Installation Version 1.92 or older

From LimeSurvey Manual

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Additional pages:{toc}

1. Make sure you can use LimeSurvey on your website

Make sure your server meets the following additional requirements:


  • Minimum 80 MB disk space
  • MySQL 4.1.0 or later OR    Microsoft SQL Server 2000 or later OR  Postgres 8.1 or later
  • PHP 5.1.2 or later with the following modules/libraries enabled:
    • mbstring (Multibyte String Functions) extension library (see also Installation FAQ)
    • mysql5 or pgsql PHP library (which is standard with hosting providers - if you have setup your own server make sure it is installed)

Note: We assume that you don't have any PHP standard libraries explicitly deactivated (like sessions, pcre, ctype or others).

Optional PHP Extensions:

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 take a look at "Installation on XP with IIS".

1.1 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 LimeSurvey Cloud, else check out our list of LimeSurvey-compatible hosting companies.

2. 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.

3. 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

4. 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:
  • 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.

5. Configure LimeSurvey

Now open the file config.php in the /limesurvey/ root directory with your preferred text editor.

5.1 Basic settings

Walk through config.php and check/configure the following settings:

  • $databasetype: This is the database type. At the moment you can set here "mysql" for the MySQL database server, "odbc_mssql" or "mssqlnative" (requires the native MSSQL PHP driver from Microsoft) for Microsoft SQL server and "postgres" for Postgres SQL Server. At least those are the ones that have been tested. (:biggrin:)
Help.png Important: If you have Microsoft SQL server make sure your database is using a case-insensitive collation (should be set by default).
  • $databaselocation: Set this to the IP/net location of your database server. In most cases "localhost" will work. If you are using MSSQL try to use <MACHINENAME>/<SERVERNAME> instead.
  • $databasename: The name of the database on your database server that you will be using for LimeSurvey. If you have high level permissions on the server, you can create a database from LimeSurvey. In this case, put whatever the database will be called into this setting. Alternatively you can use the name of a previously created database here. If you provide an existing database name make sure the database does not contain old tables of LimeSurvey.
  • $databaseuser: Your database server user name
Help.png Important: If you are using Postgres make sure your user is also the database owner.
  • $databasepass: Your database server password
  • $dbprefix: You can leave this setting blank (ie:  $dbprefix="";) if you are using a separate database for LimeSurvey alone. If you want to share a database between LimeSurvey and other database applications, add a prefix to this setting. The recommended prefix is "lime_", but really - this is up to you. Note: Creating a database and a username in MySQL with command line is described in Installation FAQ.
  • $rooturl: This should be set to the URL location of your LimeSurvey scripts. If you copied the LimeSurvey files into the folder limesurveyfolder you have to rename {$_SERVER['SERVER_NAME']}/limesurvey to the folder name you have chosen ({$_SERVER['SERVER_NAME']}limesurveyfolder). The variable {$_SERVER['SERVER_NAME']} will attempt to do determine your domain name atomatically, so usually don't change it. If it doesn't work, set this to full server URL. (Example ""). If you want LimeSurvey to only use SSL change http to https (provided that you have SSL certificates correctly installed and configured on your server). If you want to use http & https at the same time just leave this setting at http.
  • $rootdir: Usually you don't need to change this. It should be set to the physical disk location of your scripts. The default setting will attempt to do this for you, so most probably you won't need to change anything here (the section "dirname('''FILE''');" tries to do this automatically). If it doesn't work, type the disk location in manually - for example /home/public_html/limesurvey.
  • $defaultuser: When the script has access control turned on this is the default user that is created when LimeSurvey first sets up your security settings.
  • $defaultpass: When the script has access control turned on this is the default password that is created when LimeSurvey first sets up your security settings.
Help.png Note: Both settings ($defaultuser and $defaultpass) are used only for the initial setup. After LimeSurvey has set up the database these settings are not used at all.

5.2 Optional settings

There are many more optional settings you can set in config.php. Most of them are for installation only and can later be change in the Global settings dialog. For more information on these optional settings please check out the this page. However for a basic setup just continue with the next step.

6. 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.

7. 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 is used for imports & uploads and should be set to Read & Write for your webserver.
  • The "/limesurvey/upload/" directory and all its subdirectories must also have Read & Write for your webserver in order to enable picture and media files upload.
  • 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.
Help.png Hint: If you are using Linux then depending on your webserver configuration you will have to chmod the rights on the writable folders to 755 or 777. Try 755 first - if it does not work 'upgrade' to 777.

8. Run the installation script

Go to "". If you configured everything correctly you will be asked to create the database and/or create the tables inside the database. LimeSurvey then creates the needed tables in the database.

After the script shows that it successfully created the tables, you will be prompted to rename or delete the /admin/install directory - so just do it (:biggrin:).

9. Connect to the administration script for the first time

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 "".

You should get a login screen. The default login credentials are

User: admin

Password: password

You will be prompted to change the default password after you logged in. Have fun!

10. 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 or join the IRC channel: