MoinMoin wiki on Debian, Installation and configuration

Sometimes, installation of Debian packages is too easy, but then configuration can be quite confusing.

This is the case, in my opinion, with the README.Debian file which describes an example of moin-moin wiki installation under a subdomain

Here are my notes of how to install moinmoin package from Debian Squeeze on Debian Lenny.

First, you need to install python-support from

Second, download manually or with apt-get the package of debian lenny for python-moinmoin.

Install both packages, if you downloaded them manually with the command:

dpkg -i python-support_1.0.3~bpo50+1_all.deb python-moinmoin_1.8.4-1_all.deb

After that you need to issue the following command, which are also described in the README.Debian:

1) Create and populate /var/www/mywiki

mkdir /var/www/mywiki

cp -r /usr/share/moin/server/moin.cgi /var/www/mywiki
mkdir /var/lib/mywiki
cp -r /usr/share/moin/data /usr/share/moin/underlay /var/lib/mywiki

2) Pass on the wiki to Apache:

 chown -R www-data: /var/www/mywiki /var/lib/mywiki

3) Configure Apache2: Add the following as /etc/apache2/sites-available/mywiki:

<VirtualHost *:80>
 #comment the line below if you intend to use only http://localhost/mywiki
 DocumentRoot /var/www/mywiki/
 Alias /moin_static184/applets/FCKeditor/ "/usr/share/fckeditor/"
 Alias /moin_static184/ "/usr/share/moin/htdocs/"
 ScriptAlias /MyWiki "/var/www/mywiki/moin.cgi"
<Directory /var/www/mywiki/>
 Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
 AllowOverride None
 Order allow,deny
 allow from all
 Options +ExecCGI

4) Configure MoinMoin:

Edit /etc/moin/ to commentout datadir and dataunderlay_dir (we need those defined separately for each wiki)

Edit /etc/moin/ to include these lines:

 sitename = u'MyWiki' # [Unicode]

 data_dir = '/var/lib/mywiki/data'
 data_underlay_dir = '/var/lib/mywiki/underlay'

Edit /etc/moin/wikilist to include this line:


5) Activate wiki:

a2ensite mywiki
invoke-rc.d apache2 reload

6) Enjoy your new wiki at

A Note about themes, debian, moin-moin

Debian is intended for the server... Thus it's quite biased for a wiki-farm rather than a personal use wiki. Default moinmoin shares lot's of files between different possible moinmoin installations.

The appropriate directory for installation of themes, under Debian won't be the data directory (in the above example, /var/lib/mywiki/data) rather a shared directory under /usr/share/moin/htdocs.

So the css/, img/, js/ directories of a plugin go there, and the python module of the theme goes to /var/lib/mywiki/data/plugin/theme.

Here is an example of how I installed fixedleft theme:

ls -p /usr/share/moin/
config/  data/    htdocs/  server/  underlay/

ls -p /usr/share/moin/htdocs/
applets/  common/      fixedleft/  modern/    rightsidebar/
classic/  favicon.ico  index.html  modernized/    robots.txt

ls -p /usr/share/moin/htdocs/fixedleft/
css/  img/  js/

ls -p /var/lib/mywiki/data/plugin/theme/  fixedleft.pyc  __init__.pyc

To activate the theme, you need to /etc/moin/, add the following line:

theme_default = 'fixedleft'

to activate fixed left as the default theme.

If you have two lines like this:

theme_default = 'rightsidebar'
theme_default = 'fixedleft'

The last one will be the effective one.

This entry was tagged: linux, python, wiki

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