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Your assignment is to install and configure pmwiki on your virtual machine or ubuntu web host. You will need to undertake a number of steps in order to get this to happen. General information will be given here. You will use skills obtained in the course and pointers here to get your setup operational.

Please email any answers to questions and configuration file snippets to

Please note: you should know how to become the superuser with sudo su and run the necessary commands as root. pmwiki has installation instructions at follow along with these as you read these notes.

If you are using apache2 then just read on. Howevre, there is an alternative web server which is low in memmory usage and moresuitable for the raspberry pi. This server is lighttpd. Instructions for installing pmwiki on lighttpd can be found here.

Your machine will need apache2 and the apache2 php5 module installed. Before you install anything you may wish to update and upgrade your packages to get the latest cache files and security updates.

 sudo su

apt-get update

 apt-get upgrade

If you have already installed dwww with

 sudo su
 apt-get install dwww

then apache 2 will have been installed and configured. If not, you might want to do

 sudo su
 apt-get install apache2

Now you will need to install the apache2 php5 module:

 apt-get install libapache2-mod-php5

Now go off to the pmwiki site and either pull down the .zip or the .tar.gz file. we will cover how to install both below.

There are a number of ways to get the pmwiki file onto your Linux box,

  • winscp the tar.gz or .zip into your home directory.
  • get a link to the file off and use the wget command to wget the url

Now you need to unzip or uncompress the archive you just fetched.

 tar xzvf pmwiki-2.2.36.tar.gz

You will end up with a folder called pmwiki-x.y.z containing the wiki software. Move this folder into a place your webserver can access. By default, apache uses /var/www under Ubuntu as the webroot so move the folder over as the superuser. Check the ubuntu documentation and Readme file for details. You will probably want to rename the folder to just wiki or similar so you can access your wiki with an URL such as http://w.x.y.z/wiki or if you are running a virtual machine behind NAT. Substitute your actual IP address when accessing your own installation.

Complete the initial configuration tasks including correcting the permitions of the pmwiki installation so that the files are not owned by root.root. Create your index.php so you can just load the wiki by specifying the path to it. Set an admin and edit password. How did you do this? What regular expression substitute will remove a hashmark from a commented line in local/config.php?

If viewing the file in an editor such as ed or a pager such as less how can you find only the commented out configuration file lines without showing the comments?

Why is it a good idea to set an admin password on your Wiki? what does this allow you to do? Which wiki groups are locked by default?

How would you minimize Wiki spam? What line might you uncomment in local/config.php?

Apply 3 cookbook examples. Explain which ones you applied, what you hoped to achieve and whether or not your recipes worked.

How would you set up a virtual domain for Apache so that you can access your Wiki as Provide the config snippet and tell me where you'd put it.

How would you back up your wiki? Why is rsync or rsnapshot safer than a tar.gz or tar.bz2?

Why is afio safer than tar.gz? Note this may require you to install the afio package and skim the manpage or do a google search.

Why does tar.bz2 compress better than afio and why is it less safe?

Why is it not a good idea to create pages without linking them into the main wiki itself? Summarize the recommended way of adding a page. Why shouldn't you create your page then add links to it later?

Change history on pages is useful however can you think of another way of keeping snapshots of the wiki? Why might a personal wiki be a useful study tool?

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Page last modified on April 25, 2014, at 10:40 AM