Set Up A Wiki

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Revision as of 15:42, 2 June 2006 by Reh4j (Talk | contribs)

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How can I get a wiki?

Email with your request, and we’ll be happy to set up a wiki for you. MediaWiki is our supported wiki software package.

I now have a wiki, but I only see a couple of files in my public_html/wiki directory. Where is everything else?

We have modified the MediaWiki code so that you only need to keep a few files in your home directory to manage your wiki. We maintain one copy of the MediaWiki source code; each wiki instance created runs off this code. These instances are individualized by separate mysql databases, config files and image directories – essentially, the files you see in your home directory.

Here is an explanation of your wiki files.

  1. LocalSettings.php – This file contains the local configuration of your MediaWiki instance. Changing a setting usually means changing a php variable. *This is the file you will need to modify if you want to change your wiki settings. Be careful when changing the variable paths.*
  2. index.php – This is the main wiki script. It also references any needed code from the MediaWiki source location.
  3. images/ - This directory contains all the images uploaded to your wiki.

I would like to customize my wiki settings.

LocalSettings.php is the file that holds your wiki configuaration. This is the file that you will modify to change your wiki settings.

MediaWiki’s website has a very nice page that explains LocalSettings.php in depth. You can find it here.

Here are instructions to change the logo and or skin on your wiki – the most simple way to modify the look and feel of your wiki.

The image path is held in the variable $wgLogo. You change this path to point the wiki to your logo image.


MediaWiki offers a number of skins to customize the look of your wiki: standard, nostalgia, cologneblue and monobook. To change your wiki’s default skin, you must change the $wgDefaultSkin in LocalSettings.php

If you would like to use a skin other than the default MediaWiki skins, you will need to make some slight modifications:

  1. Change the $wgStylePath to “$wgScriptPath/skins”
  2. Change the $wgStyleDirectory to “$wgScriptPath/skins”
  3. Download and extract the skins folder to your public_html/wiki directory. skins.tar.gz
  4. Make sure the directory is world readable. (chmod –R 755 skins)
  5. You can then add new skins files and directories to your liking – the variable that sets the wiki default skin is $wgDefaultSkin.

Can I make it so other people in the department can log into my wiki with their CS account?

Yes, this option can be turned on or off in LocalSettings.php. To allow NIS authentication, uncomment the lines

$wgAuth = new UnixLocalAuth();

in LocalSettings.php. To turn off this option, comment the lines.

I want to add customized extensions to MediaWiki.

If you want a wiki but will need to tailor the MediaWiki code, you can have your own install of MediaWiki. However, please notify root before doing so – we may be able to accommodate your needs without necessitating a separate MediaWiki installation.