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Build Contrib

This topic is supplementary documentation for installing extensions that have been packaged using the BuildContrib. It provides additional information about the extension installation process, and describes how to configure access to extra extensions repositories.

TWiki extensions packaged using the BuildContrib are shipped with an automatically generated installer script. This script can be used from the command-line, or invoked from the TWiki configure interface, to install an extension.

Installing from the command-line

  • The installing user has to have permission to write to all areas of your installation for this to work.
  • The webserver user must be able to read all files that the installing user creates.
  • Just download the <module>_installer perl script, and run it.

Installing from configure

  • The webserver user has to have permission to write to all areas of your installation.

What the installer script does

  • Automatically resolve dependencies. It will automatically install additional TWiki extensions and CPAN modules as required.
  • Copy files into the right places in your local install (even if you have renamed some of the data directories),
  • Check in new versions of any installed files that have existing RCS histories files in your existing install (such as topics). This means local changes to these topics are never lost.


Any required CPAN modules will be installed as the user running the installer script, using the perl -MCPAN install command. If this user doesn't have permission to install to system directories (this is typical if they are not an admin), then you can create a private CPAN installation area for them, as described in HowToInstallCpanModules.

Connecting to alternative extensions repositories (TWiki 4.2 and later only)

By default the only extensions repository searched is the Plugins web on TWiki.org. You can add other third-party extensions repositories.

To add an extensions repository to the search path for configure

  1. Open configure
  2. Click on "Yes, I've read all the documentation"
  3. Open the 'Extensions' tab
  4. Follow the instructions for the {ExtensionsRepositories} setting

Picking up extensions from a directory

You can also make the installer script look in a local directory on your server for .zip and/or .tgz files for extensions. This can be useful when you don't have a permanent internet connect, and want to download all the available extensions to your server for later installation.

The environment variable TWIKI_PACKAGES can be set to point to a directory on the server, and the installer will try to get archives from there, before trying to download them.

TWIKI_PACKAGES is actually a path; you can list several directories separated by :

Manual Installation

If you have problems using the automatic installer script, then you can still install manually from the command-line:
  1. Download and unpack one of the .zip or .tgz archives to a temporary directory.
  2. Manually copy the contents across to the relevant places in your TWiki installation.
  3. Check in any installed files that have existing ,v files in your existing install (take care not to lock the files when you check in)
  4. Run configure and enable the module, if it is a plugin.
  5. Repeat from step 1 for any missing dependencies.

Contributors: CrawfordCurrie

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Topic revision: r2 - 2012-08-10 - PeterThoeny
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