The recommended way to install Kimai v2 is via SSH, you need GIT and Composer.

To install Kimai 2 in your production environment, connect with SSH to your server and change to your webservers (document) root directory. You need to install Git and Composer if you haven’t already.

First clone this repo (1.5 is the latest stable release):

git clone -b 1.5 --depth 1
cd kimai2/

Now install all dependencies:

composer install --no-dev --optimize-autoloader

Configure the database connection in the .env file:


And run the Kimai installer:

bin/console kimai:install -n

The webserver needs write permissions for several directories, so make sure the file permissions are correct. This is likely not required in a shared-hosting environment. Try if Kimai works without before executing this. Here is an example (for Debian based OS):

chown -R :www-data .
chmod -R g+r .
chmod -R g+rw var/
chmod -R g+rw public/avatars/

Create your first user

There are several options to create your first user:

  • via command: bin/console kimai:create-user username ROLE_SUPER_ADMIN
  • via login screen: you can register a user, the first one will be promoted to the role ROLE_SUPER_ADMIN
  • you can configure LDAP for authentication

If you are going to import data from Kimai v1 use a different username & email


Configure your web server (like Nginx or Apache) to point its DocumentRoot at the public/ directory. For more details, see the Webserver How-To and this Symfony article.

Oh … wait! Before you leave, please read the initial setup guide.


There is a dedicated article about Docker setups for Kimai, suitable for development and production.

Hosting and 1-click installations

The following platforms adopted Kimai 2 to be compatible with their one-click installation systems.


Install kimai2 with YunoHost

Kimai 2 package for YunoHost.


Cloudron provides a secure and ready to use Kimai package, which will be kept up-to-date automatically.

Install Kimai with Cloudron

Vesta Control Panel

Be aware that VestaCP uses the admin user instead of www-data. Replace the names in the permission commands above. Read this issue if you have further questions.

FTP installation

If you have no SSH access to your server (e.g. when you use a shared hosting package) then you can download a package, which includes a pre-installed Kimai version.

You install it via FTP like this:

  • download the latest release package for FTP
  • extract it locally and upload all files
  • point your domain (document root) to the public/ directory
  • register your first user in the login screen, you will automatically become SUPER_ADMIN

The file var/data/kimai.sqlite will hold all your data, please include it in your backups.

Unfortunately there is no support for updates yet. This feature will be included in the future.

Development installation

Clone the repository and install all dependencies:

git clone
cd kimai2/
composer install

Kimai uses a SQLite database by default, which will work out-of-the-box. But you have to change your environment to dev in your .env file. You can also configure a MySQL database if you prefer that:


The next command will import demo data, to test the application in its full beauty - with different user accounts, customers, projects, activities and several thousand timesheet records. Lets bootstrap your database (command only available in dev environment):

bin/console kimai:reset-dev

Finally you start a web server, you can access Kimai in your browser at Stop the built-in web server by pressing Ctrl + C while you’re in the terminal.

bin/console server:run

You can now login with these accounts:

Username Password API Key Role
clara_customer kitten api_kitten Customer
john_user kitten api_kitten User
chris_user kitten api_kitten User (deactivated)
tony_teamlead kitten api_kitten Teamlead
anna_admin kitten api_kitten Administrator
susan_super kitten api_kitten Super-Administrator

Demo data can always be deleted by dropping the schema and re-creating it. The kimai:reset-dev command will do that automatically and can always be executed later on to reset your dev database and cache.

If you want to test with an empty installation, erase the database and re-create an empty schema:

bin/console doctrine:schema:drop --force
bin/console doctrine:schema:create

Frontend assets

To re-generate the frontend assets (more information here), execute:

yarn install
npm run prod

Installation FAQ

SQLite is a great database engine for testing, but when it comes to production usage it is not recommended:

  • It does not support ALTER TABLE commands and makes update procedures very clunky and problematic (we still try to support updates, but they are heavy on large databases)
  • It does not support FOREIGN KEY constraints out of the box, which can lead to critical bugs when deleting users/activities/projects/customers

Kimai works around the Foreign Keys issue by using a Doctrine PostConnect EventSubscriber, but it is not guaranteed that SQLite handles everything as expected.

If you insist on using SQLite: make a copy of the database file BEFORE each update, to prevent possible data loss.

SQLSTATE[HY000] [2006] MySQL server has gone away

That usually means that your DATABASE_URL is wrong. You can run a command like bin/console doctrine:schema:validate to check, if the software can connect successfully to your database.

If that gives you the same error, it is configuration issue which you need to solve first, before you are able to install Kimai.

Malformed parameter “url”

If you see an error message like this, then you have a special character in your DATABASE_URL.

!!  In DriverManager.php line 259:
!!    Malformed parameter "url".  

This can be a character like @ or / or some others, which need to be urlencoded. This can easily be done with one command, lets assume your password is mG0/d1@3aT.Z)s then you get your password like this:

php -r "echo urlencode('mG0/d1@3aT.Z)s');"

Then your DATABASE_URL might look like this:


Which user to use, www-data, httpd or your own?

The installation instructions are intended primarily for server applications.

If you are installing Kimai 2 on your personal computer - maybe for use in a local network, but where the computer primarily serves as a single user computer - you will avoid permission errors by substituting www-data in the relevant commands with your username.

In particular, sudo -u www-data is a command which grants the www-data user temporary administrator/super-user privileges). However, depending on the configuration of your particular computer, you may be able to avoid sudo altogether (your user may already have adequate permissions). Or your webserver user is not called www-data but httpd.

You can try first leaving sudo -u www-data altogether in the relevant commands. If you have permission errors, you can substitute it for sudo -u $USER in the relevant commands, where username is the username that runs the server - if you don’t know, it is likely your own username that you login with.

chown & chmod commands

Further, chown and chmod commands should be for the username that runs the server instead of www-data (again, if you don’t know, it is likely your own username).

Also note that, depending on where you are installing Kimai 2 and how your computer is configured, you may also receive “operation not permitted” errors when setting file permissions (chown and chmod commands). In that case, prefix them with sudo.

Still doesn’t work?

These infos were added to give you some possible guidance if you run into troubles. The Linux (and Mac) filesystem with its permission structure, especially when using server software, can be tricky and challenging.

But this has NOTHING to do with Kimai and we might not be able to help you in such situations … it is your system and responsibility, be aware that wrong permissions might break Kimai and can also lead to security problems.