elabftw

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 universities, tinkerers 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.

features

Features

Free

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!

Secure

Strong encryption, good practices and modern codebase offers the best security for your data. The only ELN with A+ rating on Mozilla's Observatory.

Responsive

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

Cross-platform

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

Timestamps

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.

Internationalization

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

Scheduler

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
  • SAML2 authentication with a centralized identity provider
  • 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

Resources

screenshots

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

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.

contact

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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