The LimeSurvey project offers two ways of installating LimeSurvey:
- On your webserver:
In that case just follow the instructions on this page starting with step 1.
- On your local Windows PC:
You usually only want to install LimeSurvey on your local PC if you want to create surveys locally (mainly for speed or test reasons) and upload them later to your live LimeSurvey installation on a web server. For this we have prepared a special package for LimeSurvey which includes the web server, the database and the LimeSurvey application and instructions how to install it.
Make sure you can use LimeSurvey on your website
Make sure your server meets the following additional requirements. Most of these requirements will also be checked during the installation.
- Minimum 80 MB disk space
- MySQL 4.1.0 or later OR Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or later OR Postgres 8.1 or later
- PHP 5.3 or later with the following modules/libraries enabled:
- mbstring (Multibyte String Functions) extension library (see also Installation FAQ)
- PDO database driver for MySQL (pdo_mysql or pdo_mysqli) or Postgres (pdo_pgsql) or MSSQL (pdo_sqlsrv for Windows and pdo_dblib for Linux)
- Also we assume in general that all PHP default libraries are enabled (like hash, session, etc.).
Optional PHP Extensions:
- GD-Library with FreeType support installed is needed for captchas or nice charts in statistics - see PHP GD-Library Extension documentation
- IMAP (pretty standard) is needed for the Email bounce tracking system - see PHP IMAP Extension documentation
- LDAP installed is needed to import tokens using LDAP - see PHP LDAP Documentation
- Zip (pretty standard) for template upload and import resources Zip archives - see PHP Zip Extension documentation
- Zlib (pretty standard) is needed for the ComfortUpdate - see PHP Zlib Extension documentation
In most cases your webspace provider or system administrator will be able to help you out on these optional components.
If you want to try LimeSurvey on your local machine we recommend XAMPP which is an easy to install software package containing a complete web server with Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl. LimeSurvey will run on XAMPP with no configuration needed.
If you want to run Microsoft's IIS server taking a look at "Installation on XP with IIS might also help.
When using database sessions, make sure MySQL max_allowed_packet setting is large enough, some surveys generate over 2 MB of session data.
For the survey taking side we currently support IE7 and all newer comparable browsers like FF, Chrome, Opera, etc. For the administration part we currently support IE9 and all newer comparable browsers like FF, Chrome, Opera, etc. We do not support any IE version running in Intranet-mode or Compatibility-mode!
Hosting for LimeSurvey
LimeSurvey should work with most hosting companies which provide PHP and MYSQL. If you want a ready-installed version of LimeSurvey consider using LimeService, else check out our list of LimeSurvey-compatible hosting companies.
Download the LimeSurvey package
Download the latest stable LimeSurvey zip package (there are also gzip, bz2 and 7zip packages available for your convenience) and save it to your local disk.
Unpack the LimeSurvey package
Uncompress the zip file into a dedicated directory/folder using your preferred compression software. When you uncompress the file make sure that you uncompress the directory structure with the files (this is default behavior for most compression programs). The path name for the installation directory should not include ( or ) characters, but may include the space character
Collect information about your server
You will need to know the following things to install LimeSurvey on your web server correctly:
- Your intended website URL where your scripts will reside (e.g: http://my.domain.com/limesurvey)
- The physical disk location on your server where your scripts will reside (ie: /home/usr/htdocs/limesurvey)
- The IP/net location of your database server (ie: localhost)
- If your database server uses a non-standard port find out which port it is.
- Your username and password for your database server
- With most providers you can't let the script create the database but have to do it yourself. If you are using such a provider please create a database (for example limesurvey) yourself.
Upload the files to your web server
Using your FTP program, connect to your web server and create a directory to store your scripts. Then upload the files using the directory structure they are in. Make sure you upload the files in binary mode (check the settings of your FTP program). Please note that uploading in ASCII mode can lead to uncommon errors (e.g. 'class not found' error during installation), also images may not be uploaded correctly.
Set Directory permissions
For the script to work properly it needs certain access to some directories - this applies especially to Linux/*nix systems.
- The "/limesurvey/tmp" directory and all its subdirectories and files are used for imports & uploads and should be set to Read & Write for your webserver.
- The "/limesurvey/upload/" directory and all its subdirectories and files must also have Read & Write for your webserver in order to enable picture and media files upload.
- The "/limesurvey/application/config/" directory also needs Read & Write permissions for your webserver.
- The other directories can be set to Read Only or in Linux/Unix. You may wish to set the permissions on each file within the /limesurvey/admin directory to Read Only.
Create a database user
LimeSurvey will create a database and the tables inside it. To be able to do this it will need the username and password of a database user. In general we recommend to create a database user with the following permissions:
- MySQL: SELECT, CREATE, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, ALTER, DROP, INDEX
- PostgreSQL: SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, TRUNCATE, TRIGGER
- Microsoft SQL Server:
Run the installation script
Go to "http://www.example.com/limesurvey/admin". If you configured everything correctly the LimeSurvey installer should be starting - just follow the instructions. You will be asked if to create the database and/or create the tables inside the database. LimeSurvey then creates the needed tables in the database.
Connect to the administration script for the first time
After the installer has finished you are done! Open your browser and enter the URL of your admin.php script. Assuming you used LimeSurvey as the directory name to store the files in, this will be something like "http://www.example.com/limesurvey/admin".
You should get a login screen. The default login credentials (if not changed during in the installation) are
You will be prompted to change the default password after you logged in. Have fun!
What if I have problems...
Like all computer programs, most of the time things will work just like the instructions say, but sometimes they just won't. There are too many possible reasons for things not going according to plan to describe here. If you have trouble, first check out the Installation FAQ. If you don't find your answer there please post your problem and any error messages in the LimeSurvey forums on limesurvey.org or join the IRC channel: