• This web contains the official documentation of the TWiki Release 01-Sep-2004, code named CairoRelease. It is a read-only web for reference.
• This release is deprecated, see TWiki-6.0 for the latest release.
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TWiki Installation Guide

Installation instructions for the TWiki 01-Sep-2004 production release.

If you are reading this on your own TWiki installation, please get the latest installation guide (TWiki:TWiki.TWikiInstallationGuide), as this often has important updates to resolve installation issues.

These installation steps are based on the Apache web server on Linux. TWiki runs on other web servers and Unix systems, and should be fine with any web server and OS that meet the system requirements. Official documentation for platforms other than Linux is somewhat limited, so please check the topics listed below, they include some important tips for HP-UX, Solaris, OS/390, and many other platforms.

Standard Installation

Download the TWiki 01-Sep-2004 distribution in Unix ZIP format from http://TWiki.org/download.html. Please review the AdminSkillsAssumptions before you install TWiki.

Step 1: Create & Configure the Directories

ALERT! NOTE: If you don't have access to your Web server configuration files - for example, if you're installing on an ISP-hosted account, or you don't have administrator privileges on your intranet server - use the alternative Step 1 instead.

  • Create directory /home/httpd/twiki and unzip the TWiki distribution into this directory.
  • The twiki/bin directory of TWiki must be set as a cgi-bin directory. Add /home/httpd/twiki/bin to file httpd.conf (typcially located in /etc/httpd/) with only ExecCGI option.
  • The twiki/pub directory of TWiki must be set so that it is visible as a URL. Add /home/httpd/twiki to file httpd.conf with normal access options (copy from /home/httpd/html ).
  • Now add ScriptAlias for /twiki/bin and Alias for /twiki to file httpd.conf .
    ALERT! NOTE: The ScriptAlias must come before the Alias, otherwise, Apache will fail to correctly set up /twiki/bin/, by treating it as just another subdirectory of the /twiki/ alias.
  • The twiki/data and twiki/templates directories should be set so that they are not visible as URLs. Add them to httpd.conf with deny from all.

Example httpd.conf entries:
 ScriptAlias /twiki/bin/ "/home/httpd/twiki/bin/"
 Alias /twiki/ "/home/httpd/twiki/"
 <Directory "/home/httpd/twiki/bin">
    Options +ExecCGI
    SetHandler cgi-script
    Allow from all
 <Directory "/home/httpd/twiki/pub">
    Options FollowSymLinks +Includes
    AllowOverride None
    Allow from all
 <Directory "/home/httpd/twiki/data">
    deny from all
 <Directory "/home/httpd/twiki/templates">
    deny from all

  • Restart Apache by service httpd restart (or as appropriate to your flavor of UNIX or Linux).
  • Test that the twiki/bin directory is CGI-enabled by trying visiting it in your browser:
    • Enter the URL for the bin directory, http://yourdomain.com/twiki/bin/
    • Your settings are OK if you get a message like "Forbidden. You don't have permission to access /twiki/bin/ on this server".
    • Settings are NOT correct if you get something like "Index of /twiki/bin" - recheck your httpd.conf file.

Aletrnative Step 1: Create & Configure the Directories for Non-Root Accounts

To install TWiki on a system where you don't have Unix/Linux root (administrator) privileges, for example, on a hosted Web account or an intranet server administered by someone else:

  • Download and unzip TWiki on your local PC
  • Using the table below, create a directory structure on your host server
  • Upload the TWiki files by FTP (transfer as text except for the image files in pub)
TWiki dir: What it is: Where to copy: Example:
twiki start-up pages root TWiki dir /home/smith/twiki/
twiki/bin CGI bin CGI-enabled dir /home/smith/twiki/bin
twiki/lib library files same level as twiki/bin /home/smith/twiki/lib
twiki/pub public files htdoc enabled dir /home/smith/twiki/pub
twiki/data topic data dir secure from public access /home/smith/twiki/data
twiki/templates web templates dir secure from public access /home/smith/twiki/templates

Note: Don't worry if you are not able to put the twiki/lib directory at the same level as the twiki/bin directory (e.g. because CGI bin directories can't be under your home directory and you don't have root access). You can create this directory elsewhere and configure the /twiki/bin/setlib.cfg file (done in Step 3)

Step 2: Set File Permissions

  • Make sure Perl 5 and the Perl CGI library are installed on your system. The default location of Perl is /usr/bin/perl. If it's elsewhere, change the path to Perl in the first line of each script in the twiki/bin directory, or create a symbolic link from /usr/bin/perl.
      • On ISP-hosted accounts (and some intranet servers), Perl CGI scripts may require a .cgi extension to run. Some systems need .pl, the regular Perl extension. Rename all twiki/bin scripts if necessary.
      • Alternatively, you might try creating a file twiki/bin/.htaccess that contains the single line SetHandler cgi-script, which tells Apache to treat all files in this directory as CGI scripts.
  • Set the file permission of all Perl scripts in the twiki/bin directory as executable to -rwxr-xr-x (755).
  • To be able to edit the Perl scripts and .tmpl files it is necessary to chown and chgrp -R twiki so all the files have the owner you want.
  • HELP This Guide assumes user nobody ownership for all files manipulated by the CGI scripts (executed by the Web server), and user twiki for all other files. You can:
    • replace nobody with another user if your server executes scripts under a different name (ex: default for Debian is www-data).
      • TIP HINT: Run the testenv script from your browser: http://yourdomain.com/twiki/bin/testenv. It will show you the user name of the CGI scripts, a table listing all CGI environment variables, and a test of your twiki/lib/TWiki.cfg configuration file (you'll configure that in a minute).
    • replace user twiki with your own username
  • Set permissions manually.
    • Set the permission of all files below twiki/data so that they are writable by user nobody. A simple way is to chmod them to -rw-rw-r-- (664) and to chown them to nobody.
    • Set the permission of the twiki/data directory and its subdirectories so that files in there are writable by user nobody. A simple way is to chmod them to drwxrwxr-x (775) and to chown them to nobody.
    • Set the permission of the twiki/pub directory and all its subdirectories so that files in there are writable by user nobody. A simple way is to chmod them to drwxrwxr-x (775) and to chown them to nobody.
    • HELP The twiki/data/*/*.txt,v RCS repository files in the installation package are locked by user nobody. If your CGI scripts are not running as user nobody, it's not possible to check in files (you'll see that the revision number won't increase after saving a topic). In this case, you need to unlock all repository files (check the RCS man pages) and lock them with a different user, such as www-data, or delete them all - new files will be automatically created the first time each topic is edited. You have two options to change ownership of the RCS lock user:
      • Run the testenv script from your browser; in the Fix line you can relock all the rcs files (recommended)
      • Alternatively, run this in your shell:
        cd twiki/data
        find . -name ,v -exec perl -pi~ -e '$. <= 10 && s/nobody:/www-data:/ ' {} \;
        This will create
        ,v~ backup files which you should remove after verification:
        find . -name *,v~ -exec rm -f {} \;

Step 3: Edit the Configuration Files

  • Edit the file /twiki/bin/setlib.cfg
    • Set $twikiLibPath to the absolute file path of your /twiki/lib as seen by the web server.
    • ALERT! Attention: Do not leave it as a relative "../lib" path or Plugins might fail to initialize properly
    • You can also edit $localPerlLibPath if you are not root and need to install additional CPAN modules, but can't update the main Perl installation files on the server. Just set this variable to the full pathname to your local lib directory, typically under your home directory.
    • ALERT! Attention: If you are running TWiki on Apache 2.0 on Unix you might experience cgi scripts to hang forever. This is a known Apache 2.0 bug. See details and woraround in the setlib.cfg file.
  • Edit the file twiki/lib/TWiki.cfg, setting the variables to your needs.
    • Set the file extension in the $scriptSuffix variable to cgi or pl if required.
    • RCS - revision control system to store revision of topics and attachments. You can use RCS executables or a version of RCS written in Perl, note that as the time of writing (Apr 2002) the Perl version has not been widely tested, so if you want to put up a live site the RCS executables are recommended.
      • Set $storeTopicImpl = "RcsWrap"; for the RCS executables and make sure RCS is installed. Set $rcsDir in twiki/lib/TWiki.cfg to match the location of your RCS binaries. You can check this by issuing the command rcs at the prompt, it should result in something like "rcs: no input file".
        • Check that you have GNU diff, by typing diff -v - an error indicates you have a non-GNU diff, so install the GNU diffutils package and make sure that diff is on the PATH used by TWiki (see $safeEnvPath in the TWiki.cfg file).
      • Set $storeTopicImpl = "RcsLite"; for the Perl based RCS
  • Security issue: Directories twiki/data , twiki/templates and all their subdirectories should be set so that they are not visible through URLs. (Alternatively, move the directories to a place where they are not visible, and change the variables in twiki/lib/TWiki.cfg accordingly)
  • Test your settings by running the testenv script from your browser: http://yourdomain.com/twiki/bin/testenv. Check if your twiki/lib/TWiki.cfg configuration file settings are correct.

