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OpenVMS Technical Journal V12

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Content starts here

Installing and configuring a wiki engine on OpenVMS

Rishi Singhal, OpenVMS Debugger team
This article provides a brief introduction to wikis, the advantages of a wiki for knowledge management, and a step-by-step approach to configuring a wiki engine (such as PmWiki) on an i64 system.


As Wikipedia explains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki), a wiki is a collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content, using a simplified markup language.

"Content management systems will always have their place in the publishing world, but they've never been the best tools for business collaboration. A simple open-source app called the wiki may soon rule the knowledge management roost." - Ezra Goodnoe, InternetWeek 2005

A Wiki provides the following advantages:

  1. A rich text editor, and the ability to add files and images
  2. Content search
  3. A collaborative environment for document sharing
  4. Page revision history is available for audit and CM
  5. Access from anywhere with a web connection

Experimenting with wikis on OpenVMS

Almost a year ago I started experimenting with different wikis on OpenVMS, such as MediaWiki, TikiWiki, DokuWiki, etc. There were issues with all of them. For example, MediaWiki had a prerequisite for a PHP version that was not available on OpenVMS.

Still searching for a lightweight wiki, I came across PmWiki, which is free software under the GNU GPL, uses flat file (http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/PmWiki/FlatFileAdvantages), and is very easy to install and configure.

Installing and configuring PmWiki

  • OpenVMS v8.3 running on an i64 system
  • CSWS_PHP version 1.3 based on PHP 4.3.10
  • CSWS v2.1-1 based on Apache


  • Download pmwiki-2.2.0-beta65.zip from: http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/PmWiki/Download
  • Copy the kit to SYS$COMMON:[APACHE] (assuming ODS-5 system disk; can be copied to any other ODS-5 disk)
  • Unzip the kit:
    $ unzip pmwiki-2^.2^.0-beta65.zip


  1. Modify SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.CONF]MOD_PHP.CONF to reflect access path for PmWiki. Add below line (after the line containing - Alias /php/ "/apache$root/php/scripts/")

    Alias /wiki/ "/apache$common/pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65/"
  2. Restart apache and open a web browser pointing to the pmwiki.php script on the server:
  3. PmWiki will then analyze your system configuration and provide instructions (if needed) for creating the wiki.d/ directory, which will be used to hold the pages created for your site.
  4. The following directories will be created:
    Directory SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65]
    wiki_d.DIR;1       wikilib_d.DIR;1
  5. The names of these directories are expected to be wiki.d.dir & wikilib.d.dir, so rename them.
  6. When you first install PmWiki, the SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65.local]config.php file does not exist. Copy the sample-config.php file (present in SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65.docs] directory) to SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65.local]config.php and use it as a starting point.
    $copy SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65.docs]sample-
    config.php SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-
  7. Modify (uncomment or add) SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65.local]config.php. For example, to add Logo, Title, Password, and Enabling upload uncomment the lines as below:
    #Provide a title to your wiki
    $WikiTitle = "Provide a title";
    #If you want to have your own logo copy it to the
    #SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65.pub.skins.pmwiki] #directory
    $PageLogoUrl = "$PubDirUrl/skins/pmwiki/urlogo.png";
    #Provide  password for the administrator
    $DefaultPasswords['admin'] = crypt('onesecret');
    # Enable upload
    $EnableUpload = 1;

Your wiki is ready to go, so refresh your http://node.domain.com/wiki/pmwiki.php page. You should see a page similar to this:

pmwiki.php page

Tips and tricks

  • While configuring PmWiki, if this is encountered:

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function: preg_match() in /apache$common/pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65/pmwiki.php on line 43

Two PHP extensions present in SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.PHP]PHP.INI have to be uncommented


  • To restrict upload by the privileged few, modify SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65.local]config.php as

#Set password for upload
$DefaultPasswords['upload'] = crypt('secrettwo');

  • If you want to track the modifications history, modify SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65.local]config.php as

#While posting if you want the author name to be specified #compulsorily
$EnablePostAuthorRequired = 1;

  • To restrict editing by the privileged few, modify SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65.local]config.php as:

#Not everyone will be allowed to edit. All the pages are read only otherwise
$DefaultPasswords['edit'] = crypt('secretthree');

  • To provide links to sharepoint (Microsoft® Windows®) use this format:
  • To use the same formatting as you have typed in the wiki editor, put your contents as: [@ formatted contents @]
  • To use a different skin (goto http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/Skins), such as monobook (makes PmWiki look like MediaWiki/Wikipedia):

    Download monobook.zip, extract it into SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65.pub.skins] and add the following code to your local configuration file (SYS$COMMON:[APACHE.pmwiki-2_2_0-beta65.local]config.php):

$Skin = 'monobook';

wiki 2 diagram

For more information

Contact the author at rishi.singhal@hp.com.

For more information about PmWiki, go to: www.pmwiki.org/wiki/PmWiki/PmWiki.