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.

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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.

The DokuWiki comes with a default template which is rather bland. Their 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 avtively developed and many nice features have been added recently, 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.conf 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 nobody:wheel .

    In this example command, I assumed that you are running your Apache as the user “nobody” 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-03142006.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.
  • (16-mar-2006) The monobook template misses the file ./lib/tpl/default/style.ini, so I copied it over to the monobook directory. This takes care of some custom definitions in the blog plugin.
  • (21-mar-2006) The new version of the template (03182006) fixes the style issues I had with the previous version. I also adapted the tabs on the top of the wiki pages (the 'article' 'show page' etc…) to be more conformant with the MediaWiki's original Monobook template. These are my fixes:
    --- main.css.org        2006-03-20 15:56:32.000000000 -0800
    +++ main.css            2006-03-20 15:43:56.000000000 -0800
    @@ -827,6 +827,7 @@
     #p-cactions li.selected {
         border-color: #fabd23;
         padding: 0 0 .2em 0;
    +    font-weight: bold;
     #p-cactions li a {
         background-color: white;
    --- main.php.org        2006-03-20 15:55:01.000000000 -0800
    +++ main.php            2006-03-20 15:54:35.000000000 -0800
    @@ -59,12 +59,13 @@
     	<div id="p-cactions" class="portlet">
    -	    <li id="ca-nstab-main" class="selected"><b><a href="<?php echo DOKU_BASE?>doku.php?id=<?php echo $ID?>">article</a></b></li>
    +	    <li id="ca-nstab-main" class="selected"><a href="<?php echo DOKU_BASE?>doku.php?id=<?php echo $ID?>">article</a></li>
     <?php if($INFO['perm'] == AUTH_ADMIN) { ?>
    -	    <li id="ca-talk" class="new"><?php tpl_actionlink('admin'); ?></li>
    +	    <li id="ca-talk" class="new<?php if($ACT == 'admin') { echo " selected"; } ?>"><?php tpl_actionlink('admin'); ?></li>
     <?php } ?>
    -	    <li id="ca-edit"><b><?php tpl_actionlink('edit'); ?></b></li>
    -	    <li id="ca-history"><?php tpl_actionlink('history'); ?></li>
    +	    <li id="ca-edit" <?php if($ACT == 'edit') { echo "class=\"selected\""; } ?>><?php tpl_actionlink('edit'); ?></li>
    +	    <li id="ca-history" <?php if($ACT == 'revisions') { echo "class=\"selected\""; } ?>><?php tpl_actionlink('history'); ?></li>
    +	    <li id="ca-backlink" <?php if($ACT == 'backlink') { echo "class=\"selected\""; } ?>><?php tpl_actionlink('backlink'); ?></li>
     	<div class="portlet" id="p-logo">
  • (28-mar-2006) the official Monobook template has undergone a couple of changes (some of which are my contributions) and I can now use an (almost) unmodified template. The only modifications are the few lines that need to be added for the blog plugin and the boldface tags I removed around the “edit this page” button (IMO, it should only be bold if it is activated by clicking the button).

Plugin: blog

  • Actually, I'm still testing this.
    The blog plugin can be obtained here and downloaded as a ZIP archive:
    wget http://www.qwik.ch/media/blog.zip
  • Unzip the blog plugin into ./lib/plugins/. Add this to the top of your template's main.php - in my case that is the file ./lib/tpl/monobook/main.php:
    // include discussion code
    // we must move the doctype down (unfortunately) - headers need to be first

    It should come right before the line <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC …..>.
    And add this line immediately below the line that says <?php tpl_content()?>:

    <?php tpl_discussion()?>
    • (24-mar-2006) Actually, this introduces an error when you want to click the plugin's info button in the plugin manager. I get the following error
      Fatal error: Cannot redeclare html_discussion() 
      (previously declared in /home/tag-am-meer.info/public_html/wiki/lib/plugins/blog/functions.php:77) 
      in /home/tag-am-meer.info/public_html/wiki/lib/plugins/blog/functions.php on line 76

      This is easily solved by changing the line you include at the top of your template’s main.php from



  • Customization of the blog plugin.
    Create a file ./lib/plugins/blog/conf/local.php and copy the parameters from the file ./lib/plugins/blog/conf/default.php over into this file if you want them changed. My only change was:
    $conf['plugin']['blog']['tag_namespace'] = 'blog:categories';       // where should tag links point to?

    This way, the tags or “categories” get their own namespace.
    Note that the original $conf['tag_namespace'] must change to $conf['plugin']['blog']['tag_namespace'].

  • Now, the blog plugin is ready for use. How to use it, is another story entirely, and I am in the process of finding out.

Plugin: boxes

The boxes plugin enables the <box></box> tag which shows up in your page as a floating box, with several possible styles. The feature that attracted me to it is the “left” and “right” styles which create floating boxes that are left- or right-aligned. Unfortunately, my Mozilla browser does not display these floating boxes correctly :-( This wiki shows boxes correctly though… who can explain why?

  • If your <box> tags don't show up, the wiki cache is interfering. Altering something in your Wiki configuration (like the used template) seems to force a cache flush, so that is what I did to make the boxes display right away.

Plugin: note

I downloaded the “note” plugin for DokuWiki. This plugin displays nice informational icons in the margin, like “tip” “warning” “note” and “note”. The plugin source is available at the DokuWiki site but it did not do what I wanted from it, plus it requires you to copy the images into your template directory, and add the CSS to the template's stylesheet. So I hacked it, so that now the plugin is fully contained into the DokuWiki's ./lib/plugins/note/ directory. You can download my modified plugin and unpack it into your DokuWiki's ./lib/plugins/ directory.

  • (23-mar-2006) My changes were picked up by Olivier, the author of the note plugin, and therefore I changed back to the “official” newly released version (which now uses nice rounded corners).
  • (25-mar-2006) Because of the bugs in the code, I decided to re-write the plugin almost from scratch. That resulted in a correctly rendering <note></note> tag, plus notes can be nested now. Download here.

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/wiki-dokuwiki-128.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. This is as easy as editing the “user-modifiable” files found in ./lib/tpl/monobook/user/*.php
  • I added a few lines to monobook's main.css file that makes the Wiki links appear in red when they point to a not yet existing Wiki page. The 14-mar-2006 version of MonoBook has a doku.css which contains the “missing wikilink” style definition. It now works out of the box.
  • The blog plugin has a bland color scheme. I found a better looking style.css in Doogie's blog and used that to replace ./lib/plugins/blog/style.css
  • 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!

(06apr2006) I added another toolbar button, this time to insert <key></key> tags. The keyboard plugin site has it wrong, the instructions are for the older version of DokuWiki. This is what I had to do:

  • Download the toolbar icon bitmap (local copy here) This bitmap has a size of 24×24 pixels (the old toolbar button format) but we need a 16×16 pixel bitmap. I used these commands to resize the file:
    mv keyboard.png keyboard-24x24.png
    convert -size 16x16 keyboard-24x24.png -resize 16x16 keyboard.png
    rm keyboard-24x24.png

    Then copy the resized icon file into ./lib/images/toolbar

  • Edit ./inc/toolbar.php and add
                'type'   => 'format',
                'title'  => $lang['qb_keyb'],
                'icon'   => 'keyboard.png',
                'key'    => 'k',
                'open'  => '<key>',
                'close'   => '</key>',

    at an appropriate place in the toolbar array

  • 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_keyb'] = 'Mark text as key';

QR Code
QR Code Setting up Alien&#039;s DokuWiki (generated for current page)