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cartman allows you to create and manage your Trac tickets from the command-line, without the need to setup physical access to the Trac installation/database or even the need to install a plugin on Trac. All you need is a Trac account.


Create a new ticket, that will open your $EDITOR:

$ cm new

View the content of a ticket:

$ cm view 1514


At a minimum you need to create a ~/.cartman/config file with the following:

base_url = http://your.trac.install/
username = tamentis
password = sitnemat

The password can also be specified through a TRAC_PASSWORD environment variable, which overrides the above password field.

Configuration Options

Each section represent a site which can be selected using the -s command-line argument. Within each section, the following settings are available:

  • base_url - required, defines the URL of your Trac system
  • auth_type - forces an authentication type, currently available: basic (default), digest, acctmgr or none.
  • username - required if auth_type is not none
  • password - required if auth_type is not none
  • verify_ssl_cert - ignore self-signed or invalid SSL certificates if set to false.
  • editor - override the editor defined the $EDITOR environment variable.

Command walk through

Dump a list of tickets on screen, without details:

$ cm report 1
#142. fix world hunger (bjanin@)
#159. ignore unpaid rent (bjanin@)

Another way to find ticket is using the search command:

$ cm search dead mouse
#154. mickey

Ticket View

Show all the properties of a ticket:

$ cm view 1

List of Reports

Get a list of all the available reports with:

$ cm reports

System Properties

This will dump on screen all the Milestones, Components, Versions:

$ cm properties

Creating a ticket

Creating a ticket will work similarly to writing a new email in mutt, it loads your current $EDITOR and lets you edit the details of the ticket. Assuming all the parameters are correct, it will create the ticket as soon as you save and exit and return the ticket number. If your ticket does not appear valid (missing required field, inexistent Milestone, etc.) cartman will stop and lists each error and let you return to your editor:

$ cm new
-- opens your editor --

Found the following errors:
 - Invalid 'Subject': cannot be blank
 - Invalid 'Milestone': expected: Bug Bucket, Release 2, Release 3

-- Hit Enter to return to editor, ^C to abort --

The first parameter to cm is the owner of the ticket, it populates the To field by default:

$ cm new jcarmack

If your Trac has custom fields, you can use their identifier in the headers, e.g.:

story_id: 5123
iteration: 15

If you specify a template with -t, cartman will look for a matching file in the ~/.cartman/templates folder and will use it as a base for your ticket:

$ cm new -t sysadmin

You can define a default template in this same directory in order to set the template used by default (without -t).

Commenting on a ticket

Just like creating a ticket, adding a comment is just like mutt, your current $EDITOR will be loaded on a blank file for you to edit. Upon save and exit, cartman will commit this new comment and return silently, unless an error occurs:

$ cm comment 1

If the comment is short enough to fit on the command line, you may use the -m flag as such:

$ cm comment 1 -m "you forgot to call twiddle()"

View/Set the status of a ticket

View the current status of a ticket, and the available statuses:

$ cm status 1

Set a ticket as accepted:

$ cm status 1 accept

If you need to add a comment with this status change, you can use the -c flag, it will open your default editor:

$ cm status 1 reopen -c

You may also use the -m flag to define the comment in-line, without the use of an editor:

$ cm status 1 reopen -m "does not work with x = y"

Advanced configuration

If you are using vim as your default editor, you also might want to add email-like syntax highlighting to match the .cm.ticket extension:

autocmd BufNewFile *.cm.ticket setf mail

If you use multiple Trac sites, you can have multiple configurations in the same file using the section to separate the sites, here is an example:

base_url =
username = tamentis
password = sitnemat
verify_ssl_cert = False

You would pass the -s parameter to cm to define which site to access:

cm -s other report 1

You may define all common configuration settings in the [DEFAULT] section.

Using cartman without editor

You may need to integrate cartman with other software where opening an editor does not make sense. In that case you can automatically create tickets from a file using the --message-file option:

cm new --message-file=secerror.txt

This file would need to contain a complete ticket, if anything is missing, cartman will exit with an error message.


Quick and dirty if you are not familiar with Python packaging:

sudo python install


  • Python 2.7+, 3.3+ (not 3.2, not 2.6)
  • python-requests 1.2 and above


  • Tested on Trac 0.12.5 and 1.2.x
  • Probably still works on 0.11, but untested.


  • The following command will create one virtualenv and sandbox for each latest 0.12, 1.0 and 1.2 releases of Trac:

    $ ./tools/
  • You can then serve one or the other using, the default admin user/pass is sandbox/sandbox:

    $ ./tools/
    $ ./tools/
    $ ./tools/
  • Follow PEP-8, existing style then the following notes.

  • For dictionaries, lists: keep commas after each items, closing bracket should close on the same column as the first letter of the statement with the opening bracket.

  • Use double-quotes for strings unless it makes it easier on certain strings (avoids escaped double-quotes).

  • If an error is exceptional, let the exception rise.


  • Change the version in cartman/, update CHANGES.txt

  • Commit

  • Create a tag:

    git tag -a vX.Y.Z -m 'Releasing vX.Y.Z'
    git push --tags
  • Download the file from github (release section),

  • Sign it:

    gpg --armor --detach-sig cartman-X.Y.Z.tar.gz
  • Distribute on Pypi:

    python sdist upload