December 29, 2009

Wiki while you work

Many moons ago I was involved with a project of creating an internal wiki to host an internal document and solutions guide for the I.S. department I worked for. I wanted to use MediaWiki or MoinMoin but was challenged to create a LAMP, WAMP OR WIMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP / Windows, Apache, MySql, PHP / Windows, IIS, MySQL, PHP) and was unsure how all these were setup. As a result we used instiwiki and got by, but I was never satisfied with our result.

Fast forward more than a year and a half and... I still am unsure how to compile a stack from scratch mostly from lack of time since I'm not working with anything that requires these servers.

For people like me the people at Turnkey Linux have created a host of virtual appliances including the object of my search which was turnkey mediawiki. At turnkey they provide an image that includes a minimal version of Ubuntu's LTS (long term service) operating service and every application required to have your application server operate "out of the box". For me that included the whole LAMP stack, mediawiki and the webmin tool for remote administration.

What I did was copy the ISO file which I could have burnt on a CD, but I decided to install the ISO directly to virtual box. I don't have a dedicated box to create a server with at this time, and with such minimal resource needs I can't see wasting a box for this one application. See my article on reducing fear during the switch for a very short write-up on virtual box.

So far, out of the box, I have been able to look at the wiki home page, and log in as the web admin. I need to get java installed on my browsers so I can continue to look at all the web admin tools, but so far I've invested 30 minutes of time and of course zero dollars. If turnkey mediawiki works for me the way I'm hoping it will, you can expect to see other write-ups on other turnkey virtual appliances.

If any of my readers have used other turnkey Linux products or any other virtual appliances, feel free to drop me a line at and get your article included in a possible follow up article.

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