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Using MoinMoin to Create a Static Website

This is an example of how you can use a "lightweight" wiki to create a website like this, on a server/desktop and then publish it to a remote server.

The setup is as follows:

This example makes 2 sites wiki1.localnet & wiki2.localnet

Installing on debian:

Installing the packages

sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-wsgi python-moinmoin

Creating an apache config

/etc/apache2/sites-enabled/xxx-wiki.conf -> ../sites-available/wiki.conf:

<VirtualHost *:80>

        ServerName  wiki1.localnet
        ServerAlias wiki2.localnet

        UseCanonicalName Off

        VirtualDocumentRoot /var/www/wiki/static/%0
        DocumentRoot /var/www/wiki

        <Directory />
                Options FollowSymLinks
                AllowOverride None
        <Directory /var/www/wiki/static>
                Options None
                AllowOverride All
                Order allow,deny
                Allow from all

                Header set Expires "Thu, 19 Nov 1981 08:52:00 GM"
                Header set Cache-Control "no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0"
                Header set Pragma "no-cache"

        # Ugly rewrite hack, to make sure that you cannot follow
        # links into the wiki area from the static dump
        RewriteEngine On
        RewriteCond %{HTTP:Referer} !=""
        RewriteCond %{HTTP:Referer} !^https?://[^/]*/edit(/.*)?$
        RewriteRule ^/edit(/.*)?$ - [G]

        # Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,
        # alert, emerg.
        LogLevel warn

        CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
        ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log

        # MoinMoin WSGI configuration
        # you will invoke your moin wikis like http://servername/public :
        WSGIScriptAlias /edit /usr/share/moin/server/moin.wsgi
        # create some wsgi daemons - use user/group same as your data_dir:
        WSGIDaemonProcess moin user=www-data group=www-data processes=5 threads=10 maximum-requests=1000 umask=0007
        # use the daemons we defined above to process requests!
        WSGIProcessGroup moin

        ### Serve static contents (images, javascript, css...) ###
        AliasMatch "^/edit/moin_static[0-9]*/applets/FCKeditor/(.*)" "/usr/share/fckeditor/$1"
        <Directory "/usr/share/fckeditor/">
                Options None
                AllowOverride None

        # The path to static contents changes (named after moinmoin version).
        AliasMatch "^/edit/moin_static[0-9]*/(.*)" "/usr/share/moin/htdocs/$1"
        <Directory "/usr/share/moin/htdocs/">
                Options -Indexes -FollowSymlinks
                AllowOverride None

        ScriptAlias /edit/publish /var/www/wiki/upload/
        <Directory /var/www/wiki/upload/>
                SetHandler cgi-script
                Options +ExecCGI
                Order allow,deny
                Allow from all

        ScriptAlias /edit/upload /var/www/wiki/upload/
        <Directory /var/www/wiki/upload/>
                SetHandler cgi-script
                Options +ExecCGI
                Order allow,deny
                Allow from all

This allows for multiple wikis, if the hostname can be found.

so create en entry in /etc/hosts:       localhost wiki1.localnet wiki2.localnet

So that they can be found, and create the directories where the wiki content resides

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/wiki/{wiki1.localnet,wiki2.localnet}/data/pages
sudo cp -a /usr/share/moin/data/plugin /var/www/wiki/wiki1.localnet/data/
sudo cp -a /usr/share/moin/data/plugin /var/www/wiki/wiki2.localnet/data/
sudo cp -a /usr/share/moin/underlay /var/www/wiki/
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/wiki/


wikis = [

    # wikiname, url regular expression
    # ---------------------------------------------------------------
    ("wiki1", r"^https?://wiki1\.localnet/.*$"),
    ("wiki2", r"^https?://wiki2\.localnet/.*$"),
class FarmConfig(multiconfig.DefaultConfig):
    url_prefix_static = '/edit' + url_prefix_static
    data_underlay_dir = "/var/www/wiki/underlay/"

/etc/moin/ (/etc/moin/ is almost the same, with quite obvious changes)

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
# IMPORTANT! This encoding (charset) setting MUST be correct! If you live in a
# western country and you don't know that you use utf-8, you probably want to
# use iso-8859-1 (or some other iso charset). If you use utf-8 (a Unicode
# encoding) you MUST use: coding: utf-8
# That setting must match the encoding your editor uses when you modify the
# settings below. If it does not, special non-ASCII chars will be wrong.

