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 versatile database.

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

Keep track of your experiments and collaborate with your team easily!




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. The only ELN with A+ rating on Mozilla's Observatory.


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.

Make yourself a favor, use an open source solution

Cloud services can shut down, get bought, or change privacy policy any day, the last thing you want is proprietary formats and data lock-in. Using eLabFTW, you stay in control.

Features for users

  • Can fit any kind of lab/company (chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, deep tech startup, etc.)
  • Timestamp legally your experiments
  • Export in PDF, ZIP, CSV, JSON
  • Draw doodles directly with your mouse
  • Use templates for your experiments
  • Add steps to your protocols or experiments
  • Use the REST API for accessing programmatically your data with an external program (see API Documentation)
  • Upload any type of files, embed images in the text
  • Draw molecules with Chemdoodle
  • Be part of a growing community of users and contributors
  • Highly customizable: you can change the colors, the status list, the items types list, etc.
  • Todolist
  • Custom shortcuts

See some gifs of eLab in action

Features for sysadmins

  • One eLabFTW instance can host a hundred teams and thousands of users
  • No need for a lot of RAM or CPU, eLabFTW is efficient and doesn’t use a lot of resources
  • Works in Docker containers
  • LDAP authentication
  • SAML2 authentication with a centralized identity provider
  • 2 factors authentication
  • PRO support available from Deltablot
  • CSRF, XSS, bruteforce login protections
  • Automated vulnerability scanning, secure configuration, high code quality and best practices to make secure software (see page on security)
  • Perfect score on Mozilla’s Observatory test for security:

observatory scan


They talk about it

A tweet from Christoph Engwer

Fictive descriptions generated by AI

Darth Vader

“eLabFTW is a tool for the serious researcher, one who seeks to control and master their laboratory work. It is a software that will aid you in your quest for knowledge and power, allowing you to focus on your experiments, data and progress with precision and efficiency. It is a tool that will aid you in your quest for the ultimate power, to control the galaxy and impose the will of the empire. Use it wisely, and it will serve you well. Resistance is futile, use eLabFTW.”

Donald Trump

“eLabFTW, let me tell you, it’s a fantastic software. The best, the best, for managing your laboratory work. It’s so easy to use, believe me, and extremely efficient. It’s gonna save you a lot of time, and it’s gonna allow you to focus on the important stuff, like making breakthrough discoveries. It’s a tremendous tool for scientists, students, and professionals all over the world. Trust me, you’re gonna love it. It’s a winner, a big league winner.”

Stephen King

“eLabFTW is like a laboratory assistant that you never knew you needed, but once you have it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. It’s a tool that will help you keep track of your experiments, your data and your progress in a way that is both intuitive and efficient. It’s like having a personal lab assistant that never sleeps, never calls in sick, and never makes mistakes. It’s a tool that will make your research life easier and more productive. And as with all good tools, the more you use it, the more you’ll appreciate its value.”

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

“eLabFTW is a valuable tool for any researcher seeking to explore the unknown and make new discoveries. It is a software that allows you to efficiently organize and manage your laboratory work, much like how the USS Enterprise organizes and manages its missions. It is a tool that allows you to focus on the important task at hand, to boldly go where no one has gone before, making new discoveries and advancing scientific knowledge. I recommend it for any researcher looking for a reliable and efficient way to manage their laboratory work.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“eLabFTW is a tool that promotes simplicity, precision and self-reliance in scientific research. It is a software that allows researchers to manage their laboratory work with minimal effort, yet with maximum efficiency, much like how my philosophy of nonviolence and self-sufficiency aimed to promote simplicity and self-reliance in society. It is a tool that helps to promote progress and growth in the field of science, while encouraging the use of inner strength and minimal resources. I believe it will be a valuable asset for any researcher looking to follow a path of simplicity, precision and self-reliance in their work.”


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.

If you’re not familiar with Docker and server administration, it is recommended to opt for a managed hosted solution. See our pricing on this page: eLabFTW hosted pricing.

If you want to install it yourself head to the documentation.


If you think you found a bug or want to suggest an improvement, please open a GitHub issue.

If you want to chat, please drop us an email at: contactdeltablot.email.

You can also use 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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