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PmWiki Installation

administrators (basic) This page explains how to download and install PmWiki 2.0. Here's a list of related pages:

  • Requirements - Requirements for installing PmWiki.
  • Upgrades - How to upgrade an existing installation.
  • WikiFarms - Running multiple wikis from a single installation.
  • ChangeLog - New features and bug fixes that are available.

Improvements to these instructions would be greatly appreciated. Just report any problems you encounter to the pmwiki-users mailing list or use the PmWiki Issue Tracking System.

Installing PmWiki

1. Download the latest version of PmWiki as a zip archive ( or a gzipped tarball (pmwiki-latest.tgz) from

2. Unpack the archive (tar zxvf pmwiki-latest.tgz or unzip This will create a pmwiki-x.y.z directory containing the PmWiki software. For example, the current "latest" should unpack to a directory named "pmwiki-2.0.2". The files in this directory include:

    COPYING            The GNU General Public License
    local/             A directory for local configuration scripts
    pmwiki.php         Main PmWiki script
    pub/               Directory of publicly accessible files
      css/             Directory for generic .css files
      skins/           Directory of layout templates (skins)
    sample-config.php  A sample configuration file
    scripts/           Some scripts that extend the possibilities of PmWiki
    wikilib.d/         Directory containing some default PmWiki files
    cookbook/          A directory for recipes obtained from the Cookbook.

3. The pmwiki-x.y.z directory needs to be placed into a location accessible by your webserver (e.g., in a public_html directory of some sort). You can place files and directories using a number of methods -- FTP, or a Unix mv or cp command generally does the job.

Note: It's probably also a good idea to change the "pmwiki-x.y.z" directory name to be simply "pmwiki".

4. Open a web browser to the pmwiki.php script on the server (i.e., not the one on your local computer or accessed using a file://... URL). 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. Usually there are two ways to achieve this:

4a. You can create the wiki.d/ directory manually, and then give it full write permissions (i.e., "chmod 777 wiki.d")

4b. On some systems you can let PmWiki create wiki.d/ by temporarily changing the permissions on the directory containing the pmwiki.php file to 2777. In Unix this is commonly done by changing to the directory containing pmwiki.php and executing the command

        chmod 2777 .

(note the dot at the end). The chmod command also works in many FTP programs. Creating wiki.d/ in this manner will (1) make the directory writable so the web server can create the data directory it needs for the wiki files, (2) preserve group ownership of the directory so the installer account can manipulate the files created in this directory, and (3) make it more difficult for other accounts on the same server to access the files in wiki.d/.

5. After establishing directory permissions, try opening a browser to the pmwiki.php script again. If all is well, the wiki.d directory will have been created and you'll see the default home page.

Important: If you used method 4b, you should reset permissions by executing "chmod 755 ." in the directory containing pmwiki.php.

6. Check out Initial Setup Tasks for other tasks you may want to perform to begin customizing your PmWiki installation. You might also want to peruse the Release Notes for further information.


  • If using the Unix tar command to unpack the archive in step 2 above, be sure that the files are created with sufficient permissions for the webserver to be able to access them. Usually you can ensure this by typing umask 002 on the command line before unpacking the tar file.

  • Many admins add an index.php file in the pmwiki directory that contains the following single line:

    <?php include('pmwiki.php');

Note that the PHP closing tag " ?>" is omitted on purpose to be compatible with some operating systems that are confused by extra newlines.

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Page last modified on September 01, 2005, at 04:38 AM