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TWiki on Web Hosting Sites

TWiki is getting more popular on public web sites. This is separate to the main TWikiMission, which is the corporate world, but it's important to support this - and in fact, installing a secure TWiki on a web hosting site can be a great way to deliver an extranet for use with partners and customers, which is aligned with TWikiMission.

Installing on a web host is usually more difficult than on your own Linux server, because TWiki is quite complex software and web hosts vary a lot. We've tried to help by providing this list of web hosts where TWiki can be installed, and installation tips on some of them.

You can contact one of the ConsultantsForHire if you need help getting your TWiki up and running. You could also try TWikiHostingSites, which specialise in hosting TWiki, removing the need to install TWiki yourself.

Choosing a Hosting Provider

TWiki is more challenging for web hosting than the average static HTML site, so the choice of web hosting provider is important.

Shared hosting

Shared hosting is the most common option for TWiki, and generally somewhat simpler to get started with. However, it may not provide such good performance and control for large TWiki sites.

For shared hosting, It is strongly recommended to choose a hosting package with (1) Telnet or SSH access, in order to be able to install RCS, (2) a C compiler (preferably GCC), also for RCS, and (3) (ideally) RCS pre-installed [not very common]. If you don't have Telnet/SSH, you will have a much harder time with RCS and general debugging/admin, even if you get the web host to install RCS for you.

From a hosted Web account, TWiki requires the following mandatory features for a normal installation process:

  • Linux and Apache
    • FreeBSD or other Unix versions should be OK but are not so widely used for TWiki; they typically require GNU grep to be installed, which is included in Linux. See TWikiOn for help.
    • Non-Apache web servers are rarely used with TWiki and are usually quite hard to set up
  • CGI access
    • can be in a cgi-bin directory
  • Perl 5.8 is preferred, but Perl 5.6 is supported again in TWiki 4.1.2. However, TWiki 3 (CairoRelease) does work on Perl 5.005_03.
  • Telnet/SSH for shell access, including access to C compiler (e.g. GCC)
  • FTP for uploading files (or SSH, which is more secure)
  • RCS 5.7 or higher, or the permission/ability to install it, for version control
    • chances are remote that you'll find a host with RCS - installing it yourself (it's Free Software) is easy on a host with Telnet/SSH and GCC support (however, Dreamhost does have RCS pre-installed)
The following feature is highly desirable so that other CGI users on the same host can't break into your site setup:
  • SecureSetup - safety from interference by other hosted CGIs (since TWiki writes to a CGI-accessible directory) - use of suexec, cgiwrap or sbox by your webhost is recommended
    • Some webhosts run all CGI scripts under the same 'nobody' user (e.g. Superb Internet), creating a big security hole for TWiki sites (anyone else with a CGI script on the same host can trash your site).
    • Other hosts use scripts such as suexec (e.g. Dreamhost) that ensure only you can modify your data files, since the CGI scripts run as your user. This may pose some setup issues but is much more secure. See SecureSetup for ideas on using Apache suexec to get round this, and CobaltRaqInstall for issues with the similar cgiwrap tool.
The following feature is desirable but not critical:
  • cron (or equivalent) for WebNotify and WebStatistics
    • this is a Linux scheduling tool that runs programs periodically - it is not usually offered on web hosts, but can be had on request from some companies for sensible use, or there are workaround scripts

Dedicated hosting - dedicated servers and virtual private servers

Dedicated hosting provides better control and possibly better performance - e.g. you can enable ModPerl and similar CgiAccelerators to get much better responsiveness, which is either harder to do or impossible on shared hosting setups.

The two basic options are either a dedicated server (which is a real physical server) or a virtual private server (VPS - similar concept but uses a virtual machine). In either case you have a complete OS, usually Linux, which hosts an Apache web server, Perl and TWiki.

(Physical) dedicated servers are expensive, but using a virtual private server is much lower cost. VPSs now have a lot of quality offerings at less than $20 a month (and can be as low a $6). TWiki is ideally suited for these solutions as being database-less it has very low memory requirements, memory being the scarce ressource on virtual servers.

The good points:

  • it is guaranteed to work: you can install any linux package, have full access to your apache config, have full privacy from other customers... and can use all the howtos you can find on your choosen linux distrib. In some cases it's very easy indeed to install TWiki on Linux with just one command, as is possible with TWikiOnDebian or TWikiOnUbuntu.
  • you have more control - you can install new Apache modules and generally tweak your installation much more beyond the TWiki part.
  • virtual servers scale. Most offer you to add more cpu/ram/disk/bandwidth at the click of a button
  • you can switch hosters in minutes, as the configuration of a hosted linux will be identical between two hosters, just copy your files. No more having to struggle to dump all the settings of the custom admin panel of host A, and finding how these settings map - or not - to the panel of host B, while spending ages clicking on these panels.
  • this is generally a good option for people with strong Linux skills who are happy to run their own Linux box (whether real or virtual) and are used to configuring Apache, securing a Linux box, etc.
The potential drawbacks:
  • You are responsible for administration of your Linux box, including log file monitoring, uptime monitoring, fixing problems and (most importantly) security updates - unless the hosting company does this for you, in which case there's no problem (there are some 'managed dedicated hosting' offerings where the hosting provider runs the system for you, while still giving you a dedicated server).
    • If you miss an important security update (e.g. to Apache) you could end up having your server exploited.
  • You will require more Linux skills than if you use shared hosting - see AdminSkillsAssumptions for the basic skills you'll need to install TWiki, and multiply those several times for running your own Linux server (not covered in that page!)
    • You will not get so much support from the hosting company, as they are just providing a basic 'virtual machine'

===========( Cheap (Virtual) Dedicated Servers )===========
Provider: $/month Comment: Verified? Sample Installation:
BODHost $29.99 Fully Managed VPS setup on Branded Dell Hardware along with 99.96% Guaranteed Uptime and 24x7 Customer Support Yes
Slicehost $20 incredible performance (disk access at 110 Mb/s) and reputation. Data transfer limit per month Yes CN
linode $20 excellent reputation. More RAM, but a limit on disk transfer per month Yes
RoseHosting.com $19.95 Fully managed VPS Hosting with FREE 24/7 Support. Contact the support team and they will install and configure TWiki for you for free  
gandi 12e excellent service and reputation from the most reputable registrar Yes
OVH RPS 10e A real server, not a virtual one. Still in beta test  
minivds $6    
eapps $10    
vpslink $8    
vpsblaze $14.95    
vpsland $15    
cheapvps $10    
Copahost 9e    
WebNet Hosting $39 Fully Managed Cloud VPS Hosting Solution. Dedicated Servers also Offered in USA/Europe and Asia.  

Server requirements

For all of the server- and client-side details, see TWikiSystemRequirements in the Reference Manual. This is mostly relevant to shared hosting - with dedicated hosting you can set up your Linux server quite easily to meet these requirements.

Note: There is an out of date and incomplete adaptation of the TWiki Installation Guide for Hosted Sites, you can see it at HostedSiteInstallationGuide.

Suitable (Shared) Hosting Providers

These providers (should) all allow installation of TWiki - those with Yes in the Verified column definitely do allow this.

===============( Commercial Providers )===============
Provider: $/month Comment: Verified? Sample Installation:
Nearly Free Speech.net about $0.89 Awesome service. SSH, FTP and custom panel. Few minor tweaks required (due to [smart] limitation on chown, and absolute path requirement for .htpasswd). No cron access limits WebNotify, but that's what RSS is for. Yes - iknowregex (4.2)
NEXCESS.NET $7.95+ RCS is being installed on all servers by default. Good customer service is our cornerstone. Yes - bkdesign.ca
Dotservant.com website hosting services $10.95+ Linux based Cpanel shared hosting. Friendly, professional and personalized support service. Yes
Ubiquity Hosting Solutions $4.95 Installed Twiki, works great. Customer service was great, lots of interesting features. Yes
Hostway $22 Installed RCS locally with no problem on a Linux/Apache account. TWiki then sets up like a breeze. Top-rated, great price & service. Yes
Pegasus $20+ Zeus web server configuration differs from Apache; had to install RCS and difftools Yes
ForSite $20 Must chmod CGI scripts to 755 Yes: SleeplessNightWiki
AffordableHOST $25/yr. Haven't tried them, they don't give root access but claim several TWikis are being hosted there already, free domain registration with $99/yr. or higher options ($25/yr. gives you 25 MB space and 500 MB/month bandwidth) No
phpwebhosting $10 Works fine. Also has SSH access Yes
Superb Internet $19 Good testimonials/reviews, and includes SSH in this package ( Fully Virtual), but is Solaris based No
Aletia Hosting $8+ Full featured basic package and excellent support. No permission for chown, you need to ask Support to make it. Yes: See report
One World Hosting $15+ Well featured basic package and good support. One issues installing: Error with Net::SMTP config Yes
DreamHost $10 Good control panel, email-only support and knowledge base, RCS pre-installed, SSH access and sendmail support included. Yes, see donkin.org, g-b.dk and report
FreeShell $0 ($36 lifetime setup) Full shell account, telnet, ssh available, RCS pre-installed. Possible security issue with permission settings. $36 donation gives you free lifetime access. Yes, see http://robert.freeshell.org/twiki (under construction)
FusionHost $3.95 Excellent hosting company with friendly customer support and awesome prices. They offer a free domain for life with all web hosting plans. Their hosting plans are Linux based with cPanel control panel, which also has a great 1-click script installer. Yes
!FutureQuest Various packages, for example US$14.95 for 150MB Full shell account, telnet, ssh available, excellent support Yes
Minnesota Hosting $7.00+ Tech support says they support twiki NO
Micfo $5.95+ Tech support says they support Twiki, though not all perl scrips are preinstalled NO
MyMarkDown $1.95+ Tech support says they support tWiki NO
EMWD $8 Linux host, control panel, terrific support, RCS pre-installed, shell accounts, SSH access, sendmail support, they will pre-install TWiki Yes: See report
1and1 $10 Linux host, control panel, so/so support, RCS pre-installed, shell accounts, SSH access, sendmail support Yes: See report and how-to
IX Webhosting $3.95 Linux host, control panel, webshell, ftp, Perl 5.6.1, Dedicated IP Address, very responsive support, only gripe is that uncompressing the TWiki package is too big for webshell and needs to be done by tech support. Yes
Hostmonster $3.95 Linux host, control panel, ftp, RCS 5.7 pre-installed, Perl 5.8.7, SSL (shared), shell accounts, SSH access, sendmail support, suexec. Price quoted is for least expensive plan with 2-year pre-pay; as of this writing: 50GB storage, 999GB/mo bandwidth, 1 free domain, can host multiple domains/sub-domains. See site for current details. Yes: See report
StartLogic $5.95 BSD with RCS and Perl, but no SSH access. No grep or CGI::Session and refused to install when requested. Yes, but no searching (boo!)
Vidahost $4 (3 GBP) SSH access, rcs. Had to install some Perl library modules (has CPAN on panel too) Yes: wumpster.com
===============( Free Hosting for Open Source Projects )===============
Provider: $/month Comment: Verified? Sample Installation:
Berlios $0 German version of SourceForge -- their site is configurable for German, English, and Spanish. I wrote my application in English and it was approved with an email in English -- I haven't set up a site yet, but I assume that you can use the same commands, etc. as on the American SourceForge
I asked a support question but never got a response. -- JoachimDurchholz - 17 Nov 2001

===============( Hosting Directories )===============
(also http://www.webhostdir.com, it has a better searchable index - MC)
Major Web host directory: Check the Top 20 in their regularly updated top hosts list should fit your budget, allow local RCS installation, meet the other requirements, and provide reliable service. NOTE: Many providers don't offer Telnet/SSH in their basic packages - check carefully.
Please help in populating the table - verified sites are preferred, so include a link to a working TWiki if possible.

Types of hosting

Commercial site hosting

List sites that DON'T work for TWiki?

Refactored - consensus is that listing sites that work is more useful -- RD

List sites that provide RCS?

If you are working on a web hosted site that is already supporting RCS (not just allowing you to install it on your own account) this would be very helpful to know. A list of TWiki-friendly web hosting services could develop here.

-- MatthewSimpson - 10 Sep 2001
( by the way - I'm testing and learning about it outside as I try to bring it inside wink This way, it's more likely to be adopted.)

Dreamhost does provide RCS, SSH, and SecureSetup in its standard $9.95 a month account - see its entry above and installation report below.

-- RichardDonkin - 04 May 2002

List WINDOWS providers?

Anyone used a Windows provider? Thanks.

-- MartinCleaver - 18 Dec 2001

Given how hard it is to install TWiki on Windows, even with WindowsInstallCookbook (and I've not even tried to do a secure installation, only a laptop-only TWiki), I suggest we forget about Windows sites. Ironically, Apache and Linux are much easier for TWiki setups, and will of course require less patching and provide better uptime (see OpenSource for some links).

TWiki on Windows is best for laptops and intranet servers where Linux is not an option (IMO).

-- RichardDonkin - 04 May 2002

Open Source Project Hosting

SourceForge & Belios are listed above.

Another, not verified open source hosting site is http://www.tigris.org/

-- PeterThoeny - 06 Nov 2001

Tigris is primarily developing software for SourceForge -like sites. They have their own site, and it seems to be supported, but the main thrust seems to be toolmaking.

Anybody with an interest in Tigris should either visit the Tigris sites (they are listed in the bottom right corner of Tigris' home page) and see whether one of them fits his project, or contact Tigris directly and ask for permission to do a test installation of TWiki - well, the first question should be whether it's possible to have one's own Perl scripts on Tigris in the first place!

-- JoachimDurchholz - 07 Nov 2001


TWiki writes its data to a directory in the file system. If CGIs from other people can access that directory, TWiki is open to all sorts of destructive interference. (This happened once to the twiki.org site on SourceForge.)

There is only one way to prevent such interference: Make the TWiki files and directories writable by the TWiki account and nobody else, and have the HTTP server impersonate that account when executing TWiki scripts. (Impersonation is called "suid" in Unix parlance.)

I know of two ways to achieve this:

  1. suidperl is a Perl interpreter that impersonates the owner of the Perl script it's executing. This tends to open up security holes unless one is very careful, so most hosting sites are reluctant to provide suidperl.
  2. Some HTTP server software will automatically impersonate a specific user for every virtual host that they serve.
    Unfortunately, Apache does not do this.
-- JoachimDurchholz - 07 Nov 2001

I've thought about starting a separate page to address this issue, something like IndependentInstancesOfApache, or TWikiFileSecurity, or something similar (don't like either title so far).

-- RandyKramer - 20 Nov 2001

Because I came across this page again, I'll just mention that there is apparently some (potential) problem when running more than one instance of TWiki under mod_perl -- IIRC, the way TWiki is written (??), global variables are shared across all instances of TWiki running under mod Perl.

  • This is a separate issue to SecureSetup, and doesn't apply to web hosting since ModPerl hosting is very hard to find. --RD
-- RandyKramer - 11 Feb 2002

Independent instances of Apache are the wrong approach anyway. Apache is intended to be running once, and handle all multiplicity by itself. The only situation where I can imagine multiple Apache instances is if you're debugging Apache.

TWikiFileSecurity sounds good to me. Maybe TWikiSiteSecurity?

-- JoachimDurchholz - 21 Nov 2001

From following the Oct TWiki crash, it seems like the SF set-up is pretty unique. Web hosting companies don't do this, each account with local cgi is under its own user. How widespread could this situation be - re, I guess, this particularly topic of commercial virtual domain installs?

-- MikeMannix - 28 Dec 2001

Some web hosts do this, others don't (see #Choosing_a_Hosting_Provider). This is a key criterion for choosing a host IMO - at least one ( #Dreamhost) does implement a SecureSetup that improves TWiki security.

-- RichardDonkin - 04 May 2002

Installation Reports


I have recently installed TWiki on Aletia (in Jan. 02) and thought that I would share my general experience here. First I should say that prior to this effort, I had no experience with installing and trouble shooting cgi scripts so the whole affair was a pretty steep learning curve with a whole lot of trial and (mostly) error. The good news is that I do have the basic installation with at least one plugin working. Most of the problems I encountered were simply my own lack of understanding of what I was doing. Later comment: The newer instructions provided in HostedTWikiRCSInstall are improved over those that I was working with, however, any non-technical folks looking to install TWiki would do well to review AdminSkillsAssumptions.

One complication with installing TWiki on Aletia (and I suspect other hosted sites) is no permission to execute chown and related difficulties with working with files owned by nobody. The best current workaround I have found (as of 04 May, 2002) is using the CGI-Telnet script referenced in TWikiDebugging. A better long term solution is presented in SecureSetup which I hope to implement in the near future.

Regarding the issue of no Net::SMTP, I simply set the TWiki variable to use the built in mail program (sendmail) and it has worked fine.

