Choosinga Wiki

This page is about choosing a wiki platform (software and/or services) when you want to set up a WikiWikiWeb.

Also see

Useful questions in evaluating the Wiki for you:

Some notes on recent work. First, removed questions easily answered by one of the above linked tables. Second, trimmed WikiChoosingStories. They should be on that page, not this one, unless in response to a question that isn't easily answered by a linked table.

Many people who are ChoosingaWiki today think they need inline HTML capability. I respectfully submit you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't read WhyDoesntWikiDoHtml first. -- MattBehrens

Nowadays many people get to know wikis by discovering WikiPedia, or as the result of the use of a SearchEngine such as GoogleSearch. People who are familiar with the markup syntax of wikipedia may find it annoying to switch markup styles. Since Wikipedia's software, WikiMedia, is free and open-source, it becomes a strong candidate for selection for those interested in implementing their own wiki.

On the other hand, they might do well to think twice before inflicting the complexities of MediaWiki upon their poor unsuspecting users. MediaWiki, whilst being a fine tool for the prupose for which it was designed - may well be considered the SwissArmyKnife of wikis: difficult to open, contains way too many tools that the average user will never need, and will cause grievous damage to your person if wielded carelessly.

user permissions, password logins

Many people who are ChoosingaWiki today think they need individual passwords so that only qualified individuals have permission to edit. While there are lots of wiki that support that (see WikiChoicetree under "User permissions"), you might also consider

Q: I've volunteered my services as a web designer to a group of friends for a site they want to produce/create. While brainstorming I thought that perhaps a Wiki would be a good idea for the site concept. Upon further research I realized it would be a great idea, but there are a few features I'm looking for that I'm unsure even exist in the world of Wiki's. - Is there a Wiki that allows the creator of a wiki article to be the only editor (or maybe them and an administrator)? Any help and all answers will be appreciated, thanks! - JA

Q: I assist local governments and the public to create comprehensive emergency response plans. I believe that a WikiWikiClone would be ideal to maintain these plans as LivingDocuments. However, I have the following needs:

-- SeanOleary has a table that will quickly answer most of your questions.

Q: I'm interested in setting up a wiki for members of my organization to edit documents collaboratively. Like SeanOleary, I'm concerned about only authorized users being able to alter documents. I have a number of other concerns, since I'm asking my ISP to provide this service for my group. My main concern is about security. I want to be sure that people can't:

I'm also concerned about a somewhat stable program that won't need a lot of patching.

We use Debian, Apache, MySQL, Perl and PHP.

Any suggestions on choosing a wiki, and especially, on where to go for info on security?

Thanks -- SusanD

A: Have a look at WikiTypeFramework that has a security system which can probably meet your needs. It runs under PHP and MySQL and is simple to set up. It permits authorized users to upload files, including graphics. It also provides the ability for authorized users to embed code on non-wiki pages to enhance functionality.

Q: I wonder if anyone can help me at all. I want to create an Encyclopedia-esque webpage for my constructed world (a la Tolkein), however, I don't want to have to deal with manually handling links. It seems a wiki would give me the best functionality, however, I can't figure out which one to use. I can't run it on my machine, I have to use the school webserver which supports PHP, Perl, and MySQL. However, I don't know PHP too well.

I realize I'm looking for something rather specialized, and somewhat non-wiki-ish.

Can anyone help me? And if another type of software would be better for me (something other than a wiki, that is) please let me know. Thank you.


-- Keith (

Q: I appear to have unusual authentication requirements. I want to run an intranet wiki and require login for all edits. I don't want to have to maintain yet another password database, so I am looking for a wiki which provides a hook for me to supply my own authentication code. Twiki comes close, but requires a mapping from Wiki to site accounts. This must be a common requirement - what am I missing?

-- Adam Stephen

A: (to both Adam and Keith)

Your requirements are not unusual nor specialized. I think wiki would be well-suited to both of you. Even more simple wiki engines, like UseMod can be configured (during installation) to require passwords for editing. You can disallow editing from anyone but the administrator, you can set up multiple passwords for multiple users, or users can set up their own passwords. There are more complex wiki engines which have more features for user login

You might find this page more helpful, albeit a bit cryptic with all the abbreviations:

-- HeatherJames 24 Apr 04

Q. I've set up a wiki a long time ago and am now looking for another one for a new project. I'm overwhelmed by how many wikis there are now. Can anyone tell if there's a Wiki with good user account management? Every user should only be allowed to see and edit 10 or so specific pages. The other pages would be, in best case, invisible to them.

See the WikiChoicetree under "User permissions". The ones with "ACLs for reading, editing and commenting" allow you to set up per-page access control lists so that you can specify a list of exactly which users can see and/or edit a particular page, and set up a completely different list of users on other pages.


Q: I am looking for a WIKI (I believe) that will run under Unix; can use Perl, PHP, Python, MySql or flat files. I will be using it as a place for multiple authors to collaborate on multiple books.. all authors will need various right ... their own books, others books and such. Initially private access (authors only) and then read only for public with abillity to make comments later.

The Crunch... Authors are not programmers (usually) so WYSIWYG would be nice but the clincher is that most of us don't like endless vertical scrolling material. We want to have 'pages' of fixed length (like a book) where text entered flows from one page to the next and the pages automatically (or at a button click) open a 'new page' and maintain links to one another. Automatic Links within text like Wikipedia are nice but not critical. Oh yeah,,, also free or cheap. Don't mind supporting programers... hate supporting corporations.

I tried a WIKI sandbox and think I can make do with categories and such but...

Simple, No?

I tried to find Ophir but can't locate it. MediaWiki seems like my best bet so far.

Thanks, F'jarr Foss

Does anyone know what wiki software ProjectForum uses? I suppose they must have developed it themselves since they're charging for it, but what is it most similar to? 'Cause I really like its features. -- John Ann the Mann

AnswerMe (hoping to get lots of work done over the holidays, so time is of the essence! Tx)

Q: I'm looking to set up a Wiki to chronicle an ongoing RPG campaign (Star Wars). I'd be hosting it on my wife's corporate webspace. I spent some time researching a few easy-access wikis, and settled on SWiki. When I queried the sysadmins of her webspace about setting up an Swiki, they replied:

"In general, you can run just about any Unix application or script you need to support your web site. There are very few restrictions. One of those restrictions is that you may not install or run any program that runs in the background, or operates non-interactively as a server, and this is what Swiki appears to do. So, to answer your question more directly, yes, you may - in principle - host a wiki, but not this one in particular."

In a follow-up email, the sysadmins indicated that their corporation uses MediaWiki internally (so I'm assuming that it would be ok).

So, I need help choosing a wiki that meets the sysadmins criteria, as well as my own:

Hypothetical: If I wished to have a WikiWiki like system that was designed to produce both good looking web pages and make producing high quality printed extracts/documents possible, is there a good system? A good starting point? What would be the best document formatting solution? etc. etc.

I am not sure, but I think TikiWiki does that..

I seriously recommend UseModWiki. MeatballWiki runs on that. It is being updated constantly and it is very advanced as wikis go, much more so than Zwiki. It is also written in Perl (and is one of my favorite examples showing that Perl code doesn't need to be ugly ;) -- ArnoutEngelen). Also, its development is actively discussed on MeatballWiki. And, most importantly, it's easy to set up and use. -- SunirShah

And there's an export script possibility in its future. -- JohnAbbe

I agree that it's really easy to set-up! It is kind of slow though. Maybe it's because of my Web server? -- AkeWallebom?

I just set it up, and it works great on a unix system. I like the different formatting rules and other features.

If you are considering UseModWiki, you should also look at OddMuseWiki. It enhances UseModWiki's feature set in several ways, including excellent Unicode support.

