You have an issue with your eLabFTW installation? Here are the things you should check before opening an issue on GitHub ;)

Docker logs

If the server is not responding at all, check the web container logs. If the application cannot connect to MySQL, check the mysql container logs.

# to check if the containers are running
elabctl status
# or
docker ps
# for the web container
docker logs elabftw
# for the mysql container
docker logs mysql

PHP logs

If you get “An error occurred!” message, check the PHP logs. All errors should be logged there.

docker logs elabftw 1>/dev/null

Accessing MySQL database

Sometimes it might be necessary to look directly into the database. You can use elabctl mysql to get a MySQL prompt directly.

Clean everything

If you’re not sure what to do to fix issues, or you have an error that seems unresolvable. You can try this:

# stop everything
elabctl stop
# check nothing is running
docker ps -a
# cleanup everything
docker system prune -a
# start again
elabctl start

Note that this procedure is safe and won’t impact your data. Upon starting, it will redownload the docker images and start fresh containers.

Resetting a password directly from MySQL

If you can’t reset a password because the mail system doesn’t work and have access to the MySQL database, you can reset it manually.

First connect to a MySQL prompt:

# docker users
elabctl mysql

Find out the userid of the user you want to reset the password:

SELECT userid FROM users WHERE firstname = 'XXX';

Replace XXX with the firstname. You can of course also search with “email” or “lastname”. Now that you have the userid, we need to change the password_hash column. The password_hash column will be:


UPDATE users SET password_hash = "$2y$10$KXk..." WHERE userid = X;

Replace X with the correct userid.

Once this is done, you can login with the password: “totototo”. Make sure to change it again from the User Control Panel once logged in!