Coevolving Innovations

… in Business Organizations and Information Technologies

A federated wiki site on cPanel

Since my cPanel shared hosting provider supports node.js hosting, installing a federated wiki site beside the usual Softaculous packages is an option. The app requires node.js, and there is a variety of ways to deploy that.

In 2014, I had installed a federated wiki site on Openshift, but then didn’t maintain it as other priorities surfaced.  The site is now available at http://wiki.coevolving.com, and the prior content has been restored.

The installation isn’t a one-button procedure.  However, an administator comfortable with opening an SSH terminal onto your shared hosting account should be able to follow the steps below.  (If you have problems, the federated wiki community hangs out in a room on matrix.org).

A. Creating a Subdomain

(1) Through your browser, from cPanel … Domains … , create a Subdomain.

  • As an example, I can create a Subdomain wiki in the Domain coevolving.com, that will actually be stored in my Home (Document Root) as a wiki.coevolving.com directory.

Subdomain_CreateASubdomain

B. Installing Federated Wiki

(2) From cPanel … Software … Setup Node.js App.

  • In the Web Applications list, Create Application.  As an example, set:
      • Node.js version: 10.11.0
      • Application mode: Production
      • Application root: wiki.coevolving.com
      • Application URL: wiki.coevolving.com
      • Application startup: app.js
  • (If you leave the Application startup field blank, app.js automatically fills in as the default)

NodeJs_CreateApplication

  • At this point, the node.js environment is not yet activated, as the package.json has not yet been downloaded, and the Run NPM Install button is greyed out.

WebApplications_EnterToTheVirtualEnvironment
(3) Open a terminal to your account.  Through a browser you could navigate to cPanel … Advanced … Terminal ; the more technically proficient will already know how to log in via SSH.

cPanel_Advanced_Terminal

(4) Download the current version of the federated wiki code, unzip it, and place it into a directory so that it can be installed with npm.

  • Change into the directory.  Transfer the current version of the fedwiki repository from the Github site to your host (curl option-L will redo the request if the location has changed; -o specifies the output file name).
cd wiki.coevolving.com 
curl -L https://github.com/fedwiki/wiki/archive/master.zip -o wiki-master.zip
  • List the file to ensure it’s downloaded (ls -lh gives a long, human-readable list).  Unzip it into a directory (unzip options -uo extracts newer versions of files already in the current directory and creates any files not already there; -d . specifies the target directory as the current directory) .
ls -lh wiki-master.zip 
unzip -uo wiki-master.zip -d .
  • List the directory to ensure that the wiki-master directory was created properly (and the package.json is in place).  Copy the contents from that now-unpacked directory up one level into the current direction (cp  -r recurses directories, -f forces overwrites; -p preserves datestamps; -v gives verbose information;).
ls
cp -rfpv wiki-master/* .

(5) If you had previously backed up a federated wiki, the content could now be restored.  Upload the file, and unpack the archive.

tar -xvpf archive_wiki.tar.gz
  • … with  tar options -x (extract); -v (verbose); -p, (preserve-permissions) ; -f  (file-archive).

(6) Personalizing the federated wiki requires (i) specifying where the data will be stored; (ii) setting up security; and (iii) setting up the site owner name.  For a single (or small number) of users, the friends plugin can invoked with the editing of config.json.

  • If a directory where the content will be stored hasn’t already been defined, create one, e.g. wiki.
mkdir wiki
  • Configure to use friends security, by editing a sample config.json …
cp config.json config-old.json
nano config.json
  • … with an initial config.json template that looks like …
{
"data": "....",
"security_type": "friends",
"cookieSecret": "some long random string (not this!!!!)",
"session_duration": "14"
}
  • … and can be modified to become …
{
"data": "/home/coXXXXXX/wiki.coevolving.com/wiki",
"security_type": "friends",
"cookieSecret": "my_cookieSecret_of_choice",
"session_duration": "14"
}
  • As a precaution, make a backup the new config.json:
cp config.json "$(date '+%Y-%m-%d')_config.json"
  • Configure the site with your own user name, by editing a sample owner.json
cp wiki/status/owner.json /wiki/status/owner-old.json
nano wiki/status/owner.json
  • … with an initial owner.json template that looks like …
{
"name": "Koheni",
"friend": {
"secret": "some long string that you use to reclaim write access"
}
}

… and can be modified to become …

{
"name": "daviding",
"friend": {
"secret": "my_write_access_secret"
}
}
  • As another precaution, backup the new owner.json
cp wiki/status/owner.json "$(date '+%Y-%m-%d')_owner.json"

(7) For the cPanel Web Application, the Application startup file is presumed to be app.js.  The downloaded package from Github assumed index.js, so let’s give the environment the filename it expects.

ls *.js
mv app.js app_old.js
cp index.js app.js

(8) With the federated wiki files now in the right position, the cPanel instruction to “Enter into the virtual environment” can be carried out.

source /home/coXXXXXX/nodevenv/wiki.coevolving.com/10/bin/activate
  • The source command is added to the command specified on the cPanel page, otherwise you’ll get the message “‘activate’ script should be sourced, not run directly”.

(9) Returning to cPanel in the browser, reloading the page should now detected the package.json configuration file, and Run NPM Install button should be available.

Run NPM Install button is available

  • Select the Run NPM Install button.  (Running npm install from the terminal doesn’t seem to give the same results, as loading the Welcome Visitors page in a browser will not be properly formatted).

C. Claiming the Wiki Site

(10) In your browser, navigate to your wiki page (e.g. wiki.coevolving.com).  At the bottom of the page, if you hover over the padlock, you should see a popup to “Reclaim this Wiki”

Reclaim this Wiki

  • Selecting the padlock should surface a panel, saying:

Welcome back <<yourname>>. Please enter your reclaim code to reconnect with your wiki.

  • With the “secret” you had entered in owner.json, the padlock icon should show as open.

(11) Your federated wiki should now be available for collecting pages across the federation, and co-editing.

D. Maintaining the Wiki Site

(12) Periodically, it might be prudent to prepare an offline archive of your federated wiki site.  On a terminal, pack a directory into a single file (tar with options -c (create); -v (verbose); -p (preserve-permissions); -z (compress to gzip); -f (filename)).

ls wiki
tar -cvpzf "$(date '+%Y-%m-%d'_wiki).tar.gz" wiki
  • Download a copy of that tar.gz file to your computer for safekeeping.  That backed up wiki directory will include the owner.json.
  • Download a copy of config.json.

My federated wiki site is at http://wiki.coevolving.com.

4 Comments

  • Interesting! Coincidentally, I’m currently setting up a personal wiki on my server that also is taking quite a bit of configuration to setup. Obviously the intent is very different since it’s completely private, but I’ll probably write a post about that soon.

  • Most of the directions for installing the software are applicable to updating to newer releases. To generalize the commands, I’ve changed …

    mv -v wiki-master/* .

    … to …

    cp -rfpv wiki-master/* .

    … so that some directories over properly overwritten.

  • Hi David!
    Thanks for the write up learned a lot even though I am not using CPanel.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • RSS qoto.org/@daviding (Mastodon)

    • daviding: Will this decade be May 27, 2020
      Will this decade be called the "Dark Twenties", in post-pandemic economic sociology? #JohnIbbitson writes: > It took years for Western economies to fully recover from the economic shock of 2008-09. This shock is far worse. How much worse? No one can be sure. [....] > We are entering the Dark Twenties. No one knows when […]
    • daviding: Moderating social me May 27, 2020
      Moderating social media context in an nuanced way may be done with a warning or caution, rather than by deleting the message or banning the individual. #HenryFarrell at #WashingtonPost analyzes fact-checking on POTUS. > Now, Twitter has done just this. Trump’s tweet has not been removed — but it has been placed behind a notice, […]
    • daviding: Our immune systems a May 26, 2020
      Our immune systems are complex, so improving resistance to disease may be puffery, writes #TimothyCaulfield . > I looked at how the phrase “boosting our immune system” is being represented on social media. This concept is everywhere right now: it is being pushed by .... But in reality, the immune system is fantastically complex and can’t be “boosted.” (Even […]
    • daviding: Ventures founded on May 17, 2020
      Ventures founded on growth maximization thinking unicorn might instead turn towards sustainability as camels. > Where Silicon Valley has been chasing unicorns (a colloquial term for startups with billion-dollar valuations), “camel” startups, such as those founded by leading global entrepreneurs, prioritize sustainability and resiliency.> The humble camel adapts to multiple climates, survives without food or […]
    • daviding: Death of the office, May 17, 2020
      Death of the office, in pandemic times, with a larger perspective back in history. > Offices have always been profoundly flawed spaces. Those of the East India Company, among the world’s first, were built more for bombast than bureaucracy. They were sermons in stone, and the solidity of every marble step, the elegance of every […]
  • RSS on IngBrief

    • Wholism, reductionism (Francois, 2004)
      Proponents of #SystemsThinking often espouse holism to counter over-emphasis on reductionism. Reading some definitions from an encyclopedia positions one in the context of the other (François 2004).
    • It matters (word use)
      Saying “it doesn’t matter” or “it matters” is a common expression in everyday English. For scholarly work, I want to “keep using that word“, while ensuring it means what I want it to mean. The Oxford English Dictionary (third edition, March 2001) has three entries for “matter”. The first two entries for a noun. The […]
    • Systemic Change, Systematic Change, Systems Change (Reynolds, 2011)
      It's been challenging to find sources that specifically define two-word phrases -- i.e. "systemic change", "systematic change", "systems change" -- as opposed to loosely inferring reductively from one-word definitions in recombination. MartinReynolds @OpenUniversity clarifies uses of the phrases, with a critical eye into motives for choosing a specific label, as well as associated risks and […]
    • Environmental c.f. ecological (Francois, 2004; Allen, Giampietro Little 2003)
      The term "environmental" can be mixed up with "ecological", when the meanings are different. We can look at the encyclopedia definitions (François 2004), and then compare the two in terms of applied science (i.e. engineering with (#TimothyFHAllen @MarioGiampietro and #AmandaMLittle, 2003).
    • Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language: Analysing, Mapping and Classifying the Critical Response | Dawes and Ostwald | 2017
      While many outside of the field of architecture like the #ChristopherAlexander #PatternLanguage approach, it's not so well accepted by his peers. A summary of criticisms by #MichaelJDawes and #MichaelJOstwald @UNSWBuiltEnv is helpful in appreciating when the use of pattern language might be appropriate or not appropriate.
    • Field (system definitions, 2004, plus social)
      Systems thinking should include not only thinking about the system, but also its environment. Using the term "field" as the system of interest plus its influences leaves a lot of the world uncovered. From the multiple definitions in the International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics , there is variety of ways of understanding "field".
  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on daviding.com

    • 2020/05 Moments May 2020
      Life at home is much the same with the pandemic sheltering-in-place directives, touring city streets on bicycle, avoiding the parks on weekends.
    • 2020/04 Moments April 2020
      Living in social isolation in our house with 5 family members, finishing off teaching courses and taking courses.
    • 2020/03 Moments March 2020
      The month started with a hectic coincidence of events as both a teacher and student at two universities, abruptly shifting to low gear with government directives for social distancing.
    • 2020/02 Moments February 2020
      Winter has discouraged enjoying the outside, so more occasions for friend and family inside.
    • 2020/01 Moments January 2020
      Back to school, teaching and learning at 2 universities.
    • 2019/12 Moments December 2019
      First half of December in finishing up course assignments and preparing for exams; second half on 11-day family vacation in Mexico City.
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • Meta

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal