I've been hunting for a help desk software that fulfills my requirements (in order of importance):

  1. Self-hosted
  2. Web-based
  3. Multiple queues/topics/categories
  4. Custom form per queue/topic/category
  5. Alerting (via email) for new tickets based on queue/topics/category
  6. Alerting (via email) for ticket follow-ups
  7. LDAP -or Active Directory- based login
  8. It will be nice if it has some facility to measure SLA fulfillment, e.g., how much time had elapsed since ticket is first created, how prompt the assigned agent handled the issue, etc.

I'm currently trying out Request Tracker. Unfortunately to provide #4 above one must resort to hacking one's own front-end (with callbacks to the relevant RT components). I'm concerned that by doing so, the software will be unmanageable some time in the future (e.g., when updating to a newer version).

Is there a free (gratis) help desk software that can fulfill my requirements? Not necessarily open-source, although that would be nice.

Update: I'm also currently trying out OTRS using TurnKey Linux (TKL) OTRS Virtual Appliance. No opinion yet, just finished installing.

  • 1
    I'm not sure for #6+#7 (as I never had those requirements), but my answer to Free incident management tool for more than 50 users might be fitting for you as well.
    – Izzy
    Feb 25, 2014 at 7:19
  • @Izzy just saw your answer there... interesting. Never considered Trac before; I need to study it. Thanks!
    – pepoluan
    Feb 25, 2014 at 10:18
  • Could you please post your new opinion about OTRS as an answer? Thanks!
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Apr 16, 2014 at 5:51
  • I'd love to, but I have been out of the office for two weeks due to an accident, so I need to recap user's experiences....
    – pepoluan
    Apr 16, 2014 at 6:01
  • Did you check this: capterra.com/help-desk-software This is a rather extensive list of help desk software.
    – cheffe
    Apr 6, 2017 at 7:02

4 Answers 4


Have you considered Sirportly? As far as I am aware, there's no AD integration, but it's close to what you're asking for, although it doesn't support free and self hosted at once.

Features from your list

  • It can be self-hosted, although this has a one off fee of £349 for a 10 user licence.

  • it's web based

  • supports multiple brands, departments, custom ticket statuses and tags for easy filtering, and easy multiple queue management

  • can be integrated with mail clients for notification, and there is also a custom desktop notification app that's cross platform.

  • supports custom SLAs

  • there is also a free 3-user account for the web non self hosted version, which you could try out to see if it was worth purchasing.

My experience with it

  • I used it mostly from an administrator's point of view, setting up queues and providing support for the users. I could save custom queues, manage users, create form responses, and generally configure it to my needs.
  • the devs at sirportly are amazingly responsive. Whenever we had comments or bugs they'd do their best to help out.
  • we got hundreds or thousands of customer mails per day - before using Sirportly, most of our staff had average of 10gb .pst files. Sirportly handled the scale just fine.

If I ever have to find a help desk solution for a different company in the future, I'd absolutely go with Sirportly again.


Have you considered Jitbit Helpdesk?

[NB: I'm affiliated with this company, so I'm not going to provide any review since I'm naturally biased]

Basically it fulfils all your requirements (self-hosted, supports LDAP/AD, web-based, etc.)

It's a paid app, but the trial version is free and not time-limited, so you can "test" as long as you need.


You can have a look at HelpDeskPilot

They are

  • Self hosted
  • Web based ( can be accessed via a browser )
  • Support multiple categories ( like [email protected], [email protected], [email protected])
  • Email Notifications for New tickets, Tickets that has crossed the due dates, SLA breaches, and many other custom notifications.
  • LDAP & Active Directory support
  • SLA Management
  • Reporting

They also have a Hosted version as HappyFox


I am using Kayako currently. They provide what you are looking for, give them a try.

  • 1
    Our company is using this also. I'm not very involved in it, so I know it meets criteria 1,2,3,4. About 5 and 6 I don't know, 7 seems to be 'No' (we use app specific login), and as for 8: You can see how old tickets are, but I'm unsure about any statistics in that area.
    – user416
    May 2, 2018 at 11:10

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