Dokuwiki Setup on Debian/Ubuntu – The Easy Guide

DokuWiki Setup is a simple guide to setup DokuWiki on Debian (or Ubuntu). However, you can use the following instructions on every Linux server (with small changes).

DokuWiki is the ideal wiki for (technical) documentation, hence the name “dokuwiki”. It is created by Andreas Gohr.

DokuWiki is written in PHP. A web server is required. In this tutorial I use Apache. I will set up a demo wiki with the “name” wiki.example.com.

You will love DokuWiki! Here is why:

  • 10 minutes setup
  • Simple, fast, lightweight
  • Feature-rich. It supports plugins
  • No database is required (it uses flat files)
  • Easy backup (just copy the directory)
  • Excellent documentation
  • Open-source, free
  • Great community

Download

Go to https://download.dokuwiki.org and select:

  • Version: Stable
  • Language
  • Recommended plugins: Upgrade and Gallery

Then Press the Download button. You will get a file with name like:

dokuwiki-1cfaeec3c07f3ccf64d46cb038040184.tgz
Download DokuWiki
Download DokuWiki

Web Server Setup

Read DokuWiki System Requirements here.

Apache requirements

Mod_rewrite must be enabled

sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

PHP requirements

PHP 7 is recommended. PHP extensions required:

sudo apt-get install php-mbstring php-xml php-gd

Apache setup

Create a directory in Apache document root, for example /var/www/html/wiki and unpack there the downloaded file:

cd /var/www/html
sudo tar xpvf dokuwiki-1cfaeec3c07f3ccf64d46cb038040184.tgz

The above command will create a directory dokuwiki. Rename it using any name you want, in my case

sudo mv dokuwiki wiki

Make the following changes to Apache setup

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/wiki.conf

Add the following

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName  wiki.example.com
    ServerAdmin you@your-email.com

    DocumentRoot /var/www/html/wiki

    <Directory /var/www/html/wiki>
        Options -Indexes +FollowSymLinks -MultiViews
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
    </Directory>

    <LocationMatch "/(data|conf|bin|inc|vendor)/">
        Require all denied
    </LocationMatch>

    ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/wiki.example.com_error.log
    LogLevel warn
    CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/wiki.example.com_access.log combined
</VirtualHost>

Directives in line 13 are mentioned in detail here.

Enable your wiki website:

sudo a2ensite wiki.conf

Restart Apache:

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Secure your wiki

This step is optional but strongly recommended for public wikis. Add an SSL certificate to your wiki for free, using the amazing Let’s Encrypt.

Apache Mod_ssl must be enabled

sudo a2enmod ssl
sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Let’s Encrypt certbot is available in Debian 10 repos. Instructions here. All instructions here.

sudo apt-get install certbot python-certbot-apache

Then, the only thing you have to do is:

sudo certbot --authenticator webroot --installer apache -d wiki.example.com

(of course you have to give your real domain and not wiki.example.com).

Now, you can access your wiki at: https://wiki.example.com

Permissions

Read about the required file permissions here.

Make the following changes:

cd /var/www/html/wiki

sudo chown -R www-data data/
sudo chmod -R 775 data/
sudo chown -R www-data lib/plugins/
sudo chown -R www-data lib/tpl/
sudo chmod 755 lib/
sudo chown -R www-data conf/

cd data/

sudo chmod 2775 {attic,cache,index,locks,media,meta,pages,tmp}
sudo chown www-data {attic,cache,index,locks,media,meta,pages,tmp}

Install

Run the DokuWiki Installer. Point your browser to

https://wiki.example.com/install.php

Make the desired changes and click SAVE

Dokuwiki Setup on Debian/Ubuntu - The Easy Guide
DokuWiki Installer

After pressing the SAVE button, you will get the message:

The configuration was finished successfully. You may delete the install.php file now. Continue to your new DokuWiki.

cd /var/www/html/wiki
sudo rm install.php

Customize your wiki

Configuration settings

DokuWiki is highly configurable. Details here.

Login with the credentials you gave in the previous step and press the Admin link. You will see the Administration panel. Now press the link Configuration settings.

