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Developer(s) Nicolas CARPi
Initial release February 2, 2013 (2013-02-02) (0.7)[1]
Stable release

4.6.0  (May 23, 2023; 3 months ago (2023-05-23))

Preview release 4.3.0 Beta 3  (May 8, 2022; 16 months ago (2022-05-08)) [±]
Written in PHP
Operating system Cross-platform
Available in EN
Type Laboratory informatics software
License(s) GNU Affero General Public License v3.0
Website eLabFTW.net

eLabFTW is a free open-source electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) "made by researchers, for researchers, with usability in mind."[2]

Product history

The project was started by engineer and developer Nicolas CARPi on GitHub, with the first commit coming on March 2, 2012.[3] The first tagged, public stable release of eLabFTW arrived as 0.7 on February 2, 2013.[1]

As of October 2016, the project is still actively being developed, with users making suggestions and pull requests as well as finding and correcting bugs. Many features are still being added to the software, which is in constant evolution. It has been adopted by several institutions or labs.


Features of eLabFTW include[2][4]:

  • export experiments as a PDF, spreadsheet, or ZIP archive
  • trusted timestamping (for strong legal value of documents) with RFC 3161 compliant TSA
  • fully customizable database to store any type of data
  • salted SHA-256 sum passwords
  • experiment templates
  • experiment duplication
  • advanced query tools
  • tagging
  • color coded status for experiments
  • internal linking
  • version control
  • protection tools
  • commenting on experiments
  • data import from .csv file

A full list of features is available here.

Hardware/software requirements

Minimum hardware: 512MB RAM, 800 MHz processor, and 300 MB of disk space is the bare minimum.

Required software: Docker

Can be installed locally for single-person use, with any operating system (Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, etc.).

See the installation guide for more information.

Videos, screenshots, and other media

  • A live demo of the software can be accessed here.
  • The eLabFTW documentation can be found here.
  • A few screenshots of eLabFTW can be found at the main page.

Entities using eLabFTW

According to the software developer, several labs are already using it around the world, and it is adopted in Institut Curie in Paris, France, where it was developed.

Other claimed lab-level installations include[5]:

  • Cardiff University
  • Hannover Medical School
  • Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
  • Institut Curie
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Kuwait University
  • Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics
  • MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology
  • Texas Tech University
  • UMC Utrecht
  • University of Alberta
  • University of California
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Helsinki
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Warwick
  • Uppsala University
  • Washington University
  • Weizmann Institute

Further reading


  • INRIA (French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation) is developing their own fork.[6]
  • Opensauce.us aims to share chemical recipes.[7]
  • A fork for chemists exists, though it is not maintained anymore. It adds chemistry tools: eLabChem on GitHub

External links