Installation Guide

Debian/Ubuntu-based systems

If you have Debian or Ubuntu you may try our brand new Debian packages.


Wikidot runs on Unix system including GNU/Linux (like Ubuntu) and Mac OS X. There is no Windows port.

Wikidot relies on the following software (that you need to install first):

  • PostgreSQL 8.3
  • PHP 5.2+
  • Lighttpd 1.4 or 1.5
  • ImageMagick
  • LaTeX
  • PHP gd extension
  • PHP tidy extension
  • PEAR
  • file program
  • Git to retrieve the source

On Ubuntu this means:

$ sudo aptitude install postgresql-8.3 php5-cgi php5-cli php5-pgsql lighttpd imagemagick tetex-bin tetex-extra gs-gpl  php5-gd php5-tidy php-pear file git-core

Cheat sheet for geeks

Unless you are a geek, jump to the next section.

If you are a geek and have all the dependencies installed, all you need is this few commands.

git clone git:// wikidot
cd wikidot
git submodule init
git submodule update
sudo sudo -u postgres make prepare_db
./wikidotctl start

Obtaining Wikidot

To get the latest Wikidot source clone our git repository:

$ git clone git:// wikidot
$ cd wikidot
$ git submodule init
$ git submodule update

Our project at GitHub:

Prepare PostgreSQL database

Wikidot needs a database created in PostgreSQL. You can create it yourself and skip to the next point. You need to note the user, password and database (you can use remote database as well, then note the host too).

Set PostgreSQL credentials in configuration file

Edit conf/wikidot.ini file. Localize [db] section (it should be the first). If you created database and user, fill in the proper values. If you want Wikidot to create database and user for you, keep the default wikidot/wikidot/wikidot settings, unless you can only connect as user with the same name as your system user (this is especially true on Ubuntu).

NOTE FOR UBUNTU USERS: you need to set user setting in wikidot/conf/wikidot.ini to your current user, since Ubuntu enables authorizing local users with PAM by default.

make prepare_db

Don't forget to start PostgreSQL:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/postgresql start


$ sudo /etc/init.d/postgresql-8.3 start

To create the user and database, you need to run make prepare_db as user postgres.

On Ubuntu, this should do it:

$ sudo sudo -u postgres make prepare_db

This should ask you for your password. If you don't use sudo just

$ su postgres
Password: (enter postgres password)
$ make prepare_db
$ exit

Install Wikidot database and generate configuration files

Once you prepare the database (either manually or automatic), just issue make as normal user.

$ make

The command should print a long URL at the very end. You will need it to configure your first super-user account.

From time to time, make crashes in the middle of saving pages. This is caused by PHP process running out of memory. Re-run make and this should succeed.

Run Wikidot

Wikidot runs its own instance of Lighttpd with a separate lighttpd.conf file. It uses :8080 port by default to not conflict with the default installation and to be able to be run by a regular user.

$ ./wikidotctl start

To stop use ./wikidotctl stop

Configure super user

Go to the URL make prints at the end to configure your wiki superuser password

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