Tiki was considered a powerhouse of a wiki tool, but then many of its users turned to more flexible blogging platforms. Tiki’s developers made the tool more powerful and flexible by adding groupware and CMS features to it. These additions make Tiki a business-ready application that can help you expand your operations.

Tiki now enables businesses to enjoy these features:

  • Wiki pages
  • Blogs
  • Forums
  • RSS syndication
  • WYSIWYG editing
  • Calendars and events
  • Database tracking system
  • File and image galleries
  • User and group management
  • Surveys, quizzes, and polls

All aspects of Tiki use the same syntax, so every tool is tightly integrated into one another.

Installing Tiki

Let’s walk through the process of installing this software. I will demonstrate the installation on the Ubuntu platform.


Step 1: Download and unpack the archive

After you download the archive file, move the archive to the document root of the web server (in my case /var/www). The command to move this file (in Linux land) is mv tiki-XXX.tar.gz (XXX is the release number). The command has to be issued with administrative rights, so either su to the root user or use sudo.

Now move into the document root and unpack the archive. The unpacking command will vary depending on the type of archive you downloaded. Assuming you downloaded a .tar.gz file, the unpack command is tar xvzf tiki-XXX.tar.gz (XXX is the release number). This command must be run with administrative privileges.

Rename the newly created directory with the command mv tiki-XXX tiki (XXX is the release number).

Step 2: Change directory permissions

You can change directory permissions via script or manually. If you want to go the script route, do the following:

1. Change into the /var/www/tiki/ directory.

2. Issue the command ./setup.sh (using administrative permissions), and the permissions should be set up correctly. You will know this when you fire up the web-based installer. Just in case the script does not work, these are the directories that must have write permissions:

  • /var/www/tiki/db
  • /var/www/tiki/dump
  • /var/www/tiki/img/wiki
  • /var/www/tiki/img/wiki_up
  • /var/www/tiki/img/trackers
  • /var/www/tiki/modules/cache
  • /var/www/tiki/temp
  • /var/www/tiki/temp/cache
  • /var/www/tiki/templates_c
  • /var/www/tiki/templates
  • /var/www/tiki/styles
  • /var/www/tiki/whelp

Each of these directories can be given write permissions with the command chmod ugo+w DIRECTORY (DIRECTORY is one of the directories listed above). The command must be run as either the administrative user or using the sudo command.

Step 3: Create a database

Tiki depends upon a database to store data. I prefer to use a tool like MySQL Workbench to create the database. Make sure that when you create the database you use the utf8 default collation for the charset. Name your database tiki.

Step 4: Begin the web-based installation
Open a browser and point it to http://IP_OF_SERVER/tiki. If all the checks pass (and they should), you will be welcomed and moved on to read the license. Click through the license, and Tiki will test to make sure you meet all the requirements for Memory, Mail, and Image processing. On this screen (Figure A), you can send out a test mail (the mail function is used in various aspects of Tiki – there is no email client built into the groupware). Click through this once you are satisfied.
Figure A

If the GD library isn’t present, you’ll need to install php5-gd (in some distributions, such as Fedora, this could be php-gd). (Click the image to enlarge.)

The next step is entering the database information; this is the standard procedure for a database-driven application (server, database name, database user/password). You might get tripped up in the next screen (Figure B).
Figure B

Make sure to select MyISAM as the database engine. (Click the image to enlarge.)

There are two types of database engines to select. You want to make sure you select MyISAM before you click the Install buttons or a host of errors might pop up. Once you click Install, the database will be populated and your installation is almost complete.

The next step is to log in and do a mandatory admin password change. If you point your browser to http://IP_TO_SERVER/tiki, you will be prompted to log in. The default credentials are admin/admin. Log in and then make the required change to the admin password. Now you can log in with your new credentials and begin to build your new site.

There is a lot to do at this point, but all of it is web-based. We’ll revisit this topic and begin the process of building around the skeleton of Tiki in an upcoming post. Until then, poke around and get a feel for the tool.