Some other general comments about Aletia:

  • They have very good package of on-line site management tools. (They have a demo you can check out prior to signing up.)
  • One of the tools is for editing files which I found very useful for tweeking my twiki.cfg file, setting permissions and turning my authentication on and off (simply by deactiviting my htaccess file) until I got it working right. One warning here: I discovered a bug with this tool that had the affect of corrupting the date variable in the twiki.cfg file each time I saved it. I informed Aletia of this and they acknowledged it.
  • They do have RCS preinstalled.
  • It's very cheap (>$10/mth) for what they offer!
  • The customer service has been somewhat mixed. Generally they get back to me on questions within a day and often within a couple hours. Before signing up, you might check their user forums as http://AletiaForums.com/ to take the pulse of user satisfaction currently.
  • They have a very active user forum that I have used for help.
  • All in all, for someone like myself that appreciates GUI site management tools and some hand-holding from customer support as I fumble around doing stuff with my site that is way over my head, this is a pretty darn good deal.
-- LynnwoodBrown -- 21 Mar 2002 (updated 4 May 2002)

I was wrong about the Net::SMTP, it was there. And I asked for the installation of other modules for the Pluggins and the installed them in hours.

I have also enjoyed Aletia. It's been occassionally tricky and the auth setup was tough (walk through it with the support group regularly), but it has been good over the long haul. They are now pretty accustomed to TWiki setup people, so you should be able to ask them for help.

-- AnibalRojas - 24 Mar 2002

Here's some points:

  • Don't bother with a sub-domain, because TWiki will probably work better with real URLs. The subdomains with Aletia aren't DNS registered they are internally handled.
  • Regularly get help if you have a problem.
  • Here's my example http://www.joydirect.org/TWiki/bin/testenv script. That should help quite a bit.
- BobWaldrop - 25 May 2004


Dreamhost [referral link] are really good, including SSH, suexec (for SecureSetup) and Debian Linux (for pre-installed RCS and other nice features). They have all required TWiki Perl modules pre-installed (only an issue if you want Net::SMTP, since sendmail works 'out of the box'), and have good reviews for support, so I signed up with them to host TWiki.

I now have TWiki (TWikiAlphaRelease of 4 May 2002) running at Dreamhost (see donkin.org) - it all went very smoothly. The good news is that RCS is pre-installed, and that there's no need to rename the Perl scripts (despite what their knowledge base says), so you basically unzip TWiki under your website directory, configure TWiki.cfg, and it 'just works'. See DreamhostSetupNotes for some more details of how I installed TWiki and post comments there if you have problems.

Dreamhost support seems very good - they've given useful answers to questions. The only downside is that it is email only, and can sometimes take the full 24 hours to get back to you. They do have a very good knowledge base that lets you solve many problems without asking them, and they do seem willing to help on a wide variety of topics. Their web control panel is good, though a bit complicated when you are getting started.

Another goal of mine is to support spamproofed email with a better domain name (finally sick of spam) using the excellent SpamAssassin. Dreamhost now do have this installed, but having your own copy gives you more flexibility - they do put all incoming email through Procmail, which enables this and other spam filtering tools. Dreamhost do have pretty good webmail support using SquirrelMail for webmail and IMAP or POP3 for mail clients, with authenticated SMTP so you can send email via any ISP.

UPDATE: I've been hosting with Dreamhost for almost two years now. They are still really good, and make it easy to install TWiki due to inclusion of RCS and Telnet/SSH in basic package. Support remains good, performance is good, and the webmail is excellent. I now have SpamAssassin working well to stop virtually all spam - see Donkin:SpamAssassin for a bit more info. I've also started using their email list feature - you can set up an announce-only or discussion-by-all email list for no extra charge.

-- RichardDonkin - 2 Apr 2004

Dreamhost is an excellent hosting provider, not least for their good customer support and solid spam filtering. It's also fairly easy to install TWiki on Dreamhost by following Richard's DreamhostSetupNotes. I'm running two websites with TWiki 01Dec2003 and 01Sep2004. Both work well. UPDATED I've now made a setup guide that might be useful: http://g-b.dk/Main/InstallTwikiOnDreamhost.

-- TorbenGB - 22 Oct 2004
-- TorbenGB - 19 Nov 2004


Strato is one of Germany's largest hosted site providers (if not the largest). I initially chose them because their PowerWeb packages were fairly inexpensive at the time; later, I ventured into getting TWiki up and running for my http://www.clausbrod.de website. Most things work OK now. Performance was lousy in the beginning until I installed CacheAddOn. I'm maintaining a log of installation issues and tweaks at http://www.clausbrod.de/Main/StratoInstallationNotes. Hope this helps.

