Install on Windows



eLabFTW should be installed on a server, not a personal computer. Installing it on your personal computer is totally fine, but in the end, what you want is to install it on a server so everyone in your team (or institute/company) can benefit from it. See install in the cloud if you don’t have a server.

Installing eLabFTW on Windows is not your typical Setup.exe > Next > Next > Finish install. Because it is a server software, we will run it on a server. And this server will be inside a container, run by Docker.

Follow the steps below to install eLabFTW on your system:

  1. Read the documentation and install Docker for Windows

  2. Download this configuration file template

  3. Save it as docker-compose.yml (type “All files” so it’s not saved with a .txt extension)

  4. Edit it with Notepad++ or any editor you like but not plain old Notepad.

  5. Read carefully the comments and edit what is needed

  6. Save it as docker-compose.yml (make sure there is no .txt extension)

  7. Open Powershell (or Terminal on Mac)

  8. Enter these commands:

cd D:\Data\elabftw # adapt the path to your situation
docker-compose up -d

# for Mac OS users:
cd /Users/YOU/Documents/elabftw # adapt the path to your situation
docker-compose up -d

Import the database structure

Before using eLabFTW, we need to import the database structure:

docker exec -it elabftw bin/install start

Create your Sysadmin account

Final step: click here: https://localhost/register.php


Remember to keep your installation backuped and updated ;)


If you need to access eLabFTW from another computer, or if you installed it on a Windows server, you’ll need to forward ports to the VirtualBox instance.