Step 4: Internationalisation Setup (Optional)

By default, TWiki is configured to support US ASCII letters (no accents) in WikiWords, and ISO-8859-1 (Western European) characters in page contents. If that's OK for you, skip this step.

If your Wiki will be used by non-English speakers, TWiki can be configured for Internationalisation ('I' followed by 18 letters, then 'N', or I18N). Specifically, TWiki will support suitable accented characters in WikiWords (as well as languages such as Japanese or Chinese in which WikiWords do not apply), and will support virtually any character set in the contents of pages. NOTE: TWiki does not currently support UTF-8, so you are advised not to use this - however, improved UTF-8 support is under development, see TWiki:Codev/ProposedUTF8SupportForI18N.

To configure internationalisation suppport:

  1. Edit the TWiki.cfg file's Internationalisation section to set the $useLocale parameter to 1. TWiki will now use the I18N parameters set in the rest of this section.
  2. Type the Unix/Linux command locale -a to find a suitable 'locale' for your use of TWiki. A locale that includes a dot followed by a character set is recommended, e.g. pl_PL.ISO-8859-2 for Poland. Consult your system administrator if you are not sure which locale to use.
  3. In TWiki.cfg, set the $siteLocale parameter to your chosen locale, e.g. pl_PL.ISO-8859-2 for Poland.
  4. Check your setup using testenv (download the latest testenv from TWiki:Support/SupportGuidelines if possible) - this provides some diagnostics for I18N setup, and in particular checks that your locale can be used successfully.
  5. (For upgrade of TWiki I18N sites only:) If you were using TWiki:Codev.TWikiRelease01Feb2003 support for I18N, and are using Internet Explorer or Opera, you should re-configure your browser so that it sends URLs encoded with UTF-8 (supported since TWiki:Codev.TWikiRelease01Sep2004). If you are doing a new installation of TWiki, you can ignore this step - no browser reconfiguration is needed for TWiki Release 01-Sep-2004).
    • Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher: in Tools | Options | Advanced, check 'always send URLs as UTF-8', then close all IE windows and restart IE.
    • Opera 6.x or higher: in Preferences | Network | International Web Addresses, check 'encode all addresses with UTF-8'.
    • NOTE: This does not mean that TWiki supports UTF-8 as a site character set.
  6. Try out your TWiki by creating pages in the Sandbox web that use international characters in WikiWords and checking that searching, WebIndex, Ref-By and other features are working OK.

Trouble with I18N?

If international characters in WikiWords do not seem to work, and you are on Perl 5.6 or higher, you may need to set the TWiki.cfg parameter $localeRegexes to 0 - this disables some features but enables TWiki to work even if your system has locales that do not work. Then, set the $upperNational and $lowerNational parameters to the valid upper and lower case accented letters for your locale.

  • NOTE: You will need to do the above workaround for Windows based servers (whether using Cygwin or ActiveState Perl), since Perl locales are not working on Windows as of Feb 2004.

If international characters in WikiWords aren't working, and you are on Perl 5.005 with working locales, keep $useLocale set to 1 and set $localeRegexes to 0, then set $upperNational and $lowerNational - if testenv generates the lists of characters for you, your locales are working so there is no need to set $localeRegexes to 0 in this case. See the comments in TWiki.cfg for more information.

Step 5: Configure Site-Wide Email Preferences

  • Edit the TWikiPreferences topic in the TWiki06x00 web (by pointing your browser to http://yourdomain.com/twiki/bin/view/TWiki06x00/TWikiPreferences) to set the WIKIWEBMASTER email address, and other email settings required for registration and WebChangesAlert to work:
    • WIKIWEBMASTER should be set to the email address of the TWiki administrator
    • SMTPMAILHOST is typically set on Windows or other non-Unix/Linux systems, where sendmail or similar is not available. When this is set and the Perl module Net::SMTP is installed, TWiki will connect to this SMTP server (e.g. mail.yourdomain.com) to send email for user registration and WebChangesAlerts. If you do have a sendmail-type program, leave SMTPMAILHOST unset so that the external sendmail program is used instead (defined by $mailProgram in TWiki.cfg).
    • SMTPSENDERHOST is optional, and set to the domain name sending the email (e.g. twiki.yourdomain.com). For use where the SMTP server requires that you identify the TWiki server sending mail. If not set, Net::SMTP will guess it for you.
  • You may want to set up other TWikiPreferences later on.
  • To enable the WebChangesAlerts (email notifications) you need to read about cron in the topic TWikiSiteTools.