-- ClausBrod - 20 Jun 2005


I installed TWiki version 4.0.2 on $10 shared hosting account at EMWD with very good results. EMWD is small web host provider that provides an excellent assortment of open source site management tools such as CPANEL and Fantastico. More importantly, all the prerequisites for TWiki (especially RCS) were already installed. One Perl module was missing, but EMWD support installed it very quickly when I asked; I presume anyone else will not have this problem since the module is now installed for all users. EMWD's CPANEL provides a tool to see exactly what Perl modules are available.

My main problem (easily overcome) was the same issue many shared host customers face, namely that required permissions are a bit different than those the TWiki installation assumes. CGI runs as the user/group of your shell account, so user read and execute permission suffices for Perl CGI scripts. Apache, on the other hand, runs as nobody, so files directly accessed by Apache must have global read permission. I found adequate information here to solve the issues that came up, since much of the shared host installation documentation applies.

EMWD support was amazing. They have a trouble ticket system and answer by email very quickly, in one case ten minutes. Most of the responses came from the same person. I frankly don't understand how they can keep this up since I am paying a mere $10 a month, but I was very pleased.

Also, there are now Emwd install instructions for Twiki 4 at http://twiki.org/cgi-bin/view/Codev/TWikiOnEmwdWebhost.

-- TimWegner - 10 May 2006

Update - EMWD now has TWiki hosting accounts with TWiki installed for $8.00 a month with 1 GB. Since this account includes a shell account, you could still install or maintain TWiki yourself. I continue to enjoy excellent support from EMWD and recommend them. See http://www.emwd.com/twiki.php.

-- TimWegner - 18 Oct 2006

I just followed the link above to emwd and got my own TWiki installation. The instructions about the TWiki installation they did for me were perfect and easy to follow. I'm all set up and have lots to learn now. I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am! It's getting to be so rare these days that you can find services that turn out to be what they appear to be. In this case, they're even better than they appeared to be and that's almost unheard of. Brian at emwd earned a big pat on the back from me!

-- KarenWhite - 17 Feb 2007


I just Re-Installed Twiki 4.0.4-2 on our 1and1 host. We are using the shared linux business package (only $7.50 right now), which covers everything we need. It has RCS pre-installed, but not all of the necessary modules. Their support is slow-ish, not very technical, and they wouldn't install modules for me. I had no problem copying the modules to twiki/lib/CPAN/lib, though. I used the script at SettingFileAccessRightsLinuxUnix for permissions, and made no changes (yet). I had to add the ".pl" extension to all perl scripts in the bin/ directory, they seem to require that. I'm using the Twiki::Client::TemplateLogin with only one outstanding problem: AuthCookiesExpireEarly

-- BryceSchober - 06 Sep 2006

Update: I note that I didn't do any chown command, as specified in SettingFileAccessRightsLinuxUnix. Whatever default ownership was given when the directory was created has worked for me. Also note that 1and1 is stuck on Perl 5.6.x for their shared linux hosting, see their installation details here. I've had success with installing additional required perl modules (Session.pm, for example) in the twiki/lib/CPAN/lib directory. Also note that you'll need to add the line "find bin -name '*.pl' -type f -exec chmod -v 755 {} \;" to the perms script in order to cover your re-named perl files with the .pl extension. I also had to remove the trailing "-wT" from all scripts starting with "#!usr/bin/perl –wT". Thanks to RichardDeval for bringing up these details that I forgot about in the process.

-- BryceSchober - 10 Oct 2006

Bryce contributed a step-by-step install help for TWikiOnWebHost1and1.

-- PeterThoeny - 11 Jan 2007


I just installed TWiki on Hostmonster with good results. I used their SSH access to install. It was nice to see that RCS was pre-installed. The web server is apache 1.3.x and the setup uses suexec to provide som isolation between virtual hosts. Files directly accessed by Apache (like .htaccess) seem to need global read permission. One slight problem I had was in getting cpan set up to get some modules I needed. Just executing cpan complained about a cache/build directory that didn't exist and couldn't be created. I had to first create a ~/.cpan/CPAN/MyConfig.pm file to force cpan to reconfigure. After that it worked fine. Space and bandwidth seem relatively generous for the cost. Check the Hostmonster web site for current details.

-- DavidBright - 06 Oct 2006

I've got a TWiki 4.2.2 running on a Hostmonster account. You can use SSH or the build file transfer (a bit like FTP with build in editor). Webserver is now upgraded to apache 2. CPAN works well. I didn't have any of David issues regarding CPAN so far..

