How do I use Request Tracker (RT)?

If your department or unit has an RT instance set up for request/problem management, it can be a little daunting to start using the system. Let's go over some of the basic functions of RT.

RT Training Videos

RT training videos have been made available to quickly learn how to use the various tools in RT.

Basic Definitions

Ticket - The main information containing object of RT. It can be created via RT's web interface when someone is logged in or when an email is sent to the RT instance. A ticket contains metadata (basic information about the ticket) and a log of all communications related to it.

Queue - This is how tickets are organized in RT. If RT was looked at as an email account that multiple users have access to, then queues are folders within that email address. Queues are generally used as classification for different types of requests that come in. Queues usually correspond to email addresses, in that email sent to can be automatically routed to the example queue in an RT instance, otherwise tickets can be shifted between queues within an RT instance to get them to their appropriate location.

Requestor - This is the person who submits the request. This can be the person who creates the ticket but isn't always, sometimes users will create a ticket on another person's behalf. Someone who sends an email to create a ticket will automatically be labeled as the requestor.

CC - This is someone who should be getting notified of updates to a ticket but isn't necessarily involved in working on the ticket.

Owner - This is the person who has taken charge of the ticket to resolve it. Tickets may only have a single owner.

Priority - A scale from 0 to 100 about how important a ticket is. Priority can be used to designate tickets that need to be worked on ahead of others.

Status - This is the classification of how the ticket is being worked on. A ticket can only have one status at a time.

  • New - Ticket has just been submitted and hasn't been worked on at all.
  • Open - Ticket is currently being worked on.
  • Stalled - Ticket has been delayed and is not currently being worked on.
  • Resolved - Ticket has been completed.
  • Rejected - Ticket is not going to be resolved but also should not be deleted.
  • Deleted - Ticket should not have been in the system. Generally used for spam.

Relationships or Links - These show the relationship between specific tickets and can be edited under the Links tab of an open ticket.

  • Depends on - This ticket cannot be resolved until the other ticket is resolved.
  • Depends on by - Another ticket cannot be resolved until this ticket is resolved.
  • Refers to - This ticket references another ticket which has useful information but isn't dependent on it to be resolved.
  • Refers to by - Another ticket references this ticket but isn't dependent on it.
  • Parent - A large, general ticket.
  • Child - A sub-ticket of a Parent.
  • Merge - This merges your ticket into another ticket, combining them into a new ticket. This cannot be undone and should not be used if you're unsure of what you're doing.

Custom Fields - These are custom descriptors that be added to queues by RT administrators that can help differentiate between tickets within a specific queue.


One of the largest strengths of RT is the robustness of its search engine to be able to find tickets easily and successfully. There are three different ways to search in RT: quick, simple, and advanced search.

Quick Search

This displays as a default on the right side of your home page when you're logged into RT. By default it displays every queue that you have access to and gives a quick overview of how many tickets are in the queue. You can click the edit button and uncheck queues that you don't want to see in the Quick Search box.

quick search box

Simple Search

The simple search (Tickets -> Simple Search or via search box at top of RT instance)  allows you to search for specific tickets via ticket number. You can also search new, open, or resolved tickets by requestor email, specific NetID, or by subject line.

Simple search box

Advanced Search / Query Builder

Advanced searches can be made using the Query Builder (Tickets -> New Search). Query Builder allows you to build a search specifying as much detail as you'd like and these searches can be saved and referenced on your dashboards and home pages as well.

Query Builder

Once you've built a query how you like through the Query Builder, go to the Saved Searches box, select My Saved Searches under Privacy, and enter a description about the search and click Save. The next time you use the Query Builder, your saved search will be under Load saved searches. This will also allow you to reference searches for use in the Dashboard.

RT Query Builder Saved Search


A dashboard is a saved collection of shared searches and other objects that can all be viewed on one page.

RT Dashboards

Dashboards are listed under the Home menu and a new dashboard can be made from there (Home -> New Dashboard).

RT New Dashboard

Once it has been created, you can use the Content tab to add different Saved Searches made in the Advanced Search to appear on your dashboard as well as use the Subscription tab to get email notifications about what's happening in that dashboard.

RT Dashboard Edit Content

Need help?

Last updated: 

September 20, 2016

Browse by tag