This is a sample config for a wiki that is part of a wiki farm and uses
farmconfig for common stuff. Here we define what has to be different from
the farm's common settings.

# we import the FarmConfig class for common defaults of our wikis:
from farmconfig import FarmConfig

# now we subclass that config (inherit from it) and change what's different:
class Config(FarmConfig):

    # basic options (you normally need to change these)
    sitename = u'Wiki1' # [Unicode]
    interwikiname = u'Wiki1' # [Unicode]

    # name of entry page / front page [Unicode], choose one of those:

    # a) if most wiki content is in a single language
    page_front_page = u"Index"

    # b) if wiki content is maintained in many languages
    #page_front_page = u"FrontPage"

    data_dir = '/var/www/wiki/wiki1/data/'

    template_dir = data_dir+'../template'
    publish_cmd = 'rsync --archive --verbose --delete . /var/www/wiki/static/wiki1.localnet/'
    upload_cmd = 'rsync --rsh="ssh -i '+upload_dir+'/id_rsa" --archive --verbose --delete /var/www/wiki/static/wiki1.localnet/ user@server.tld:'

Everything is set up, and you only need to restart the webserver:

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

and you should be able to point your browser at http://wiki1.localnet/ and start entering content for your website.

Creating a Static Website

My approach is dumping a snapshot of the wiki, wrapping all content in a template, and adding an overlay of stylesheets and graphics needed by the template.

For this you need a upload data structure that looks like this:

  • template.html - the major design of the site
  • underlay/ - files that should be handled as files dumped from the wiki (special content, does not get id-attributes and script-tabs wiped)
  • overlay/ - files added to the site (.png .jpg .css .js aso)
  • id_rsa - ssh key for rsync uploading

Directories for template:

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/wiki/{wiki1,wiki2}/template/{underlay,overlay}
sudo chown -R `id -un`:`id -gn` /var/www/wiki/{wiki1,wiki2}/template/

the format of the template.html

  <head><title> - my home</title></head>
    <div class="menu" id="menu:Menu.html"></div>
    <div id=":"></div>
  • the "menu:Menu.html" id-attribute - includes the content of Menu.html into the div on every page, and removes the Menu.html from the published website
  • the ":" id-attribute is where the content of every published page is inserted
  • If a title tag exists, the content of it is prepended with the content of the first "Heading 1" aka. the title of the page

Directories for publishing local:

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/wiki/static/{wiki1.localnet,wiki2.localnet}
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/static

Adding this to [settings] [preferences] [Quick links] in your wiki:

[[publish|* Publish (local)]]
[[upload|* Upload]]

Or if you don't want to add users you can add the 2 entries to /etc/moin/ under navi_bar

will add a couple of shortcuts, that allows you to publish to your local site, and upload (the published) to your remote site.

Last but not least,

Download and, then:

mv /var/www/wiki/upload/
chmod +x /var/www/wiki/upload/ /var/www/wiki/upload/

This is ready to go... however, you need a .htaccess file in the "template/overlay/" directory telling which page is your frontpage. The file should contain somthing like this:

DirectoryIndex Home.html

If you call your frontpage "Home".

Uploading with rsync & SSH

Create a ssh key in the template directory

ssh-keygen -t rsa -f /var/www/wiki/wiki1/template/id_rsa
sudo chown www-data:www-data /var/www/wiki/wiki1/template/id_rsa

get the public part of the key

cat /var/www/wiki/wiki1/template/

gives ssh-rsa Base64KeyKEykEykEYkeYkeyKEY... user@host

As user "publish" on a remote add the following to .ssh/authorized_keys:

command="rsync --server -vlogDtpre.iLsf --delete /var/www/mysite-documentroot",no-agent-forwarding,no-port-forwarding,no-pty,no-user-rc,no-X11-forwarding ssh-rsa Base64KeyKEykEykEYkeYkeyKEY... user@host

This will make sure that when you connect to publish@server the command "rsync --server -vlogDtpre.iLsf --delete /var/www/mysite-documentroot" will be run. This matches the "rsync --archive --delete . publish@server:" but will force destination to be publish@server:/var/www/mysite-documentroot.

Create a .ssh directory for the www-data user, and ssh as the www-data user to your publish host, in order to save the server fingerprint

mkdir ~www-data/.ssh
chown www-data:www-data
su - www-data
ssh host

And you're ready to go.