I’ve been checking out Project Management platforms lately, and came across Redmine. It’s an open-source project management and issue tracking tool (e.g. bug tracking, feature request, etc.)using a Ruby on Rails framework, with support for multiple databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQLite). The core features like Project Management and Issue tracking look pretty good, and it includes some nice details like Atom feeds, e-mail notifications, a per-project wiki, basic time tracking, and LDAP support. According to Wikipedia, Redmine is heavily influenced by Trac – which appears to have been around a bit longer, and is fairly mature... probably worth checking out as well (plus Trac it’s written in Python).
In any event, if you’re coming at this from a Microsoft-centric perspective, you can think of Redmine as being “Sharepoint-like”, although by no means is it a Sharepoint-replacement. In working with Redmine a bit, one thing immediately apparent is that Redmine makes sense… the web-based interface is uncluttered, it’s easy to navigate and wrap your head-around. After digging in, you’ll find that there are components to the tool that are obviously still immature but as far as the core functionality goes – it’s there.
The other thing that’s kind of interesting is that I’m running the Redmine stack using a Bitnami appliance on my ESX cluster. The Redmine virtual machine is running OpenSuse 11.1. So far, the Bitnami-appliance experience has been good, and if you haven’t checked out any of their stacks, they're worth investigating. The appliances are fairly light with the excesses trimmed out (no GUI, etc.). Since getting this machine built-out, I also saw that Turnkey Linux also has an Ubuntu-based appliance with the Redmine stack. While I’ve worked with OpenSuse, and Ubuntu, my more recent experience has been Debian-centric so Ubuntu is probably the more natural fit. I’ll follow-up with some How-To posts based on my notes and work so far over soon.