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MantisBT surveys

This document describes the setup and operations of the MantisBT surveys.

The tool we're using to manage surveys is an open-source solution called LimeSurvey.


Web server setup

Edit the mantisbt site's configuration file (as root):

  • Add an alias: Alias /surveys /srv/www/surveys/
  • Reload apache configuration: service apache2 reload

LimeSurvey Setup

Reference: LimeSurvey manual

This installation procedure uses a fork of LimeSurvey's repository rather than relying on the distribution's packages.

The mantisbt custom survey template was created based on the “Default Reloaded” template. See Modifying the mantisbt template for further details and instructions on how to further customize it.

As of this writing, the surveys branch is based on LimeSurvey Release 2.00+ Build 130406.

  • Login as root
  • Install LimeSurvey code by initializing the repository
    cd /srv/www
    git clone surveys
    cd surveys
    git remote add upstream
    git fetch upstream
    git checkout surveys
  • Set directory permissions (section 7.1)
    chgrp -R www-data tmp/ upload/ application/config/
    chmod -R g+w tmp/ upload/ application/config/
  • Login to MySQL as root, and create the database and DB user (section 7.2) - replace XXX by the password
    CREATE USER surveys@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'XXX';
    GRANT USAGE ON *.* TO surveys@localhost IDENTIFIED BY 'XXX';
    GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON surveys.* TO surveys@localhost;
  • Navigate to - this will start the LimeSurvey installer; follow the wizard
    • Select English - English, click Start Installation
    • Accept the license
    • Validate the requirements in the Pre-installation check and click Next
      Installation note: in our case, the following libraries were missing: LDAP, imap but these are probably not needed
    • Database configuration: fill-in the fields MySQL, localhost, surveys, (password), surveys, (remove prefix) then click Next
    • Database settings: click Populate database
    • Optional settings
      • Enter admin user's id and password
      • Administrator email:
        Installation note: check with Victor if this should be changed to something else or if maybe we should create this address and make it redirect mails somewhere
      • Site name Surveys
      • click Next
    • Confirm installation and click Administration
  • Login to LimeSurvey using the administrator's account created above
    • Create Survey Administrators (see User Administration section below)
    • Create user group
    • Edit Global Settings
      • Under General tab, set Default template to mantisbt
      • Set the Email settings as appropriate
      • Bounce settings email
      • Language remove all except English (if we later decide to create surveys in other languages, we'll add them back in as needed)
      • Leave the other settings to their default values


User Administration

The Administrator's account and password can be found in root user's ~/passwd file.

Individual accounts should be created for Survey Administrators and added as members of the MantisBT group

  • Create new user
    • Enter user id, e-mail and name then click Add User
    • Global permissions to set: uncheck all except Participant panel, Create survey
    • Template permissions: uncheck all except mantisbt
  • Add the new user to the MantisBT user group

Upgrading LimeSurvey

Backup the code and the database before you start !!

Please refer to LimeSurvey manual for generic upgrade instructions. This assumes a minor upgrade.

Carefully review the LimeSurvey documentation as well as the release notes to make sure this process applies. If not, adjust as necessary. Make backups and tests !

Execute the commands below as root:

cd /srv/www/surveys
tar -czf ../surveys-backup_$(date +'%Y%m%d-%H%M%S').tar.gz .
git co master
git pull upstream
git co surveys
git rebase ReleaseTagName

After completing this, login to LimeSurvey as admin and verify that the default template has not been changed

  • Go to Global Settings, General tab
  • If the Default template is not mantisbt, change it back and click Save settings

Perform necessary tests to ensure the new version works as expected, and delete the backup file when no longer needed.

Modifying the mantisbt template

The relevant files can be found in the repository's surveys branch (./upload/templates/mantisbt on the file system).

To modify the template's source files (.pstpl, .css, image files, etc):

Update the template on (as root):

cd /srv/www/surveys
git co surveys
git pull

Creating and managing Surveys

Surveys can be created directly on the server.

Alternatively, for additional flexibility and better performance as well as to facilitate testing, the tool can be installed locally using a XAMPP package provided by the LimeSurvey team. The survey can be uploaded to the server once it is ready.

Please refer to the LimeSurvey manual for instructions, specifically the creating and managing surveys sections.

mantisbt/surveys.txt · Last modified: 2013/04/25 08:50 by dregad