Command Line Issue Tracking Tools

Sometimes the effort required to setup a web-based bug tracking system is an overkill. Consider, for instance, a project with a very small team.

Distributed versioning systems also make it possible to “distribute” the bug tracking systems along with the code. (Although the bug tracking workflow becomes a bit clumsy, to say the list.)

See also a recent post on Github related to collaborating with lists.

So I decided to do my own search on command line issue tracking tools.
Here are the results.


  • beastie my contribution to the bunch. YAML-based and meant to be used also with a text editor. Each bug is a YAML file with a human-readable name. Configurable project directories.
  • ticgit-ng GIT based, it works on a separate branch and it requires checkout for working on tickets. Support for tickets, milestones, tags, comments, and evaluation in points. Four states: hold, invalid, open, and resolved. Last release three years ago.
  • ditz It generates a directory with issues, releases. It generates html reports. However, it does not work with Ruby 2.0.0. Some branches, including one by ohac, tried with no success.
  • bugzyrb available as a gem, sqlite based. It supports projects and versions using a configuration file (but I did not try).
  • tracker Might have errors ( ruby gem. Features: issues, no milestones, but you can use keywords to tag issues. Tracker will look for a .tracker_db file in the current directory or any parent directories
  • taco_it actively developed. Storage in JSON. It supports bug tracking only.


  • Many people use: org-mode

In Python:

  • git-issues GIT based, separate branch, in python. List, add, push and pull. Actively developed.
  • bugs everywhere Multi vcs, dependencies, assign bugs to targets, static and dynamic html dump, in python
  • roundup command-line, web and e-mail interfaces; in python 2.5; actively developed
  • later python; cloned, it works out of the box. Lightweight, with a plugins system to extend functions.
  • gitli and repository python; last release in 2010

Other technologies:

  • fossil
    SCM, Bug Tracking, Wiki

CLI interfaces with web-based bug tracking systems:

  • idli command line interface to existing bug tracking systems
  • artemis bug tracking system for mercurial (plugin)

Bug Tracking systems with a GUI

Solutions I did not try (or failed to install):

Discussions on the topic:

General references: