Welcome to the new location of Alien's Wiki, sharing a single dokuwiki install with the SlackDocs Wiki.

Welcome to Eric Hameleers (Alien BOB)'s Wiki pages.

If you want to support my work, please consider a small donation:

Setting up Alien's DokuWiki

Here's what I had to do to get the Wiki up and running. Remember that the DokuWiki has no need for a database server like MySQL. The Wiki pages, indexes and archives are stored as files below the DokuWiki root (or anyplace else if you want to separate the content from the code). This makes it ideal to install in your own home directory. You do not need any additional permissions on the webserver.

I upgraded to dokuwiki-2008-05-05 and decided to re-visit this page as well. Some of the instructions were outdated, and the section about the blog plugin has been removed, now that I use WordPress software for my new blog. The old revisions of this page still contains everything I edited away.

The DokuWiki comes with a default template which is very functional but rather bland-looking. The DokuWiki web page lists a lot of user-contributed templates, some of which are visually more appealing or functionally better. I opted for the Monobook template. This is a port from the default MediaWiki template (as seen on WikiPedia) which I find very nice looking. This template is actively developed and has many nice features, which make it even better to customize.

Installing the dokuwiki tarball

  • Download the latest and greatest DokuWiki archive at the download page. Dokuwiki comes with a clear installation and configuration pages. This paragraph will recap some of that information.
  • Unpack the tarball into your Apache DocumentRoot, change to the DocumentRoot directory (by default that is /var/www/htdocs) and create a symbolic link called dokuwiki that points to the fresh DokuWiki directory tree:
    ln -s dokuwiki-yyyy-mm-dd dokuwiki

    . If you already have a DokuWiki running, better wait with changing the symlink until you're sure you've configured and upgraded everything right.

  • Change into the DokuWiki directory and have a look around.
    The conf directory is where we will be customizing the new Wiki soon. The data directory is where all the Wiki content (pages, indexes, archives, media, cache) will be stored. If anything, your Apache webserver must be able to write there. The conf and data directories are the most important to back up regularly!
  • Create an empty logfile
    touch ./data/changes.log
  • Configuration.
    You can customize the Wiki by overriding any of the values that are found in ./conf/dokuwiki.php. Just run
    cd conf
    cp -a local.php.dist local.php

    and add any line from dokuwiki.php that you want to give a custom value.
    When you want to add user accounts and access control lists, create the two needed configuration files and edit them (or use the Admin interface of your wiki to set this up):

    cd conf
    cp -a users.auth.php.dist users.auth.php
    cp -a acl.auth.php.dist acl.auth.php

  • Finally, make sure that the webserver can read and write to your DokuWiki:
    chown -R apache:wheel .

    In this example command, I assumed that you are running your Apache as the user “apache” which is the default for Slackware, and that you have root access to the server.
    In my case on the Slackware server, I have no privileged account, so I cannot change the ownership of any files. In order to make the Wiki writable by the Apache process, I had to make the ./data directory writable for “others”:

    chmod -R o+w /path/to/dokuwiki/data

    There is also a problem with Dokuwiki's configuration manager. When you change configuration through the admin interface, the file ./conf/local.php is (re-)written, actually the current file is moved to local.php.bak and a new file is written. In this process the umask settings are not honoured and you end up with a file owned by the web server and read-only to yourself. A small patch is enough to fix this, in the file ./lib/plugins/config/settings/config.class.php at the start of function save_settings().
    This is my diff:

    --- ./lib/plugins/config/settings/config.class.php.org  2006-03-23 08:22:32.000000000 -0800
    +++ ./lib/plugins/config/settings/config.class.php      2006-03-23 08:23:37.000000000 -0800
    @@ -80,6 +80,9 @@
         function save_settings($id, $header='', $backup=true) {
    +      global $conf;
    +      umask($conf['umask']);
           if ($this->locked) return false;
           $file = eval('return '.$this->_local_file.';');

    Now, with a customized umask like $conf['umask'] = '0111'; the local.php file will have mode 666, so that even while it is owned by the webserver, you can still edit it. These are the settings I use in my Wiki (you can change these using the configuration manager on the admin page)

    $conf['dmode'] = 0777;
    $conf['fmode'] = 0666;
    $conf['umask'] = '0111';
    $conf['dmask'] = '0000';
You have to take care with the default umask and dmask settings because you will end up with lots of other files and directories that are owned by the webserver and read-only to you. This has the effect for instance, that you cannot delete the ./data/cache directories and files any longer!
  • DokuWiki comes with a plugin manager that according to the documentation is disabled by default - to enable the plugin manager, add the following line to ./conf/local.php
    $conf['pluginmanager'] = 1;              //enable automated plugin management

    For this to work, the plugin manager (i.e. efeectively the web server process) must have write access to the ./lib/plugins directory, so I also did

    chmod -R a+w ./lib/plugins

Template and plugins

Template: MonoBook

  • Get the archive file for the monobook template from Tatewake's web site. The template should match with the release of DokuWiki you've just installed. This is only an issue when there has been a major new release of DokuWiki. Usually you would just grab the most recent monobook release.
  • Unzip the archive into the DokuWiki template directory:
    unzip monobook-ddmmyyyy.zip -d /path/to/dokuwiki/lib/tpl/
  • Fix the permissions and ownership of the monobook directory tree, so that the webserver can at least read them.

Plugin: note

I use the “note” plugin for DokuWiki. This plugin displays nice informational icons in the margin, like “tip” “warning” “information” and “note”. The plugin source is available at the DokuWiki site. The initial versiondid not do what I wanted from it, plus it required you to copy the images into your template directory, and add the CSS to the template's stylesheet. So I hacked it and my changes were accepted by the plugin author, so that now the plugin is fully contained into the DokuWiki's ./lib/plugins/note/ directory.
An example of this plugin is used a bit higher up in the page (in the Installing the dokuwiki tarball section).

Plugin: keyboard

The keyboard plugin enables you to add visual clues to keypress examples. Like, Windows users often need Ctrl+Alt+Del !
This plugin automatically adds a button to the button bar of the Wiki editor. If the plugin does not show up after you reload the editor, you may have to purge the wiki's cached javascript code by visiting this link:


Plugin: displaywikipage

This plugin enables you to embed a Wiki page into any other Wiki page. It is used by the Monobook template and can be downloaded from that same website.

Plugin: referrers

The referrers plugin (also found on tatewake.com) keeps a list of visitors of the Wiki and particularly the HTTP_REFERER value the browser sends to Apache. This is what (part of) the page would look like:

Note: I needed to manually create the local_prefs.php file and fill it with defaults, or else the configuration manager would give an error when trying to save the preferences for this plugin:

touch ./lib/plugins/referrers/local_pref.php
chmod 666 ./lib/plugins/referrers/local_pref.php

and this is what the file looks like (the value for referrer-ignore was set through the configuration manager)

// This file is automatically generated
$re_settings['referrer-ignore'] = 'alien.slackbook.org/dokuwiki';
$re_settings['dontcountadmin'] = '';
$re_settings['dontcountusers'] = '';

It is required for the plugin to work as intended, to have a non-empty value for referrer-ignore!

Plugin: captcha

I needed this plugin to get rid of Wiki spammers. Before I had installed this, spammers would attack my discussion pages on a daily basis. Get it at http://www.dokuwiki.org/plugin:captcha

Plugin: odt

This plugin enables you to export any wiki page as an OpenOffice.org text document. Get it at http://www.dokuwiki.org/plugin:odt - you may have to watch out for plugins that expand the wiki syntax - such a plugin needs to be able to generate OpenOffice code. For instance, I use the note plugin, and the odt plugin editor wrote a patch for the note plugin to make it support odt. In the next section I have included a patch for the Monobook template's toolbox to make it contain an “OpenOffice export” link. I also patched the plugin so that you can define an “odt template” document which will be used as the basis for the generated .ODT document. My own template is here: wiki-template.odt. The patch I used is

diff -uarN odt.orig/conf/default.php odt/conf/default.php
--- odt.orig/conf/default.php   2008-05-07 16:20:34.000000000 +0000
+++ odt/conf/default.php        2008-11-19 16:12:34.657733978 +0000
@@ -5,3 +5,7 @@
 // Directory of the templates in the media manager
 $conf['tpl_dir'] = 'odt';
+// Leave emptyin order to not use any template
+$conf['tpl_template'] = '';
diff -uarN odt.orig/conf/metadata.php odt/conf/metadata.php
--- odt.orig/conf/metadata.php  2008-05-07 16:20:34.000000000 +0000
+++ odt/conf/metadata.php       2008-11-19 16:06:09.217839938 +0000
@@ -6,3 +6,4 @@
 $meta['tpl_dir']   = array('string');
+$meta['tpl_template']   = array('string');
diff -uarN odt.orig/renderer.php odt/renderer.php
--- odt.orig/renderer.php       2008-05-07 16:20:34.000000000 +0000
+++ odt/renderer.php    2008-11-19 16:12:15.285718568 +0000
@@ -247,7 +247,11 @@
      * Closes the document
     function document_end(){
-        if ($this->template) { // template chosen
+        if (empty($this->template)) { // if no template chosen in current page, get default template from config
+            $this->template=$this->getConf("tpl_template");
+        }
+        if (!empty($this->template)) { // template chosen
             if (file_exists(DOKU_INC.'data/media/'.$this->getConf("tpl_dir")."/".$this->template)) { //template found
             } else { // template chosen but not found : warn the user and use the default template

and then you can define a template in the wiki's configuration manager.

Tuning the look and feel

  • The default bitmap that comes with DokuWiki (the one you see in the top left of every page) did not fit with the look and feel I wanted for my site. So I used the “blue orb” version of the Slackware “S” logo I found at KDE-look because that one is transparent and the blue “S” logo on the Slackware web site was not (and the orb is much nicer to look at).
    I ran these commands to download it and convert it to a 128×128 pixel bitmap:
    wget http://www.kde-look.org/content/pre1/11377-1.png
    convert 11377-1.png -resize 128x128 blueorb_128.png
    cat blueorb_128.png > /path/to/dokuwiki/lib/tpl/monobook-yyyy-dmm-dd/user/logo.png

    Note that the monobook template redefines the location of the site's logo bitmap. The default bitmap for dokuwiki is ./data/media/wiki/dokuwiki-128.png

  • I added my own links to the “navigation” and “toolbox” boxes on the left. The “navigation” box actually is a separate wiki page, it's location is defined in the monobook section in the wiki's configuration manager. I liked the old php array better, but o well… The “toolbox” is actually hard-coded into lib/tpl/monobook-yyyy-mm-dd/context.php and still uses the php array. I added a few items to the default toolbox:
    --- context.php.orig    2008-07-30 03:49:22.000000000 +0000
    +++ context.php 2008-09-26 14:40:39.377450051 +0000
    @@ -357,6 +357,14 @@
     $monobook['defaulttoolbox']['whatlinkshere']['text'] = $lang['monobook_whatlinkshere'];
     $monobook['defaulttoolbox']['whatlinkshere']['rel'] = "nofollow";
    +$monobook['defaulttoolbox']['related']['href'] = DOKU_BASE."doku.php?id=".$ID."&amp;do=recent";
    +$monobook['defaulttoolbox']['related']['text'] = "Related changes";
    +$monobook['defaulttoolbox']['related']['rel'] = "nofollow";
    +$monobook['defaulttoolbox']['wikisyn']['href'] = DOKU_BASE."doku.php?id=wiki:syntax";
    +$monobook['defaulttoolbox']['wikisyn']['text'] = "Wiki syntax";
    +$monobook['defaulttoolbox']['wikisyn']['rel'] = "nofollow";
     $monobook['defaulttoolbox']['upload']['href'] = DOKU_BASE."lib/exe/mediamanager.php?ns=".getNS($ID);
     $monobook['defaulttoolbox']['upload']['text'] = $lang['monobook_upload'];
     $monobook['defaulttoolbox']['upload']['rel'] = "nofollow";
    @@ -391,4 +399,12 @@
     $monobook['defaulttoolbox']['cite']['text'] = $lang['monobook_cite'];
     $monobook['defaulttoolbox']['cite']['rel'] = "nofollow";
    \ No newline at end of file
    +if (isset($_REQUEST['rev']))
    +   $monobook['defaulttoolbox']['odt']['href'] = exportlink($ID."&amp;rev=".$requestREV, 'odt');
    +    $monobook['defaulttoolbox']['odt']['href'] = exportlink($ID, 'odt');
    +$monobook['defaulttoolbox']['odt']['text'] = "OpenOffice export";
    +$monobook['defaulttoolbox']['odt']['rel'] = "nofollow";
  • To silence Apache in it's error_log, I also copied a favicon.ico file to the DokuWiki image library:
    cp /path/to/documentroot/favicon.ico /path/to/dokuwiki/lib/images/

Adding an editor toolbar button

The editor toolbar is the array of buttons that is displayed after you open a Wiki page in edit mode (“edit this page”). It can help you inserting markup tags like italic, bold, hyperlinks, images etc… comfortably.
I missed a toolbar button for quickly inserting <code></code> tags. This is what is needed to add such a button to the toolbar:

  • Create a toolbar button (dimension 16×16 pixels) and call it “code.png” This is the resulting bitmap: [code.png]
  • Copy the newly created “code.png” button image to ./lib/images/toolbar/
  • Add this array element for the new button to the file ./inc/toolbar.php:
                'type'   => 'format',
                'title'  => $lang['qb_syntax'],
                'icon'   => 'code.png',
                'key'    => 's',
                'open'  => '<code>',
                'close'   => '</code>',
  • Add this text to the english language file inc/lang/en/lang.php (for other languages the corresponding texts have not yet been updated):
    $lang['qb_syntax']  = 'Syntax Code';

    And voilá!

 Setting up Alien&#039;s DokuWiki ()