template =
;ssl = no
;pem =

; Add one of these per tracker being served
name = /path/to/tracker/name

Values “;commented out” are optional. The meaning of the various options are as follows:

Defines the local TCP port to listen for clients on.
Defines the hostname or IP number to listen for clients on. Only required if localhost is not sufficient. If left empty (as opposed to no host keyword in the config-file) this will listen to all network interfaces and is equivalent to an explicit address The use of an empty string to listen to all interfaces is deprecated and will go away in a future version.
user and group
Defines the Unix user and group to run the server as. Only work if the server is started as root.
If yes then we log IP addresses against accesses. If no then we log the hostname of the client. The latter can be much slower.
If specified, the server will fork at startup and write its new PID to the file.
Any unhandled exception messages or other output from Roundup will be written to this file. It must be specified if pidfile is specified. If per-tracker logging is specified, then very little will be written to this file.
Specifies a template used for displaying the tracker index when multiple trackers are being used. The variable “trackers” is available to the template and is a dict of all configured trackers.
Enables the use of SSL to secure the connection to the roundup-server. If you enable this, ensure that your tracker’s config.ini specifies an https URL.
If specified, the SSL PEM file containing the private key and certificate. If not specified, roundup will generate a temporary, self-signed certificate for use.
trackers section
Each line denotes a mapping from a URL component to a tracker home. Make sure the name part doesn’t include any url-unsafe characters like spaces. Stick to alphanumeric characters and you’ll be ok.

Users and Security

Roundup holds its own user database which primarily contains a username, password and email address for the user. Roundup must have its own user listing, in order to maintain internal consistency of its data. It is a relatively simple exercise to update this listing on a regular basis, or on demand, so that it matches an external listing (eg. unix passwd file, LDAP, etc.)

Roundup identifies users in a number of ways:

  1. Through the web, users may be identified by either HTTP Basic Authentication or cookie authentication. If you are running the web server (roundup-server) through another HTTP server (eg. apache or IIS) then that server may require HTTP Basic Authentication, and it will pass the REMOTE_USER variable through to Roundup. If this variable is not present, then Roundup defaults to using its own cookie-based login mechanism.
  2. In email messages handled by roundup-mailgw, users are identified by the From address in the message.

In both cases, Roundup’s behaviour when dealing with unknown users is controlled by Permissions defined in the “SECURITY SETTINGS” section of the tracker’s module:

Web Registration
If granted to the Anonymous Role, then anonymous users will be able to register through the web.
Email Registration
If granted to the Anonymous Role, then email messages from unknown users will result in those users being registered with the tracker.

More information about how to customise your tracker’s security settings may be found in the customisation documentation.


Maintenance of Roundup can involve one of the following:

  1. tracker backup
  2. software upgrade
  3. migrating backends
  4. moving a tracker
  5. migrating from other software
  6. adding a user from the command-line

Tracker Backup

The roundup-admin import and export commands are not recommended for performing backup.

Optionally stop the web and email frontends and to copy the contents of the tracker home directory to some other place using standard backup tools. This means using pg_dump to take a snapshot of your Postgres backend database, for example. A simple copy of the tracker home (and files storage area if you’ve configured it to be elsewhere) will then complete the backup.

Software Upgrade

Always make a backup of your tracker before upgrading software. Steps you may take:

  1. Ensure that the unit tests run on your system:

  2. If you’re using an RDBMS backend, make a backup of its contents now.

  3. Make a backup of the tracker home itself.

  4. Stop the tracker web and email frontends.

  5. Install the new version of the software:

    python install
  6. Follow the steps in the upgrading documentation for the new version of the software in the copied.

    Usually you will be asked to run roundup_admin migrate on your tracker before you allow users to start accessing the tracker.

    It’s safe to run this even if it’s not required, so just get into the habit.

  7. Restart your tracker web and email frontends.

If something bad happens, you may reinstate your backup of the tracker and reinstall the older version of the sofware using the same install command:

python install

Migrating Backends

  1. Stop the existing tracker web and email frontends (preventing changes).

  2. Use the roundup-admin tool “export” command to export the contents of your tracker to disk.

  3. Copy the tracker home to a new directory.

  4. Delete the “db” directory from the new directory.

  5. Enter the new backend name in the tracker home db/backend_name file.

  6. Use the roundup-admin “import” command to import the previous export with the new tracker home. If non-interactively:

    roundup-admin -i <tracker home> import <tracker export dir>

    If interactively, enter ‘commit’ before exiting.

  7. Test each of the admin tool, web interface and mail gateway using the new backend.

  8. Move the old tracker home out of the way (rename to “tracker.old”) and move the new tracker home into its place.

  9. Restart web and email frontends.

Moving a Tracker

If you’re moving the tracker to a similar machine, you should:

  1. install Roundup on the new machine and test that it works there,
  2. stop the existing tracker web and email frontends (preventing changes),
  3. copy the tracker home directory over to the new machine, and
  4. start the tracker web and email frontends on the new machine.

Most of the backends are actually portable across platforms (ie. from Unix to Windows to Mac). If this isn’t the case (ie. the tracker doesn’t work when moved using the above steps) then you’ll need to:

  1. install Roundup on the new machine and test that it works there,
  2. stop the existing tracker web and email frontends (preventing changes),
  3. use the roundup-admin tool “export” command to export the contents of the existing tracker,
  4. copy the export to the new machine,
  5. use the roundup-admin “import” command to import the tracker on the new machine, and
  6. start the tracker web and email frontends on the new machine.

Migrating From Other Software

You have a couple of choices. You can either use a CSV import into Roundup, or you can write a simple Python script which uses the Roundup API directly. The latter is almost always simpler – see the “scripts” directory in the Roundup source for some example uses of the API.

“roundup-admin import” will import data into your tracker from a directory containing files with the following format:

  • one colon-separated-values file per Class with columns for each property, named <classname>.csv

  • one colon-separated-values file per Class with journal information, named <classname>-journals.csv (this is required, even if it’s empty)

  • if the Class is a FileClass, you may have the “content” property stored in separate files from the csv files. This goes in a directory structure:


    where <designator> is the item’s <classname><id> combination. The <N> value is int(<id> / 1000).

Adding A User From The Command-Line

The roundup-admin program can create any data you wish to in the database. To create a new user, use:

roundup-admin create user

To figure out what good values might be for some of the fields (eg. Roles) you can just display another user:

roundup-admin list user

(or if you know their username, and it happens to be “richard”):

roundup-admin find username=richard

then using the user id you get from one of the above commands, you may display the user’s details:

roundup-admin display <userid>

Running the Servers


On Unix systems, use the scripts/server-ctl script to control the roundup-server server. Copy it somewhere and edit the variables at the top to reflect your specific installation.


On Windows, the roundup-server program runs as a Windows Service, and therefore may be controlled through the Services control panel. The roundup-server program may also control the service directly:

install the service
roundup-server -C /path/to/my/roundup-server.ini -c install
start the service
roundup-server -c start
stop the service
roundup-server -c stop

To bring up the services panel:

Windows 2000 and later
Start/Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services
Windows NT4
Start/Control Panel/Services

You will need a server configuration file (as described in Configuring roundup-server) for specifying tracker homes and other roundup-server configuration. Specify the name of this file using the -C switch when installing the service.

Running the Mail Gateway Script

The mail gateway script should be scheduled to run regularly on your Windows server. Normally this will result in a window popping up. The solution to this is to:

  1. Create a new local account on the Roundup server
  2. Set the scheduled task to run in the context of this user instead of your normal login