Setup Your Own Online Survey Using Limesurvey and LAMP Server

LimeSurvey, formerly known as PHPSurveyor, is an open-source survey application written in PHP that can be used to create powerful online question and answer type surveys in minutes without much effort and any programming knowledge. We can create any type of online survey for thousands of participants using LimeSurvey.

In this article, let me show you how to setup LimeSurvey on CentOS/RHEL based distributions. My test box hostname and IP address are and Change those values as per your scenario.


If you want to setup a self-hosted online survey on a fresh system, you should install and configure LAMP server first. To install and configure LAMP server on CentOS/RHEL, follow this link.

Once you have installed and configured LAMP server, make sure that you have installed the following PHP extensions which are needed by LimeSurvey:

[root@server ~]# yum install php-mcrypt php-mbstring php-common php-pdo php-cli php-mysql php-gd php-xml php-ldap php-imap php-zip php-zlib libtool-ltdl mhash mcrypt -y

Once you installed the extensions, restart your Apache service:

[root@server ~]# service httpd restart

Create MySQL database and user for LimeSurvey.

Here, I create a database called limesurveydb and a user called limesurveyuser with password centos:

[root@server ~]# mysql -u root -p
Enter password: 
Welcome to the MariaDB monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MariaDB connection id is 1
Server version: 5.5.31-MariaDB MariaDB Server

Copyright (c) 2000, 2013, Oracle, Monty Program Ab and others.

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.

MariaDB [(none)]> create database limesurveydb;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL ON limesurveydb.* TO limesurveyuser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'centos';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.01 sec)

MariaDB [(none)]> flush privileges;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.01 sec)

MariaDB [(none)]> exit

Install LimeSurvey

Get the latest version of LimeSurvey here. Or you can download it using the following command from your terminal:

[root@server ~]# wget

Extract the zip file using the command:

[root@server ~]# unzip

This will extract the zip file as folder called limesurvey. Just copy the contents of this folder to the website (Apache) root directory:

[root@server ~]# cp -fr limesurvey/ /var/www/html/

Set the required permissions to following folders as shown below:

[root@server ~]# chmod -R 777 /var/www/html/limesurvey/application/config/
[root@server ~]# chmod -R 777 /var/www/html/limesurvey/upload/
[root@server ~]# chmod -R 777 /var/www/html/limesurvey/tmp/

Now navigate to http://domain_name/limesurvey or http://ip-address/limesurvey from your web browser. You should see the following screen.

Select your preferred language and click on Start Installation.

LimeSurvey installer - Mozilla Firefox_001Accept the License Agreement.

LimeSurvey installer - Mozilla Firefox_002Now the installer will check for all prerequisites and pre-installation tasks, if everything seems ok, Click Next.

LimeSurvey installer - Mozilla Firefox_003Enter MySQL database name, username and password that you have created earlier.

LimeSurvey installer - Mozilla Firefox_004Click on Populate database.

LimeSurvey installer - Mozilla Firefox_005Update the administrator user password, email address and website name etc. The default admin credentials are admin and password.

LimeSurvey installer - Mozilla Firefox_006Now your survey site has been successfully installed. Click on Administration to enter into admin console.

LimeSurvey installer - Mozilla Firefox_007Enter the administrative credentials. The username is admin and password is the one that you have defined in previous steps.

Unixmen Survey - Mozilla Firefox_008Now you’ll be redirected to administration console. In this console page, you can do all administrative things such as creating users, backup databases and editing templates etc.

Unixmen Survey - Mozilla Firefox_009For more information about installing, administrating and creating surveys, check the official manual page.

Creating Survey

You have installed LimeSurvey successfully, now what?

Create a survey and put the survey link anywhere on your website or send the survey link to colleagues and friends to attend your survey.

To learn about creating surveys, check here official link. Or watch this YouTube video to get clarification yourself. This video shows you how to create and test new surveys.