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TWiki VM (Virtual Machine) to TWiki WP (Windows Personal)


This page is to outline a conversion process of a TWiki installation using TWikiVMDebianStable (ie, TWiki VM) to TWikiForWindowsPersonal (ie, TWiki WP).


This assumes that you have a working VM that you want to be more portable for personal use or for reference (to use on a CD or DVD for example1). While it will probably be more likely that a future user will be converting a Windows Personal (WP) installation to a Virtual Machine (VM) installation (to allow for sessions, multiple users, network use, etc), this page is being created first because TWikiForWindowsPersonal was created after TWikiVMDebianStable, which to this point in time has been the easiest hassle-free way to get TWiki running on Windows. Some people may want to try and port a VM setup over to WP to improve usability and decrease overhead which is extensive with TWikiVMDebianStable: About 1.25Gb disk space plus 20Mb for VMware services plus however much RAM is allocated to the VM to make it run smoothly--which can be a lot--plus the installation process of VMware server or player.

A similar article to this one detailing a TWikiForWindowsPersonal conversion process to TWikiVMDebianStable would be here: TWikiWPtoTWikiVM


The default folder shares for TWikiVMDebianStable are the \\root folder and the \\twiki folder. The twiki folder will be referred to below as VM \twiki.

For the WP installation there are two twiki folders, \twiki, which is a generic folder for everything and \twiki\twiki, which does not encapsulate other web-server related items. The \twiki\twiki folder will be referred to as WP \twiki\twiki, and typically corresponds with VM \twiki.

Conversion Steps

WP Installation and Setup

  • Download the WP zip file (see TWikiForWindowsPersonal)
  • Unzip in a folder that can be accessed as root
  • Delete the data folder at WP \twiki\twiki\data, replace with a copy of VM \twiki\data
  • Delete the pub folder at WP \twiki\htdocs\pub, replace with a copy of VM \twiki\pub
  • Create a folder named backup in WP \twiki\
  • Move lib folder at WP \twiki\lib to WP \twiki\backup\lib
  • Copy VM \twiki\lib to WP \twiki\lib
  • Now move lib folder at WP \twiki\backup\lib, back to WP \twiki\lib (and remove backup folder when done)
    • This double copy gets everything needed (specifically plugins) but keeps the other files in \twiki\lib that come with WP2
  • Run the run.bat from WP \twiki
  • Click the Start Twiki link on the WP home page -- Note: It may not look right yet... continue until configuration is complete

  • Run the configure script: Replace the URL portion .../cgi-bin/view.pl/... with .../cgi-bin/configure.pl/

Configure Options

  • Under General Path Settings
    • Change {DefaultUrlHost} from 8000 to 8765 (just one less configuration warning3)

To use as a particular user with a personalized side bar available...

  • Under Security Setup > Authentication
    • Change {LoginManager} to Twiki:Client:TemplateLogin (from None) if you want to have a personalized side bar available
    • Set {DefaultUserLogin} to ParticularUser (from “guest”)
    • Set {DefaultUserWikiName} to ParticularUser (from “TWikiGuest”)
  • Under Security Setup > Passwords
    • Change {PasswordManager} to None

  • Enable Plugins:
    • Make sure all plugins on the VM installation appear
    • Enable the plugins


  • Run the run.bat from WP \twiki
  • Click the Start Twiki link on the WP home page
  • The WP installation using tinyweb should now be serving up pages identical to the much larger VM, with highly reduced overhead


  1. I haven't tried the TWikiForWindowsPersonal burned on a CD yet but I'm guessing it will work
  2. There's probably a better way to do this, this is just what seemed to work.
  3. This will likely get changed in the TWiki WP distribution and be unnecessary in the future

-- Contributors: JoshuaJohnston - 31 Dec 2006


Thanks Joshua for documenting this. Yes, it is useful to have a a document to do the reverse at some point.

-- PeterThoeny - 01 Jan 2007

I don't think TWikiVMDebianStable is quite as resource intensive as is claimed here - it used about 90 to 160 MB of RAM on my laptop, which is similar to Firefox, Outlook, etc (see TWikiVMDebianStable and TWikiVMComments for summary and discussion). The main resource issue is disk space, a gigabyte is not a big deal on typical modern PCs that often have tens of GB free disk space, when you get really quick installation in return.

The benefits of using the TWiki VM are of course very rapid installation (TWiki WP seems to be almost as good here), along with full support for InternationalisationEnhancements (not possible with non-VM approaches on Windows with current TWiki I18N code), good performance through SpeedyCGI, and some additional pre-installed plugins. Even without SpeedyCGI, early versions of TWiki VM were faster than running on Windows CGI, because Linux does CGI process creation (fork) much faster than Windows.

As for the migration process - unsure why you are copying lib across, as this is specific to the TWiki version within TWiki VM, which is probably different to the version used in TWiki WP. Better to only copy across the data, pub and any customized templates or translations etc, and to copy any specific plugin directories across (assuming they work in the TWiki WP version). Copying TWiki content from one server to another is something of a FAQ, would be good if there was a specific topic on this.

-- RichardDonkin - 02 Jan 2007

My resource estimates were in comparing the VM and WP installations if you are only using the VM was a personal copy anyway on a memory key or portable hard disk drive. Thus the overhead numbers are significantly reduced from ~1.3Gb to ~40Mb hdd usage, and ~(110Mb - 160Mb) to ~3Mb ram usage. Those were the approximate numbers for my installations anyway.

Regarding the lib directory, you're right--It would be best just to copy the specific files needed, except I didn't know which ones were needed, thus old stuff + new stuff overwrite = working plugins and installation.

I also agree that a FAQ would be nice (and that maybe this content should go in the FAQ) regarding how to transfer content between servers.

-- JoshuaJohnston - 02 Jan 2007

My point was not that TWiki VM has lower overhead than WP (it doesn't), but that the overhead doesn't matter much on modern PCs. If you are installing on PCs with 128 or 256 MB RAM or less, than WP is a good fit, particularly if the installation can be made zero-effort and full I18N, but I'm not sure if WP is there yet.

I'm all for seeing faster and easier ways of installing TWiki, particularly if they can be done using flash drive or to hard disk, so I'm happy to see WP developing fast.

-- RichardDonkin - 03 Jan 2007

"Delete the data folder at WP \twiki\twiki\data, replace with a copy of VM \twiki\data"

Actually, I wonder how?? When I look inside my TWiki-VM-5.0 folder, I only find files for the VM-Player... frown There is no folder called twiki or root. Please, can somebody help me?

-- ChristinaFeist - 2011-08-09

The directory structure of TWikiVMDebianStable (older TWiki on Debian) and DownloadTWikiVM (TWiki-5.0 on CentOS) are different. TWiki-5.0 on CentOS is located at /var/www/twiki.

-- PeterThoeny - 2011-08-09

I'm using VM on Debian. The TWiki folder includes only "Virtual VMX files". There is nothing such as var/www/twiki.... I tried to type in my browser something like: I get "Not Found"...

-- ChristinaFeist - 2011-08-09

You need to login as root to the virtual machine using ssh.

-- PeterThoeny - 2011-08-09

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Topic revision: r9 - 2011-08-09 - PeterThoeny
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