-- CarloSchulz - 25 Aug 2008

Installed TWiki 5.1.1. Hostmonster does not allow the php_flag engine off line in htaccess of the pub directory. Hostmonster says use php.ini instead. Also, Hostmonster does not allow ScriptAlias. The ScriptAlias command was recommended for securing attachments (TWiki:TWiki.TWikiAccessControl#Securing_File_Attachments).

-- LawrenceWalker - 2012-08-02


Do you think that it is good idea to add "TWiki contact person" for each hosting site above? I mean person who installed (or attempted install and failed) TWiki on the server, and is willing to share experience with others (like me) thinking about running TWiki somewhere. Why I am asking? I am not Linux admin, and do not want to be. But I can use command line interface, and even use pico. But if something is not working, I do not know if I did something wrong, or system is not set up as I expected.

I struggled for a while to set up TWiki on free.prohosting.com, failed, but do not know why.

I understand that person might not want to publish his/her website on this page (yet), but if s/he knows how to solve technical problems with TWiki installation on particular server, and wants to share, I prefer not reinvent the wheel...

-- PeterMasiar - 28 Feb 2002

I think one solution is probably better documentation (including steps to check for pre-requisites, as in WindowsInstallCookbook but for Linux) and also better diagnostics tools. I have updated testenv to get more info about Perl versions on Windows, and to get information about PATH_INFO - see CookbookActivePerlTestenv. I'd like to see such re-usable docs and tools getting improved as a result of testing them in different environments (which can be listed in the docs).

However, this does need someone to step up and write / improve the docs! In the interim, you can just look at the rdiff output to see who added an entry, but it's not a bad idea to list the contributor.

-- RichardDonkin - 28 Feb 2002

Just a note, I am working on a basic install doc on a webhost via ftp; will post a link soon. After a very difficult install (ended up deleting everything after 7 hours work). I tried again the next day and did a very successful beta install, (after getting educated more!} and all is excellent and working, including the new comment plugin.(thanks to my webhost nexcess.net They installed RCS as soon as I asked them to, which is rare, and have everything else needed installed. testenv says all is ok. TWiki up and running smile

-- BruceRProchnau

Update: Too bad I didn't date the above, it probably was about 8 months ago? And many installs (3 separate ones from scratch), for practice. Am writing an article on nexcess.net hosting, referred to above, link to working TWiki site: bkdesign TWiki installed latest version in late October this year.

A very smooth successful install. More on nexcess.net:

NEXCESS.NET has been awesome, and has all the required modules etc., and even tho I installed ftp only I now have shell access. Support has often answered requests within hours, in fact that seems the norm.

Account: The most popular package is the Smart Start Package, $14.95 monthly ($11.95/month when purchasing an annual pacakge) plus $5 monthly for SSH access. Higher packages include SSH for no additional fee. The Smart Start package includes the following features: Linux 2.4.20-37.9.legacysmp*/Apache 1.3.28*, Dual Pentium III, RCS 5.7, Optional Shared SSL, CGI-BIN, Perl 5.6.1*, 24x7 FTP access, 750mb Disk Space, 25GB Bandwidth, Daily backup, 75 Email Boxes, 35 MySQL Databases, 35 Subdomains, PHP4/5*, Free domain with annual purchase. More features listed at their site above.

Site: http://www.bkdesign.ca/twiki/view

-- BruceRProchnau - 04 Dec 2004

Help wanted. Installing TWiki for personal use only. Please contakt ojbrgm@frisurfSTOPSPAMPLEASENOSPAM.no

-- OleJohnnyBergum - 07 Nov 2005

I've reverted BrianCarpenter 's most recent updates as they broke almost all the external links - curious why that happened, maybe it was a WYSIWYG editor problem?

Also made some updates earlier spelling out that some features are mandatory, e.g. shell access.

-- RichardDonkin - 02 Jun 2007

An interesting option for really large scale TWiki hosting is TWikiOnClouds, i.e. using Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) to delivering a massively scalable TWiki service on a pay as you go basis. Could be interesting for TWikiHostingSites.

I also updated first paragraph about use of TWiki hosting for extranets.

