How to install the open-source TaskCafe project management system


Maybe you don’t need an expensive project management tool, and you want something you can host on your own servers. Try this TaskCafe project management software.

Image: iStockphoto/Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Solid project management can make a workflow far more efficient and effective. But in order to manage projects, you need software to help you out. You can certainly attempt to manage those projects with a spreadsheet or Google Document, but as they start to scale, you’ll find those tools fall very short.

That’s why you turn to project management software. When you start looking for such a platform, you’ll find an abundance of titles and services available. Some of those project management tools are found in third-party services that are hosted outside of your company’s data center. For some companies and projects, that’s a fine solution. But what if some of your projects are of a more sensitive nature and you don’t want to chance someone gaining access to view your kanban boards or Gantt Charts? If that sounds like a concern of yours, then you should consider installing a project management tool in your data center.

SEE: Checklist: How to manage your backups (TechRepublic Premium)

One such tool for that is TaskCafé. This open-source project management platform might not have the massive feature list of Asana, Trello or Monday, but it does a great job with the basics. The feature list includes the likes of:

  • Kanban board
  • Due dates, labels and checklists
  • Personal projects
  • Task comments and activity
  • Assigned tasks

TaskCafé is free to install and can be done via Docker or source. I’m going to walk you through the process of installing this project management tool on Ubuntu Server 20.04, via Docker.

What you’ll need

To pull this off, you’ll need a running instance of Ubuntu Server 20.04 and a user with sudo privileges. That’s it … let’s get our project management on!

How to install Docker and other dependencies

The first thing we’re going to do is install Docker and the various dependencies required for TaskCafé. Log into your Ubuntu instance and install the first dependencies with the command:

sudo apt-get install ca-certificates curl gnupg lsb-release git -y

Add the Docker GPG key with:

curl -fsSL | sudo gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg

Add the necessary repository with:

echo "deb [arch=$(dpkg --print-architecture) signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/docker-archive-keyring.gpg] $(lsb_release -cs) stable" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/null

Install the Docker engine with:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli -y

We’ll also need the docker-compose command, which can be installed with:

sudo apt-get install docker-compose -y

Add your user to the docker group with:

sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

Log out and log back in for the changes to take effect.

How to deploy TaskCafé

With all of the dependencies out of the way, we can now install TaskCafé. Clone the necessary Git repository and change into the newly-created directory with:

git clone && cd taskcafe

Deploy TaskCafé with:

docker-compose -p taskcafe up -d

In less than a minute, the container will deploy and you’re ready to access the web-based interface.

How to access TaskCafé

Open a web browser and point it to http://SERVER:3333/register (Where SERVER is the IP address or domain of the hosting server). You should be greeted with the user registration screen (Figure A).

Figure A

The TaskCafé user registration page.
The TaskCafé user registration page.

After creating your user, you’ll be sent to the main TaskCafé page (Figure B), where you can start configuring your project manager to serve your company.

Figure B

TaskCafé is ready to serve.
TaskCafé is ready to serve.

Congratulations, you now have a working project management platform that should help you better control the workflow of all sizes of projects.

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