Installation using a command line interface (CLI)

From LimeSurvey Manual


When doing automated installs (e.g. in a virtual machine setup), we can use LimeSurvey's (v2.x referred to here) CLI (command-line interface) to good effect. The files used for this purpose (and for resetting passwords as well) are in the WEBROOT/application/commands folder, the one of interest here being console.php.


  • PHP CLI should be available
  • WEBROOT/application/config/config.php should be available and populated with the parameters provided by the automated installation process.
  • The availablity of the PHP Modules permissions should match the needs of LimeSurvey.
  • An empty MySQL database should be created and the user should have the proper privileges in order to use it.


For illustration purposes, we assume in our example the WEBROOT to be /var/www/limesurvey.

cd /var/www/limesurvey/application/commands
php console.php

This will show:

Yii command runner (based on Yii v1.1.14)
Usage: console.php <command-name> [parameters...]

The following commands are available:
 - install
 - message
 - migrate
 - plugin
 - resetpassword
 - shell
 - webapp

To see the individual command help, use the following:
   console.php help <command-name>


php console.php <Admin User Name> <Admin User Password> <Full Name> <EMail ID>
  • The Full Name and Password are enclosed in double quotes if they contain spaces or other special characters.
  • All the other parameters like DB Name, DB Type, DB User, DB Password etc. are to be populated in the config.php file before script execution.
  • The script should be executed from and in the WEBROOT/application/commands folder only.


cd /var/www/limesurvey/application/commands
php console.php install limeadmin pwd123 Admin

outputs the following text:


and the database should be properly installed at the moment.