Dmitri has been writing exclusively about open source software for almost a decade, with a focus on productivity tools and applications.
DokuWiki has gradually evolved into a powerful and flexible wiki engine suitable for most tasks involving web publishing and collaborative editing. This lightweight and elegant wiki software offers a few nifty features that make it a compelling choice for individual users and work groups alike. DokuWiki doesn’t use a database back-end (all pages are stored as plain text files), which makes it significantly easier to install and maintain a wiki. It provides a flexible mechanism for managing users and their privileges. More importantly, DokuWiki’s default functionality can be extended using plug-ins, and the project’s website features hundreds of modules that can turn your wiki into pretty much anything you like: a blog engine, photo gallery, or database front-end. In other words, no matter what type of content your want to publish on the web, chances are that DokuWiki can handle it with consummate ease.
This article originally appeared in issue 80 of Linux User & Developer magazine. Back issues are still available.
Grab the latest release of DokuWiki from the project’s website, unpack the downloaded archive and rename the resulting directory to dokuwiki. Then move the dokuwiki folder into the document root of your Apache server. If you are using XAMPP, the document root is the htdocs directory.
02 Install DokuWiki (continued)
Make the data, conf and lib/plugins directories writable by running the chmod command as root – for example: chmod -R 777 /opt/lampp/htdocs/dokuwiki/data. Point your browser to http://yourserver/dokuwiki/install.php and provide the required information. To make your DokuWiki installation more secure, enable the ACL (Access Control List) feature and grant editing rights only to registered users.
03 Configure DokuWiki settings
Before you start using your wiki, you should configure DokuWiki’s settings. To do that, log in using the username and password you specified during installation, press the Admin button and click on the Configuration Settings link. This opens the Configuration Manager page containing all DokuWiki’s configuration options.
04 Configure basic settings
First of all, you might want to choose the appropriate licence for your wiki’s content. Next, set the Use First Heading For Pagenames option to Always, to force DokuWiki to use the first heading in the text as the page’s title. This might sound like a minor thing, but it greatly improves the overall readability of your wiki.
05 Disable DokuWiki actions
The Disable DokuWiki Actions section lets you disable certain features. For example, if you plan to use your wiki as a conventional content management system, you might want to disable the Old Revisions feature. You can also prevent users from creating accounts in your wiki by disabling the Register function.
06 Modify editing settings
DokuWiki allows you to enable embedding of HTML and PHP code in wiki pages, but you have to enable this functionality manually by ticking the appropriate checkboxes in the Editing Settings section. Keep in mind, though, that according to DokuWiki’s developer, enabling this feature makes your wiki less secure.
07 Tweak advanced settings
The Advanced Settings section allows you to enable and configure several useful settings, including nice URLs which format URLs in a more readable format. You can also enable the 404 error message for non-existing pages, specify the RSS feed format, as well as enable the XML-RPC interface which lets you access your wiki from external applications.