This page describes the role of the help desk coordinator. This role is currently handled by Colin "Phoul" Childs.


The support help desk coordinator handles the following tasks:

  • Listowner of the support-team-private mailing list.
  • Administrator for the Request Tracker installation at
  • Keeping the list of known issues at up to date.
  • Sending monthly reports on the tor-reports mailing list.
  • Make the life of support assistants as good as it can be.
  • Be the contact point for other parts of the project regarding help desk matters.
  • Lead discussions about non-technical aspects of help requests to conclusions.
  • Maintain the `support-tools` Git repository.
  • Keep an eye on the calendar for the 'help' queue.


Create accounts for webchat / stats

  • Login to the VM "moschatum"
  • Navigate to /srv/
  • Run "sudo -u support python createuser username password"
  • Open a Trac ticket for a new account on moschatum's Prosody installation (same username as pups)
  • Send credentials for pups / prosody to support assistant

Manage the private mailing list

Administration of the private mailing list is done through Mailman web interface.

Create the monthly report

To create the monthly report chart, one should use the script

Also, each month data need to be added for the quarterly reports for the business graph and for the time graph.

Data for the business graph is generated by monthly_stats. Data for the response time graph is generated by running

Read/only access to the RT database

Member of the rtfolks group can have read-only access to the RT database. The password can be found in /srv/rtstuff/db-info.

To connect to the database, one can use:

psql " sslmode=require user=rtreader dbname=rt"

Number of tickets per week

           CONCAT_WS(' ', DATE_PART('year', tickets.created),
                          TO_CHAR(date_part('week', tickets.created), '99')) AS d
     FROM tickets
     JOIN queues ON (tickets.queue =
    WHERE LIKE 'help%'
    GROUP BY d
    ORDER BY d;

Extract the most frequently used articles

Replace the dates.

   SELECT COUNT( as usage, as article
     FROM queues, tickets, links, articles
    WHERE = 'help'
      AND tickets.queue =
      AND tickets.lastupdated >= '2014-02-01'
      AND tickets.created < '2014-03-01'
      AND links.type = 'RefersTo'
      AND links.base = CONCAT('',
      AND = TO_NUMBER(SUBSTRING( from '[0-9]+$'), '9999999')
    ORDER BY usage DESC;

Graphs of activity for the past month

Using Gnuplot:

set terminal pngcairo enhanced size 600,400
set style fill solid 1.0 border
set border linewidth 1.0
set bmargin at screen 0.28
set tmargin at screen 0.9
set key at screen 0.9,screen 0.95
set xtics rotate
set yrange [0:]
set output "month.png"
plot "<                                                                                                      \
  echo \"SELECT COUNT(,                                                                           \
                TO_CHAR(tickets.created, 'YYYY-MM-DD') AS d                                                  \
     FROM tickets                                                                                            \
     JOIN queues ON (tickets.queue =                                                              \
    WHERE LIKE 'help%'                                                                           \
      AND tickets.created >= TO_DATE(TO_CHAR(NOW() - INTERVAL '1 MONTH', 'YYYY-MM-01'), 'YYYY-MM-DD')        \
      AND tickets.created <  TO_DATE(TO_CHAR(NOW(), 'YYYY-MM-01'), 'YYYY-MM-DD')                             \
    GROUP BY d                                                                                               \
    ORDER BY d;\" |                                                                                          \
  ssh psql \\\" sslmode=require user=rtreader dbname=rt\\\" | \
  sed 's/|//'                                                                                                \
" using 1:xtic(2) with boxes title "new tickets"

Get the most recent version of each RT articles

SELECT AS class, AS title,
       CASE WHEN objectcustomfieldvalues.content != '' THEN objectcustomfieldvalues.content
            ELSE objectcustomfieldvalues.largecontent
       END AS content,
  FROM classes, articles, objectcustomfieldvalues
 WHERE articles.class =
   AND objectcustomfieldvalues.objecttype = 'RT::Article'
   AND objectcustomfieldvalues.objectid =
   AND = (
             FROM objectcustomfieldvalues
            WHERE objectcustomfieldvalues.objectid =
              AND objectcustomfieldvalues.disabled = 0
            ORDER BY objectcustomfieldvalues.lastupdated DESC
            LIMIT 1)


The support help desk coordinator needs the following assets to perform their duties:

  • Administration password for the support-team-private mailing list.
  • Being owner in the support-team-private mailing list configuration.
  • Commit access to help wiki Git repository.
  • Shell access to
  • LDAP account member of the rtfolks group.
  • LDAP account member of the support group.
  • root password for Request Tracker.
  • Being owner of the “Tor Support” component in Trac.
Last modified 4 years ago Last modified on Jan 4, 2015, 9:53:41 PM