This question about Installation of Foswiki: Answered

Foswiki on shared hostings (Dreamhost)


I'd like to set up a structured wiki-type workspace for my team. This would probably be up to 20-30 members only and closed to public, but used fairly extensiely at times. I am looking at various options and FosWiki seems to be one of the best choices, however a lot of comments suggest that it uses a lot of server resource. Is this true? How much do I need? Will a standard shared hosting support it or should I set it up on a dedicated server?

Just to add, I currently mostly use dreamhost and would be inclined to stick with them if possible.

-- HeyMcj - 16 Jun 2009

I run a number of installations of Foswiki on Dreamhost without problem. For the level of usage you're projecting, I don't think you'll have any trouble at all.

-- LynnwoodBrown - 16 Jun 2009


thanks for the quick response. This is great news. But this brings more questions:

I've spent half of last night trying to install Foswiki on Dreamhost. Apart from the one on this site, there are quite a few tutorials for TWiki specifically on dreamhost. Dreamhost even have one on their wiki support site:

Others are:

and more,

however they seem to give different instalation procedures. Dreamhost for example suggests setting temp folders in root, what is not mentioned anywhere else, there are differencess as to the level of edit of various files.

I can get as far as setting everything up using .htaccess files and ignoring httpd_conf (as I understand should be done for DH, but when I go to, I either receive request for password from the browser (even though non of the guides says anything about creating .htpasswd as mandatory - where whould I specify the path to it - in the LocalLib.cfg only or in all .htaccess files?) or if I somehow bypass this, instead of an instalation page, I see raw code of configure file in the browser. One of the tutrorials suggests changing it to, but would rather avoid manual workarounds like this.

I understand that FastCGI should not be enabled for the domain?

ehh.. lot's of questions from a complete Foswiki newbee, who is not yet to proficient with command line on SSH, and does't really meet Foswiki:System.AdminSkillsAssumptions

-- HeyMcj - 17 Jun 2009

I'm sorry you're having so much trouble but the good news is that I think you may be closer than you think. I'm going to focus on what I think is the crux of your problem. It's really kind of a catch-22 in the installation process and has to do with the apache settings for the /bin directory (which you corrected noted is set in the /bin/.htaccess file). Here's the problem:
  • To run configure you need to have the SetHandler cgi-script setting enabled. Without that, you get the raw code when you call up configure with the browser, as you experienced.
  • However, to access configure, you must not have the <FilesMatch "configure.*"> section enabled (because the password file isn't even created yet).
To get around this problem, what I do is to initially disable the <FilesMatch "configure.*"> section by commenting it out. Then you can run configure and get your foswiki installation up and running. After you have registered yourself (which will result in the data/.htpasswd file being created) and added yourself to the AdminGroup, then go back and re-enable the restricted access to configure by editing /bin/.htaccess again and:
  1. Setting AuthUserFile {DataDir}/.htpasswd by replacing {DataDir} with the path to your data directory. (In DH, this is typically /home/username/
  2. Un-comment the <FilesMatch "configure.*"> section and replace {Administrators} with your WikiName.
One other issue you may run into (which I have) is the permissions setting for /data/.htpasswd file. If, after you're completed the steps I describe above, and you go to access configure and get the login prompt but your user and password are not recognized, try changing the permission of /data/.htpasswd to 644.

You're right about not enabling FastCGI because it requires special coding that Foswiki does not support.

I hope that gets you going!

-- LynnwoodBrown - 17 Jun 2009

Thanks a lot! This does explain a lot smile

I'll close the question and will give it a shot tonight again. I really appreciate your help.

-- HeyMcj - 17 Jun 2009

I'm a lot late on this, but only for the records: Foswiki does support FastCGI, since 12/25/2008. You need to install FastCGIEngineContrib and follow the instructions there about how to configure.

-- GilmarSantosJr - 25 Jan 2010

well, the docs aren't updated quite yet, but here's what worked for me:

#SetHandler cgi-script
SetHandler fastcgi-script
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/configure
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !/foswiki.fcgi
RewriteRule ^(.*) foswiki.fcgi/$1 [L]

-- WillNorris - 25 Jan 2010

I'd add:

<Files configure>
    SetHandler cgi-script

Since configure is supposed to run as cgi script (It doesn't run under FastCGI).

-- GilmarSantosJr - 25 Jan 2010

these apache configuration directives and other refinements are now generated by the installation script found at FoswikiOnLinuxSharedHostCommandShell.

-- WillNorris - 10 Feb 2010

QuestionForm edit

Subject Installation of Foswiki
Status Answered
Related Topics SharedHosting
Topic revision: r14 - 15 Mar 2012, PaulHarvey
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