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Installing and running TWiki on Solaris

See also: TWikiOn, SolarisInstallCookbook, SolarisInstallCookbookPerlModules, SolarisInstallCookbookNtlm, SolarisInstallCookbookModPerl

Older Installation Help


  • Solaris 10 3/05 or greater
  • Use the Sun provided Apache 1.3.33 with mod_perl (Perl 5.8.4) (Solaris comes with apache2 as well, but this procedure is only tested with v1.3.x)
  • Twiki 4.0.0 or greater
  • You have root on the system


  1. Install the following http://www.sunfreeware.com/ Solaris packages. (Installs in /usr/local)
  2. Download latest TWiki tarball http://twiki.org/
  3. Untar to /var/apache/htdocs/twiki
  4. Configure Apache (/etc/apache/httpd.conf)
  5. Setup startup script
  6. Launch Apache
  7. Configure Twiki with Browser http://www.example.com/twiki/bin/configure
    • diff = /usr/local/bin/diff
    • rcs = /usr/local/bin/rcs
    • grep = /usr/local/bin/grep

-- Contributions:


Installation of TWiki on a Solaris box took quite a bit more time and effort than on a Linux box. Appears Solaris install requires GNU tools for a number of items not listed in TWiki install docs. Would be helpful to people new to TWiki to have these requirements listed in the install docs.

As a start, I don't see "GNU diff" listed as a requirement. Had problems with TWiki until I grabbed "diffutils" from http://www.sunfreeware.com

Also, pathing was a little bit different for solaris.

I'm still very new to Solaris, and I'm sure I caused myself a few headaches there...

  • TWiki version: December 2001
  • Web server: Apache 2.x
  • Server OS: Solaris 2.8
  • Web browser: IE 6
  • Client OS: Win2k

-- JoshuaMorast - 04 Oct 2002

I've updated testenv in the TWikiAlphaRelease (to go into BeijingRelease) so that it checks for diff and warns if GNU diff is not installed - this should help with Solaris installations, but let me know if GNU versions of other tools are checked, as it would be quite easy to do this now.

See CVSget:bin/testenv if you want to install a copy without downloading the whole alpha release

-- RichardDonkin - 03 Nov 2002

GNU diff is now a system requirement, see TWikiSystemRequirements. Thanks for flagging this.

-- RichardDonkin - 08 Nov 2002

I'm currently going through the pain of a Solaris install and I found that it's not enough to have GNU diff on the PATH. RCS appears to have the path to diff hardcoded in. I had to recompile a private copy of RCS with a reference to GNU diffutils before revision control worked properly.

-- GarethEdwards - 09 Jan 2003

Interesting - are you using the Solaris built-in RCS, or some other binary, and where did you get it from?

You could try doing a symbolic link to diff from the hard-coded path, e.g. ln -s /opt/diffutils/bin/diff /bin/diff, for the various RCS commands mentioned in TWiki.cfg, but compiling your own version is cleaner and more reliable, as there might be some Solaris tools that expect the Solaris diff.

-- RichardDonkin - 09 Jan 2003

I'm not sure where the RCS binary is from as I'm not the administrator of the machine, but 'rcs -V' is declaring itself version 5.7. It's in /usr/local/bin, rather than /usr/bin which would indicate someone has added it manually sometime in the past. This also means that I can't pull the symlink trick either.

Private copies are no problem, TWiki copes very well.

I'm installing a test TWiki system just now, if I get the nod to put a production system together I'll beat up the admin to fix his tools.

I'll maybe play with the testenv script to see if I can figure out a test that will not only check for the existence of RCS but sane functioning as well.

-- GarethEdwards - 10 Jan 2003

I'll bet your RCS is from http://www.sunfreeware.com/programlistsparc10.html#rcs, which is where I found mine. Same problem: diff is hardcoded to be /usr/local/bin, and neither sun's diff nor the gdiff from the same site installs into that area.

-- BishopClark - 26 Jun 2006

See BinaryAttachmentsFailOnSecondRevision for details on how to build your own copy of RCS and GNU diff - it seems that the RCS build process may select the wrong (non-GNU) diff even if your PATH is correct, so be sure to read this to see how to avoid this. The default /usr/ucb/diff program doesn't appear to handle binary files properly. Also, be sure to re-run configure just before recompiling RCS or diff (see BinarySaveFailsRCSConfigError).

