Installing KoboToolbox on a Local Computer

Last updated: 15 Feb 2022

The best way to use KoboToolbox is on one of the two free public instances - (if you work for a humanitarian organization) and (for non-humanitarian users). There is no software to be installed on your computer when using these free public servers. For more help deciding which server to use, check this article.

Installing KoboToolbox on your own computer is not necessary and is only recommended if 1) you are a developer looking to contribute code to our open source repositories, or 2) if you are an advanced user and work in an environment with absolutely no Internet access or if security circumstances prevent using a cloud server. To learn about installing the software on your own servers, click here.

Installing KoboToolbox with Docker and kobo-install

Warning: This requires advanced knowledge of terminal/command line programming, a good understanding of installing and maintaining server software, and an ability to self-troubleshoot. Please understand that you shouldn’t use this in a critical environment without having the technical resources in place to troubleshoot if needed.

KoboToolbox can be installed on Linux or Mac OSX using our own Docker installation, using the latest code as is available on our public websites. The detailed instructions and the source repository are found on Github. For Windows users we recommend creating a virtual machine running Linux (at least 4GB RAM and 20GB storage) and following the instructions within this virtual machine.

With Docker, you can run a small “mini server” on your local computer. This means that the software is still accessed through the browser but from a “local” address. Note: This requires your computer to be connected to a local network (WiFi or Ethernet) for the local server to function (and for your mobile devices to be able to submit data). This local network does not need to be connected to the Internet.