How to install LimeSurvey

Tutorial to install the latest version of LimeSurvey

In this guide, we will demonstrate how to install and configure LimeSurvey. We’ll assume that you already have a server with Apache and PostgreSQL installed (If you installed NES, then you have it!).

Important technical information

  • This guide walks through an installation by using packages available through Debian 9 (code name: Stretch), but can easily be adapted to other Unix operating systems.
  • For demonstration purposes, we will use the /var/www directory to deploy the LimeSurvey.
  • Always check the official LimeSurvey manual for the most up-to-date information!

Initial setup

  1. Before running through the steps of this tutorial, make sure that all of your repositories are up to date:

    apt-get update
  2. Install some packages:

    apt-get install php php-pgsql php-gd php-imap php-mbstring php-ldap php-zip php-xml
  3. Check the latest version of LimeSurvey here and download the file with the tar.gz extension.

  4. Extract the file (rename the file according to what you’ve downloaded):

    tar xzvf limesurvey2_X.X.tar.gz
    rm limesurvey2_X.X.tar.gz
  5. Change owner and group:

    chown -R www-data.www-data limesurvey/
  6. Change directory permissions:

    chmod -R o-rwx limesurvey/
    chmod -R 770 limesurvey/application/config/
    chmod -R 770 limesurvey/upload/
    chmod -R 770 limesurvey/tmp/
  7. Create user and database (you will use this user/password/database soon):

    su - postgres
    createuser limesurvey --pwprompt --encrypted
    createdb limesurvey --owner=limesurvey
  8. Create a virtual host:

    nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/limesurvey.conf

Insert the following content, but remembering that the paths and the ServerName provided should be changed according to your installation:

<VirtualHost *:80>

    DocumentRoot /var/www/limesurvey

    <Directory />
            Options FollowSymLinks
            AllowOverride None

    <Directory /var/www/limesurvey>
            Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
            AllowOverride None
            Order allow,deny
            allow from all
            AcceptPathInfo On

    ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /usr/lib/cgi-bin/

    <Directory "/usr/lib/cgi-bin">
            AllowOverride None
            Options +ExecCGI -MultiViews +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch
            Order allow,deny
            Allow from all

    ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/limesurvey_ssl_error.log
    LogLevel warn
    CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/limesurvey_ssl_access.log combined
  1. Enable the virtual host:

    a2ensite limesurvey
    systemctl reload apache2
  2. Web-based configuration

Using a browser, access the server using the IP address of the machine or its name and complete the installation. At this step you will:

  • Select the language to be used
  • You have to agree with the license
  • See if you have all the packages needed installed
  • Set the database (using the credentials of step 7)
  • Create and populate the database
  • Create an administrator user