Run your own Open-source Trello Alternative with Wekan

Run your own Open-source Trello Alternative with Wekan


Trello is a popular free Kanban-based project management service. Many developers use it for issue/ bug tracking, project management and more. Kanban is a popular agile framework among developers, DevOps and software engineers. It is proven to boost productivity and simplify the production process.

While Trello is a completely free of service, as it does not require any fee to register and start creating project boards, forming teams starting to get the work done. It is not ideal for companies which want to work on their own platform.

So, here comes Wekan which is the open-source equivalent for Trello, which include almost all Trello's features with a self-hosted package ready to install on any server of choice.

Wekan can be used for time-tracking, project management, issues reporting, bugs management and project planning.

How Wekan looks like (src. Wekan)

Wekan is built with Meteor which is a powerful JavaScript platform, and it uses MongoDB, a NoSQL database by default.

Here is a list of Wekan features:

  1. Self-hosted
  2. Multi-users
  3. Unlimited Kanban boards
  4. Private and public boards
  5. Translated to dozens of languages
  6. In-app notification
  7. Email notification
  8. SMTP email configuration
  9. Account manager
  10. Layout manager
  11. System wide announcements
  12. Webhooks support
  13. A developer-friendly REST-API
  14. Team manager
  15. Templates manager for cards, lists and boards
  16. Language switcher
  17. Profile manager
  18. Board archiving option
  19. Bookmarks and favorite
  20. Watch and monitor certain boards
  21. Keyboard shortcuts
  22. Board-menu
  23. User permissions and groups
  24. Multi-selection support
  25. Colorful board scheme options
  26. Email invitation
  27. Import/ export options for boards
  28. Link and connect boards
  29. Search boards and cards
  30. Filter cards and lists
  31. Mute notification
  32. Custom fields support

Language support

Wekan is translated to about 60 languages, which makes it ideal for none English speakers, or companies that require a Trello-alike system in their languages.

The default language interface is English. The system user can change the language easily from the system.

Install and deployment

Wekan offers different install and deployment options which include Docker image, a SNAP package for Linux systems and install from source options.

The system can be installed on Windows, Linux or macOS locally either by getting the source code then running it as a meteor project, or use SNAP package (Linux only).

Install Wekan on Linux

I am using Solus Linux in my daily work, therefore I will use Wekan’s Snap package which is also supported by Ubuntu by default and dozens of other distros.

By using the SNAP package, you do not need to install Node.JS, MongoDB, or even Meteor.

1- Install Wekan

sudo snap install wekan

2- The following command will give you an oversight of all Wekan configuration

wekan.help

3- Now we need to set the URL we will use to access Wekan through the web browser

sudo snap set wekan root-url='http://localhost:3033/'

4- Setting the port is important, however, some documents and links suggest using 3001 which will conflict with the Meteor built-in MongoDB instance for Meteor developers.

sudo snap set wekan port='3033'

5- Restart the Wekan instance.

systemctl restart snap.wekan.wekan

If everything goes well, you can access Wekan through http://localhost:3033/ and create your first admin.

Personal experience

It took less than 5 mins to get everything working from downloading, install, configuring to creating my first board. It is an amazing project for teams which they can use freely ad privately at their systems.

I use it to organize my work, studies and notes. However, It is still missing several key third-party components that Trello has. Starting with social login which is pretty easy to add for a Meteor project and Google Chrome/ Mozilla Firefox extensions which Trello users utilize on daily basis.

If you use Wekan extensively or like the idea of this open-source software, please consider making a donation to the project.

I have been using Wekan for a quite sometime now, It is a useful tool for my work and self-education activities. I could not submit my  screenshot of Wekan because it contains private boards.

Resource

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Hamza Mu

Written by Hamza Mu

A physician with programming skills, Linux user since late 1990s, Open-source supporter. Created several medical products EMR/ DICOM and more.
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