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LimeSurvey Virtual Appliance and ISO

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 9 months ago #42136 by rgoldman
With my guidance, High School students at Chelsea School in Maryland have completed and published two LimeSurvey projects:

1. A LimeSurvey virtual appliance based on TurnKey Linux's LAMP stack. The appliance uses version limesurvey187plus-build8518-20100323 and installs to configured state.

2. A LimeSurvey ISO that installs TurnKey Linux's LAMP stack along with limesurvey187plus-build8518-20100323. Installs LimeSurvey to a fully configured state. Based on Ubuntu Hardy.

3. A LimeSurvey virtual appliance for VirtualBox is also available and also based on TurnKey Linux's LAMP stack and Ubuntu Hardy.

These are some of our first contributions to the open source community, so we are eager for feedback, questions, concerns, etc.

Both projects are available at our website: http://9while9.com . Just follow the links to LimeSurvey.

To contact me directly, please email me at rgoldman@9while9.com .
Last Edit: 6 years 9 months ago by rgoldman. Reason: revised for most recent information.

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6 years 9 months ago #42137 by holch
Hey, this sounds really good!

I always liked the idea of the stacks that for example bitnami.org/ offers. But they don't have Limesurvey.

I will have a look at it. Do you plan to update this regularly?

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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6 years 9 months ago #42140 by rgoldman
Thanks for your enthusiastic response.

It is our plan to keep it updated with each major revision to LimeSurvey. That being said, it is our hope that TurnKey Linux will adopt the ISO/patch and incorporate a LimeSurvey appliance into their next release cycle. Based on the students' work, if TKL makes the adoption, they'll maintain releases and updates. In the meantime, students in my info technology classes will handle it.

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6 years 9 months ago #42253 by rgoldman
It's my understanding that the LimeSurvey TKLPatch has been reviewed by TurnKey Linux. If I'm reading the thread right, a LimeSurvey appliance will be included in TurnKey Linux's next release cycle: http://www.turnkeylinux.org/forum/general/20100505/limesurvey-tklpatch-submission .

If I'm reading the thread wrong, please let us know. This is the second contribution IT students at Chelsea School have attempted to make to the open-source community. So far, it seems to be going well. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please do share. Their work can be found on the web at http://9while9.com .

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6 years 9 months ago #42263 by holch
I understand it like you did, so I think they want to include this into their Stacks.

However, I just now saw that this is including a Linux distribuition.

I am not too sure how helpful this is then.

Because someone who has a blank server with nothing, not even OS, will know what he is doing. I guess setting up a little Limesurvey application is the least concern he hast.

I thought this is a kind of Apache-MySQL-PHP-PHPmyAdmin-Limesurvey All in one approach, which would it easier to set it up on a root server or a v-server. However, most of them do already have an OS running (otherwise it wouldn't make much sense).

The Turnkey-Linux approach only makes sense when you have physical access to your server, if I see this right.

Still useful, but less useful for me than I thought.

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 9 months ago #42274 by rgoldman
Thanks for your feedback. If TKL adopts this, and they provide it following the pattern of their other releases, it'll be available in four formats: VMWare and VirtualBox (a compressed zip download will contain both VMs in a single download); ISO to install Ubuntu (it'll be Lucid by the time the release comes around) together with configured LAMP stack and LimeSurvey ready to go out of the box; and finally as an appliance ready to launch to EC2. I've never investigated the EC2 option, so I can't elaborate on that at all.

In my setting, for example, I can imagine running the LimeSurvey virtual appliance from an underused machine somewhere on our school network. The fact is I do have a machine running apache2, PHP, and MySQL server, but configuring LimeSurvey to run on that server might take time that I could otherwise spend teaching, or that our network administrator could otherwise spend getting essential resources working as the teachers expect. So in this case, the virtual appliance is viable alternative (especially if my need for LimeSurvey is temporary). All I need to do is start the VM, change the default passwords, and have someone prep the surveys.

Does this make sense?
Last Edit: 6 years 9 months ago by rgoldman.

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6 years 9 months ago #42276 by holch
This makes total sense and it made also sense before.

I didn't want to criticize the project, because I still think it is an great idea.

It just won't work for rented webservers or v-servers, as you usually can't install the operating system there.

When you have your own server and physical access to it, this is a good thing, because it saves you time.

However, and that was my point, most people who have a server without operating system accessible, usually are quite knowledgeable in how to set up such a machine and configure everything from scratch. There is still the time saving aspect.

What I really like is the idea of the EC2 image, especially if you have to run large scale projects from time to time. You do not need a huge infrastructure, but can still have a good control over peaks.

Ideally there would be a function for the EC2 stack to scale the number of entities uses (flexible processing power) according to traffic. That would be the ideal world... ;-)

I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member. I answer at the LimeSurvey forum in my spare time. No support via private message.
Some helpful links: Manual (EN) | Question Types | Workarounds

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6 years 1 month ago #55118 by rgoldman
Thanks Holch. I think another powerful feature of a TKL distribution is TKLBAM, a potent backup and migration tool. It's fairly new, and now a centerpiece of TurnKey Linux's offerings; it will be incorporated into the Limesurvery appliance when it's released with the rest of the 11.0 or 11.1 batch (fairly near future. Learn more at www.turnkeylinux.org/tklbam .

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