manLocal Administration - In Depth Guide

Show feedback again

Chapter 1. Introduction to Savane

What it is

Free software has a particular engineering process, involving decentralized collaboration of many people. Special tools to allow collaborative work are needed to canalize these decentralized efforts, and provide communication channels, such as mail lists, version control and bug tracking systems. Web platforms, offering these services without the need for client installation, have become central points for free software development.

Savane is such a web-based free software hosting system. Through a web interface, and without the need of client installation, it provides an environment for collaborative work. It powers free software development platforms such as Gna! and Savannah. However, its project management tools, and high levels of customization, make it an interesting general project hosting and management system, having been chosen by CERN's LCG software process and infrastructure project.

It integrates functionalities and artifacts implemented by the own platform (account management, trackers, news system...) as well as different external applications installed in the system running Savane (Mailman for mail lists, and CVS/Subversion/Arch for version control). In addition, system disk space can be provided, for download area, repositories, or home page hosting.

As a result, through a mere web browser anywhere, access to a full set of collaborative work and project management tools is provided:

Communication tools

  • Mail Lists (through Mailman)

    Savane takes advantage of Mailman's web interface, providing easy access to administration and user functions.

  • News system

  • Support tracker

    Savane offers several different kinds of fully customizable trackers. They are explained in detail in the last chapter.

  • Mail notification system.

    Savane implements a customizable mail notification system, making sure that users keep up to date with information that affects them, without the need of visiting the site. It is customizable at different levels: system admin, project admin, personal account configuration.


  • Bug tracker

  • Version control systems

    Through a Savane platform, users can potentially access different kinds of source code managers installed in the system: CVS, Subversion, Arch. In addition, repository and change browsing is provided through viewcvs


Through http download area, and the possibility to host or link with project homepages.

Project management

  1. Fast project setup

    Default values for project type will be predefined by the site administrator, so that the project pages will be ready for use with almost no additional configuration. In addition, Savane offers the possibility to copy tracker configuration from other projects hosted at the site.

  2. Task tracker

    The Savane trackers offer a series of additional functionalities (see next chapters), useful for project management:

    • Dependency system between tracker items (across tracker kinds and projects)

    • Reassignation of items (to other trackers, to other projects)

    • Automatic fields update

      For example, if an item's severity field is set to "security", it could automatically be set to "private", and be assigned to a specific technician.

    • Item digest

      Can be used to generate release notes.

  3. Request for inclusion

    Users can request to be included in a certain group, which might save project admin's time in searching for users in the database.

Back to the top

Powered by Savane 3.1-cleanup+gray