How To Quickly Install DokuWiki On Debian

DokuWiki logoThe big advantage of using Debian for a DokuWiki install is that this distro has a simplified install process over other distributions, as both the installation and the upgrade of the software are completely handled by Debian’s package manager.

In additon to this, there is an advantage by using DokuWiki over some other heavier wiki software such as, for example, MediaWiki: it is structurally simple. Everything, from configuration files to pages content, lies in simple text files. That’s right, no need for a database or anything else, just a simple folder and file structure. This also makes it very easy to update, restore and migrate DokuWiki installs should you need to.

Therefore, if you need a wiki up and running quickly, these are the instructions on how to install DokuWiki on Debian 8.

  1. Download the Debian Image. For this, I have used the netinst image of Debian 8, which you can find here (at the time of writing it’s on version 8.3.0). Just select the appropriate architecture (amd64 in my case) and proceed with the download.
  2. Install Debian. When you reach the tasksel section, deselect all metapackages (we want to keep the installation light, as everything can be than managed from a browser anyway).
  3. After the installation is complete, login with the user you created during the installation process.
  4. Acquire root privileges by typing su
  5. Assign a static IP to this machine by editing nano nano /etc/network/interfaces. This is an example configuration file:
    auto eth0
    iface eth0 inet static
        address 192.168.0.50
        netmask 255.255.255.0
        gateway 192.168.0.1
  6. Configure the DNS servers by editing /etc/resolv.conf. You can list as many as you want here, like this:
    nameserver 192.168.0.254
    nameserver 192.168.0.1
  7. Restart the networking service to apply the changes: /etc/init.d/networking restart
  8. Now update your distribution to make sure you download the latest version of DokuWiki later on: apt-get update
  9. If you want to manage this machine remotely, install the SSH server service: apt-get install openssh-server (SSH is not included in the default Debian installation if all metapackages are deselected during install)
  10. You can now install DokuWiki with apt-get install dokuwiki
  11. After the installation is complete, you can now proceed configuring the software: run dpkg-reconfigure dokuwiki
  12. In my case I have used Apache 2.4 as web server, but you can select other servers if you want
  13. Leave the document root unchanged: /dokuwiki/
  14. Select local network for the authorized network
  15. Enter your local network in CIDR format when prompted for network information (in my case: 192.168.0.0/24)
  16. When prompted to “Purge pages on package removal”, select Yes
  17. When prompted to “Make the configuration folder web-writeable”, select Yes
  18. When prompted to “Make the plugins directory web-writeable”, select Yes
  19. Enter the wiki title
  20. Select the license
  21. When prompted to “Enable ACL”, select Yes
  22. You can now access your wiki from a browser by going to this address: $IP_address_you_configure/dokuwiki

Note: the default administrator user in a DokuWiki install is admin.

There you go, you now have a wiki up and running with minimal effort. Becoming familiar with the wiki syntax will take some time, but if you are already familiar with writing in markup it shouldn’t take long. The documentation is also pretty good should you run into any issues.

I would also recommend going through the post-install configuration steps to make sure your installation is secure (also have a look at the DokuWiki security page for more details).

I am also thinking about scripting this install, let me know in the comments below if you would find this useful (and, of course, if you have any questions about the post). Cheers!

4 Comments

  1. I’ve followed your instructions (debian Jessie) but the doduwiki is not found; “http://myip/docuwiki” returns “The requested URL /docuwiki was not found on this server.”.
    Apache works fine (http://myip) returns the basic HTML page

  2. Thanks! Its Alive.

    Tried bunch of another guides, even official guides – no result.

    Thanks you your work

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