-- RichardDonkin - 06 Dec 2007

Added section on dedicated (virtual) hosting

-- ColasNahaboo - 09 Mar 2008

I've refactored the dedicated/virtual hosting part somewhat - have clarified terminology between dedicated servers and virtual private servers (latter is now standard term I think). VPSs are a very interesting option that didn't really exist a few years ago, so well worth exploring for TWiki hosting. I have tried to give a balanced view of when this is best option (mostly for people who need good performance on large sites, want lots of control, and are skilled at Linux server setup and admin) and when it is not so good (e.g. people who may never seen a Linux command line before), in which case shared hosting would be an easier and better option.

I'm a bit nervous about non-Linux-experts simply buying a VPS, installing Apache and TWiki, and having it exploited very quickly because they don't monitor security update email lists and don't know how to secure a server. TWikiOnUbuntu etc make it very easy to install TWikiOnLinux these days, but you also need to know how to run a secure server on the Internet as well. The security checklist on TWikiVMDebianStable gives an example of the sort of tasks that must be done - when you go through them all there is quite a lot to do.

-- RichardDonkin - 15 Mar 2008

Richard, you are right in theory, but I actually I found out that my VPS was already set up with properly configured network, apache & mail (MTA) systems, and Debian or Ubuntu are secure by default. And most VPS hosters can provide you (free or at a cost) "panels" to manage linuxes more easily for novices. In France we have a major ISP that has made cheap real servers for 30e/month http://www.dedibox.fr/ that had a huge success, a lot of people hosting their game/music/video servers there without ever having heard of linux before, which has lead to a lot of simple "cookbook recipes" for novice admins. The landscape has evolved a lot these last years... And even in a managed environment you will have to follow security updates for TWiki anyways... (And the TWikiVMDebianStable is misleading as this system is insecure out of the box). Thanks for the refactoring, btw.

-- ColasNahaboo - 16 Mar 2008

I've certainly seen VPSs where you get a basic Ubuntu image and not much else, and this definitely applies to some non-VPS dedicated servers - even if Apache and mail is configured, and Debian/Ubuntu are secure by default, there is still the issue of patching the OS and generally running a Linux box. Monitoring security email lists is important, and people should really monitor key upstream lists (e.g. Apache and Perl) in case there's an important vulnerability that the distributor takes time to fix. Following the TWikiSecurityAlerts is a lot easier than following alerts for multiple packages.

I think what's needed is some description of the various VPS's control panels, pre-configured setup, etc, so that people can go for the best ones and only use the 'you get a basic VPS box' ones with their eyes open - for example, Slice, which you recommended and I looked at a while back, does not have a control panel at all, so my statements are correct for them and probably other VPS providers.

I am all for people learning to administer a Linux server if that's what they want to do, but they need to know what they are getting into and what tools or setup is going to simplify this for them. Otherwise we'll have some unhappy people with half-working or even compromised TWiki servers on VPS hosts. The average person getting into Ubuntu for desktop use knows nothing about Linux and has to play around for quite a bit using GUI tools and minimal command line - the idea of dumping them into server admin is quite scary unless the tools provided are very good and complete.

Probably it's best to leave the intro section on shared hosting and VPSs here but spin off the table and other discussion into a separate page - I can see the content being as big as this page.

-- RichardDonkin - 16 Mar 2008

TWiki and web hosting site "script installers"

Does anyone know of any shared web hosting sites that include a script installer for TWiki? I've done a little looking around (at free web hosting sites), and haven't seen any.

Would it help with TWiki adoption if someone did create a "script" to get a script installer to work with TWiki? (I'm not volunteering, I doubt I could do it any time soon.)

Names of some script installers:

  • Fantastico
  • Zantastico
  • Quicko
  • Elefante
  • Simple <scripts> (on HostMon)
  • there may be more--quite a few shared web hosting sites mention a script installer without mentioning the name
Also, SiteGround may support TWiki on the Fantastico script installer--they mention that they use Fantastico, and, iiuc, they will install TWiki, but it is not clear that they install TWiki using Fantastico.

Also, I have searched twiki.org for "script installer" but the two hits I got here were related to installation of plugins on a TWiki install, not installing TWiki on a web hosting site.

Aside: I know this doesn't belong here, but on the edit page why does the link to "help" near the "Force new revision" checkbox open this page in a new window? I would have expected it to explain the "Force new revision" checkbox.

I'm a little concerned that my comments were masked by the recent server change, so I guess what I'm doing is "bumping" this, even though I usually don't like that term or action. Sorry!

-- RandyKramer - 25 Aug 2008

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