Of course, another solution is to just use RcsLite on Solaris, although that probably requires some testing to ensure it's ready for live use.

-- RichardDonkin - 01 Aug 2003

Erroneous comment about shell hashing deleted

When compiling RCS, it appears you can also set some DIFF* environment variables, or if installing RCS into the same location as the GNU diff utils you can use the --with-diffutils option in the configure script: see the INSTALL.RCS file in the RCS distribution files.

-- JasonShortt - 02 Oct 2003

BinaryAttachmentsFailOnSecondRevision was updated recently to refine RCS and diff build process.

-- RichardDonkin - 16 Mar 2004

I just upgraded from TWiki01Feb2003 to TWiki03Sep2004 on SunOS 5.7 using perl version 5.005_03 built for sun4-solaris.

I had to do a few things to get the upgrade scripts working:

  1. UpgradeTwiki and lib/TWiki/Upgrade/UpdateTopics.pm; had to change mkdir $dirname to mkdir($dirname,0777). Kept getting a "mkdir needs more arguements" error.
  2. had to update TWikiUsers page manually
  3. had to copy over all uploaded files manually (pub/Main plus one other web).

Otherwise the upgrade went quite well. Everything seems to be working. now.

-- AndrewCervinLawry - 21 Sep 2005

Hi, I'm running under the sun one web server (6.1 sp4) and Solaris 10. I had the same issues listed above, and ultimately installed all the gnu tools to /usr/local/bin and set up the environment of the web server user to only have those tools paths...

Probably the biggest challenge was getting things to complile for both gnu tools and CPAN modules.

Remember to get the GNU tools built first, then get tbem in your path, and then do your CPAN modules. Get all your GNU tools in your path, and then get into CPAN (perl -MCPAN -e shell) and install your CPAN modules. I have DakarRelease running on this configuraiton as well!

Remember that /usr/xpg4/bin has ar and other commands critical to actually getting gnu tools to compile on your system at all. I compiled using both the sun studio compiler as well as the GCC toolset. You might have to hack your make/configure at first to deal with compiling for multi-CPU system.

-- ToddGrayson - 23 Oct 2005

Interesting that TWiki is still hard to install on Solaris three years after this topic was started... Mainly because of the non-GNU compilation environment I guess.

-- RichardDonkin - 24 Oct 2005

I remember installing twiki.org was realively easy - I used pkg-get to install all the necessary gnu tools, (though they do name diff gdiff frown ). maybe someone would like to package up the dakar release to add to the solaris software repository?

-- SvenDowideit - 24 Oct 2005

Have just tried running the Relock command from the testenv script - with disasterous results. frown Trying to access the site all pages were switched to viewauth rather than view and pages were not rendered correctly. Has anyone else seen anything like this? Currently confirming Solaris version.

-- AndrewReeves - 16 Nov 2005

Related pages:

More information about compiling GNU RCS on Solaris cut n pasted from wherever I found it: If you're building your own versions of GNU diffutils and RCS, and want to force RCS to use your build of GNU diffutils, do this:

# Assume you are building for $HOME/local PREFIX="$HOME/local"

mkdir -p "$PREFIX/"{bin,lib,include}

# Assume you unpacked the diffutils-*.tar.gz here cd diffutils-* ./configure --prefix="$PREFIX" make install cd ..

# Assume you unpacked the rcs-*.tar.gz here cd rcs-* DIFF="$PREFIX/bin/diff" DIFF3="$PREFIX/bin/diff3" ./configure --prefix="$PREFIX" make install cd ..

-- DanielMuller - 19 Jan 2006

Anyone mind if I try and organize this into a cohesive howto?

-- BrianGupta - 19 Jan 2006

Please do - clean cut for TWiki 4.0.0 smile

-- SteffenPoulsen - 20 Jan 2006

I have diff in a different dir and with the prefix g available. How can i tell rc1 candidate to find this version of gdiff ? For fgrep and egrep it worked like a charm.

-- AndreasWittkemper - 30 Jan 2006

Most likely, your copy of RCS has a full path to a broken version of diff. Simplest option is to download and compile your own version of GNU RCS, which should come with its own working GNU diff (or you could point to your gdiff).

-- RichardDonkin - 30 Jan 2006

All this information (and more) now in comprehensive TWiki on Solaris Install Cookbook. Enjoy.

-- LarsBruunxHansen - 24 Sep 2006

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Topic revision: r29 - 2012-05-01 - PeterThoeny
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