Make the following changes and press SAVE

Display
breadcrumbs0
youareherecheck it
maxseclevel5
useheadingAlways
Links
target»interwiki_blank
target»extern_blank
Syndication (RSS)
sitemap7
rss_typeRSS 2.0
Advanced
userewrite.htaccess
useslashcheck it

.htaccess

You need an .htaccess file to support Nice URLs. First copy the default file

cd /var/www/html/wiki
sudo cp .htaccess.dist .htaccess

Edit .htaccess

sudo nano .htaccess

and make the following changes

## You should disable Indexes and MultiViews either here or in the
## global config. Symlinks maybe needed for URL rewriting.
#Options -Indexes -MultiViews +FollowSymLinks

## make sure nobody gets the htaccess, README, COPYING or VERSION files
<Files ~ "^([\._]ht|README$|VERSION$|COPYING$)">
    <IfModule mod_authz_core.c>
        Require all denied
    </IfModule>
    <IfModule !mod_authz_core.c>
        Order allow,deny
        Deny from all
    </IfModule>
</Files>

## Don't allow access to git directories
<IfModule alias_module>
    RedirectMatch 404 /\.git
</IfModule>

## Uncomment these rules if you want to have nice URLs using
## $conf['userewrite'] = 1 - not needed for rewrite mode 2
RewriteEngine on
#
RewriteRule ^_media/(.*)              lib/exe/fetch.php?media=$1  [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^_detail/(.*)             lib/exe/detail.php?media=$1  [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^_export/([^/]+)/(.*)     doku.php?do=export_$1&amp;id=$2  [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^$                        doku.php  [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}       !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME}       !-d
RewriteRule (.*)                      doku.php?id=$1  [QSA,L]
RewriteRule ^index.php$               doku.php
#
## Not all installations will require the following line.  If you do,
## change "/dokuwiki" to the path to your dokuwiki directory relative
## to your document root.
#RewriteBase /dokuwiki
RewriteBase /
#
## If you enable DokuWikis XML-RPC interface, you should consider to
## restrict access to it over HTTPS only! Uncomment the following two
## rules if your server setup allows HTTPS.
#RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
#RewriteRule ^lib/exe/xmlrpc.php$      https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

Install (and update) plugins

You can easily install, update or uninstall plugins using:

Admin ➙ Extension Manager

Available plugins: https://www.dokuwiki.org/plugins

Recommended plugins:

Upgrade your wiki

Each time you log in, you will see notification if new version is available.

Upgrade your DokuWiki using:

Admin ➙ Additional Plugins ➙ Wiki Upgrade

ATTENTION: ensure that you have upgraded DokuWiki Upgrade Plugin (using Extension Manager) before you try to upgrade DokuWiki.

REMARK: install.php must be available during upgrade, so

cd /var/www/html/wiki
touch install.php
chown www-data install.php

You can delete it after upgrade.

Additionally index.php must be writable. So:

chown www-data index.php

DokuWiki and SEO

If you have a public wiki with its own domain, you have to register your site to various Webmaster Tools. The most important are Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster, and Yandex Webmaster.

You may use the Webmaster Plugin to add meta tags for verification. The most simple method is to verify site ownership by uploading a File you get from each Webmaster Tool (recommended).

More details about DokuWiki and SEO here.

Submit DokuWiki Sitemap

You can submit Dokuwiki Sitemap on Google, Bing, Yandex, etc using the URL:

https://wiki.example.com/doku.php?do=sitemap

More details about DokuWiki and Google Sitemap here.

Add Google Analytics Code to DokuWiki

You may use the plugin Google Analytics. The most simple method (recommended) is to use the DokuWiki hook meta.html.

Create a file meta.html inside main template and add the Google Analytics code in this file:

cd /var/www/html/wiki
sudo nano lib/tpl/dokuwiki/meta.html

Add the Google code. Something like this

<!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics -->
<script async src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=UA-YOUR-ID-HERE"></script>
<script>
  window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
  function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
  gtag('js', new Date());

  gtag('config', 'UA-YOUR-ID-HERE');
</script>

Remember to replace UA-YOUR-ID-HERE with your own code.

How to Track Subdomain in Google Analytics

If your DokuWiki uses a subdomain (“wiki” in this tutorial) of your main domain (“example.com” in this tutorial) you need to track subdomain traffic in Google Analytics. The easiest way is to create a new View and add a Filter to display the full URL in reports.

The official Google documentation is here.

A more detailed guide is available here.

If you prefer a video:

Your comments are welcome!


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