Why Open source?
Status of mhd
Screen shots

SourceForge Logo

mhd is based on PHP Helpdesk - a helpdesk application originally written in PHP by Joseph Hoot. TID management is based on Kbshare (not finished) originally written by Brian Snipes. It uses MySQL as the database backend.

Support, documents, and more project info than you reasonably might want is on: The mhd project page at Sourceforge. Which is also a good place to start if you feel like getting involved with improving mhd.


I became involved in the mhd project when looking for a good helpdesk system to aid our small support organisation at work. Having looked at some Windows based systems and found some that were good enough I found that they were way to expensive. (We're talking 10's of thousands of $s here). A few were better priced but still - they cost a lot. The natural next step was to build something myself, or looking for a project I could adopt. PHP Helpdesk a helpdesk written in PHP fitted the bill nicely enough. A few weeks later I've added some usefull stuff and new tricks to PHP Helpdesk. Eventually I added many quite a few new features and starting thinking of re-writing the whole thing. When this happens mhd (Martins Helpdesk) will surely have a life of its own.

Why Open Source?

"A key reason for using opensource is the security of knowing that there will never come a time when your business is forced to change or upgrade applications because of market forces outside of your control. As long as you have the complete source code, are permitted by license to modify it and it is written in a reasonably popular programming language you will be able to maintain it." (Linux Med News on why to choose FreePM)

I pretty much feel that PHP qualifies as a "reasonably popular programming language" so you should have no problems modifying the source (I manage after all) if you wish.

Status of mhd

Software from my site should be considered alpha release and might be quite buggy. That said, I use it daily at work so the more disturbing bugs get noticed and fixed.

License and cost

mhd is released under the GPL license. This basically means you can grab it, do with it whatever you wish as long as you recognize the original developer of the software. PHP Helpdesk is also free in the meaning of "free beer". It would be great if you enjoy using mhd and could submit patches to me for this development version.

Feature list

Management of tickets (add, modify, delete)
Support tickets is what the whole thing is about.
Management of users (add, modify, delete)
Users are the tech personell answering support tickets.
Management of clients (add, modify, delete)
Clients are the people submitting tickets.
Management of Departments
You can (should) assign users and clients to departments.
Management of Categories
You can (should) setup ticket categories for the system.
Lend/ Lease functionality
You can book and keep track of equipment that you lend people.
Basic management of TIDs (add, modify, delete)
A TID is a document detailing procedures to solve a certain technical issue.
Very basic stock inventory
You can keep a list of stuff you have in stock..
Very basic knowledgebase integration (add, view)
You can add solutions to a knowledgebase and the users can see the list of added solutions.
Email support. (send)
You can (optionally) notify users of new tickets by email.
You can customize the message in the mails send for each new ticket or event.
Fast ticket submittance
The client can submit tickets without being logged in through the start page.
Fast booking submittance
The client can book equipment without being logged in through the start page.

Screen shots

A GPL software page without screen shots? It's preposterous. It's unheard of .... . These are oldish though (I'll upload new ones when I get the time).


To try it out you can download mhd from here (see below).

Current version: 0.5.5
Date Version Comments
2001 05 01 Current release Many bugfixes. Integration with IRM for hardware management.
2001 04 25 0.5.0 Major interface redesign. Added equipment booking and basic stock inventory. Bug fixes.
2001 04 13 0.4.1 You can now post tickets without being loged in. Experimental feature, turned off by default. More bug fixes. Some of the brown paper bag variety.
2001 04 12 mhd 0.3.5 The first stable release! The extremely irritting time-out bug is gone. I re-designed authentication which doesn't depend on cookies any more and it went away. Thankfully. Some minor other bug fixes as well.


There certainly are issue in there. This is alpha-level software after all. However I haven't found any show stoppers now that the biggie is (hopefully) squashed. Some things I've noticed:

  • Producing a printable ticket brings up lots of service tasks which are not saveable.
  • Preferables view all tickets saves every second time. Not every save. Hmm.
  • Notify client box on Add ticket event does nothing. (Isn't really a bug, just haven't completed that yet).

Requirements: You need PHP 4 and MySQL. If you don't have PHP installed and access to a MySQL database mhd wont do anything even remotely usefull. Get them here:


Quick version:

  • Untar the latest package.
  • Read the README and INSTALL files for installation instructions, basically you may need to edit the database connection file, have a good look at the general config file and my footer file. It is recommended that you change the e-mail notification messages from the Preferences menu as well.
  • Create as database to store the tables. then build the database tables using mhd.sql.
  • Done! Log in as admin (ID/pw - admin/admin). It works for me. It should work for you. Let me know if it doesn't.

Future plans

Much of the basic stuff I thought about has been completed. Lot's of bug fixes need to be applied though. Keith Schoenefeld (one of the authors of IRM) and I are talking about mergeing mhd and IRM into an excellent helpdesk system. If this actually happens I plan to back port things into mhd. So what is now mhd might be a low-end helpdesk and the new IRM/mhd a higher end helpdesk. Only the future will se what happens. There are some stuff that I still feel can be added to mhd. LDAP connectivity, XML-support, extended stock inventory, ticket escalation, SLA support etc etc.

Bugs, questions, etc

Send it to me:
Or, if you feel like getting involved you can check out the project page on Sourceforge.