a free and open source electronic lab notebook

Designed by researchers, for researchers, with usability in mind.

With eLabFTW you get a secure, modern and compliant system to track your experiments efficiently but also manage your lab with a powerful and flexible database.

If you do experimental research, then eLabFTW is for you. Whatever your field is. It is also well suited for teachers, or biotech companies.

eLabFTW is powered by PHP/MySQL in Docker containers. It should be installed on a server. One install can be for a team, or the whole institution. You can also install it on your computer just for yourself.




Open-source with an AGPL licence means free as in beer but also free as in freedom. You have the freedom to modify it, look how it works and even redistribute your changes!


Strong encryption, good practices and modern codebase offers the best security for your data.


You can access your lab book from any device, running any operating system, from anywhere in the world!


Use your favorite operating system. You only need a recent browser.


RFC 3161 compliant timestamping of experiments (for intellectual property).

Inventory management

Store reagents, protocols, plasmids, cell lines, mice or anything you want, you can customize everything!

Stay master of your data

Import and export your data in common file formats (PDF, ZIP, CSV, JSON). Your data is not locked somewhere.


eLabFTW is translated in several languages because not everyone is comfortable with english.


Use the integrated scheduler to book anything you need to like microscopes, rooms, machines, etc.

And also:

  • eLabFTW can be installed at the institution/company level and host several teams, or you can have an instance just for your team, or just for you on your computer.
  • Works in Docker containers
  • Upload any type of files, embed images in the text
  • Draw doodles directly with your mouse
  • Use templates for your experiments
  • Draw molecules with Chemdoodle
  • REST API for accessing programmatically your experiments
  • SAML2 authentication if you have an identity provider
  • Growing community of users and contributors scrutinizing the code and improving it
  • Highly customizable: you can change the colors, the status list, the items types list, etc.
  • Can fit any kind of lab (chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, etc.)

See some gifs of eLab in action

You can find a full list of features here.

A pdf for presentations is available here: PDF for presentations.

The FAQ can probably answer the questions you have left. Check it out.


Some screenshots

I love software websites without screenshots of the actual thing. − No one ever.

Live demo

Screenshots are cool, but if you want to really feel what the app can and cannot do, head to the live demo:


Documentation / Installation instructions

Wait, wait! Maybe you don’t need to install it! If you are doing research in an University or Institute you might want to ask the IT service to install it on the local network. This way, all the other teams can use the same install!

eLabFTW should be installed on a server. It uses the Docker container technology, so you don’t directly download it, you use a configuration file that instructs Docker to fetch the eLabFTW image.

Don’t worry if what you just read was not clear. Everything is explained in the documentation. Click the link below to read it.


Hello, my name is Nicolas CARPi and I’m an engineer in Institut Curie, Paris, France.

If you are having trouble using the app or want to suggest an improvement, please open a GitHub issue.

If you just want to chat, my email is: nicolas.carpicurie.fr.

You can also contact me / follow me on Twitter.

If you wish to talk privately (about a security issue for instance), you can do so with GPG. See my Keybase page.

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