Step 6: Finish Up from Your Browser

  • Point your Web browser at http://yourdomain.com/twiki/bin/view and start TWiki-ing away!
    • TIP Or, point to http://yourdomain.com/twiki/ to get the pre-TWiki index.html page, with a link to the view script. Customize this page if you want a public intro screen with a login link, instead of immediately calling up the .htaccess login dialog by going directly to view.
  • Edit the WebPreferences topic in each web, if necessary: set individual WEBCOPYRIGHT messages, and other preferences.
  • Enable email notification of topic changes - TWikiSiteTools has more.
  • Edit the WebNotify topic in all webs and add the users you want to notify.
  • Add the TWiki:Main/PoweredByTWikiLogo to your Main.WebHome topic.
  • You can add new %VARIABLES%. Define site-level variables in the TWikiPreferences topic. See also: TWikiVariables.

That's it for the standard installation of TWiki. Read on for server-level customization options.

Additional Server-Level Options

With your new TWiki installation up and running, you can manage most aspects of your site from the browser interface. Only a few functions require access to the server file system, via Telnet or FTP. You can make these server-level changes during installation, and at any time afterwards.

Enabling Authentication of Users

  • If TWiki is installed on a non-authenticated server - not using SSL - and you'd like to authenticate users:
    1. Rename file .htaccess.txt in the twiki/bin directory to .htaccess and change it to your needs. The comment at the top of the file explains what need to be done, basically replace !FILE_path_to_TWiki! and !URL_path_to_TWiki! with paths specific to your installation. For the details of how this file works, consult the HTTP server documentation (for Apache server: [1], [2]).
      • ALERT! NOTE: If you had to add a .cgi or .pl file extension to the bin scripts, make sure to do the same for edit, view, preview, and all the other script names in .htaccess.
      • HELP The browser should ask for login name and password when you click on the Edit link. In case .htaccess does not have the desired effect, you need to enable it: Add "AllowOverride All" to the Directory [3] section of access.conf for your twiki/bin directory.
        • This applies only if you have root access: on hosted accounts, you shouldn't have this problem - otherwise, email tech support.
      • ALERT! NOTE: In the TWiki distribution package, the twiki/data/.htpasswd.txt file contains several TWiki core team user accounts and a guest user account. You probably want to remove those accounts by deleting the entries in .htpasswd. Do not remove the guest user if you want to allow guest logins.
    2. TWiki now supports several Password file format/encoding methods for Apache. Once you know what method is used by your Appache server, you can configure TWiki to create compatible .htpasswd entries by editing the $htpasswdFormatFamily, $htpasswdEncoding and $htpasswdFilename in the TWiki.cfg file. The supported options are htpasswd:plain, htpasswd:crypt, htpasswd:sha1, htdigest:md5
    3. Copy the TWikiRegistrationPub topic to TWikiRegistration, overwriting old version of TWikiRegistration. Do that by either editing the topics in theTWiki06x00 web, or by renaming the .txt and .txt,v files in the twiki/data/TWiki06x00 directory.
  • Customization:
    • You can customize the registration form by deleting or adding input tags. The name="" parameter of the input tags must start with: "Twk0..." (if this is an optional entry), or "Twk1..." (if this is a required entry). This ensures that the fields are carried over into the user home page correctly.
    • You can customize the default user home page in NewUserTemplate. The same variables get expanded as in the template topics
  • Register yourself in the TWikiRegistration topic.
    • ALERT! NOTE: When a user registers, a new line with the username and encrypted password is added to the data/.htpasswd file. The .htpasswd file that comes with the TWiki installation includes user accounts for TWiki core team members that are used for testing on TWiki.org. You can edit the file and delete those lines.
  • Create a new topic to check if authentication works.
  • Edit the TWikiAdminGroup topic in the TWiki:Main web to include users with system administrator status.
  • Edit the TWikiPreferences topic in the TWiki:TWiki06x00 web to set access privileges.
  • Edit the WebPreferences topic in each web, if necessary: set access priviliges.


At this time, TWiki does not ship with an "what you see is what you get" editor. TWiki:Codev/IntegrateHtmlAreaEditor describes how to integrate an HTML editor.

ALERT! NOTE: User home topics are located in the TWiki.Main web - don't try to move them or create them in other webs. From any other web, user signatures have to point to TWiki.Main web, using a Main.UserName or %MAINWEB%.UserName format. (The %MAINWEB% variable is an advantage if you ever change the Main web name, but the standard Main.UserName is easier for users to enter, which is the bottom line!)

TWiki File System Info

See Appendix A: TWiki File System for an installed system snapshot and descriptions of all files in the TWiki 01-Sep-2004 distribution.

-- TWiki:Main/PeterThoeny - 29 Aug 2004
-- TWiki:Main/MikeMannix - 16 May 2002

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Topic revision: r62 - 2004-08-31 - PeterThoeny
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