Is there a wiki that will allow people to upload things like GIFs, JPEGs, PowerPoint presentations to the server?

Please see

I have been looking for a reasonable wiki-system, one without WikiCase and with a clear, free license on the code. Anyone?

Q: Which WikiWikiClones work without a Web server - i.e. which ones include a (simple) HTTP server themselves? EddiesWiki is a very nice simple wiki-server - a very small exe file that you can run without installing anything. But are there others? -- BjarkeEbert

A: ZwiKi for one, ZopeApplicationServer includes its own HTTP server.

A: JikiJikiJava does. I once tried to install it because of that (and its "[text:url]" syntax to allow Real Links), but found it didn't want to compile under FreeBSD. I eventually gave up and wrote my own wiki in the IconLanguage. -- BillTrost

A: Instiki does, too. it runs on port 2500 by default. -- dan dube

Q: I have installed ChiqChaq in a Web site and am pleased with it. Mind you though, it's the first wiki I installed and I am looking now at other wikis to find out if I'm missing out on something. Can someone tell me why I don't see it used that much? is there something wrong with it? why is it not mentioned on this choosing a wiki page?

A: Part of the reason chiq_chaq is not mentioned much is that it is relatively new. Another reason is that when I first wrote about it here, the source was not publicly available. Only a short while ago did I update the page here and so it gained attention. As for your question "is there something wrong with it?" - do tell me if you encounter such things! -- YonatSharon

Q: I am thinking about setting up a free for all wiki to compile information about driving lessons for my site, I don't have any knowledge of making websites. Can anyone recommend a good option for a noob like me? -- John

A: Hi John, what you might want todo is start of with a simple blog, eg: - A blog will get you used to editing content in a WYSIWYG editor and managing pages, its then pretty much exploring and giving things a go from there on in.

A2: is a great way to get started with minimal effort.

Q: I'm thinking of installing a wiki to control an internal repository of tips and notes that our group maintains. There's quite a large existing repository of Web pages that I would need to import into my wiki. Is this difficult to do on most wiki engines? Are there some that make this easier? We use Apache and run PHP, MySQL and Perl. I don't mind losing some of the formatting in the existing Web pages, I just don't want to have to import them by hand. Any suggestions? Thanks.

A: A wiki that supports HTML would make it easy to just import your pages (without the HEAD and BODY elements, though I think TWiki may let you do this even with them). Otherwise, you'd have to write a tool that turns HTML into the wiki syntax involved. I would use TWiki since it's already quite a large repository and used on an intranet - it has a lot of plugins for additional features (e.g. calendars, action tracking, table sorting, charting, project tracking, etc), and has good access control and revision tracking. -- RichardDonkin

I find the Wikipedia wiki very good. It does redirects, has a very good difference / history engine, supports unicode (non-Latin fonts), handle [[pages named like this]]. It's quite easy to setup.

-- Will Smith, Malaysia

Q: I am looking for a wiki to help a system administration team exchange and keep current information about various systems and services in our care. Some of the features I'd like in a wiki include (in descending order of importance) ...

Any suggestions? Of course, I might just end up writing my own! :)

-- Karl A. Krueger, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA

A: TWikiClone might be suitable. It has support for diffs, file attachments for pages, plugin -system for extensions, FreeLinks, support for user accounts. Storage is file based and it is coded in Perl. HTML is supported.

I am interested in setting up a wiki at my company. With so many options to choose from, I turn to the community. Here is what I am after...

Must have:

Would really like to have: Would also like to have: (AsOpposedToDeveloperFriendly? - for the non-techies in the company) btw, is there a base set of features required to have a WikiEngine?

Try looking at WikiEngineReview or some of the pages linked from there. -- RandyKramer

Is there a feature matrix that can be combined with the master list of engines?

WikiEngineReview was an overblown attempt to do something along those lines - maybe someone can take some of the work done there and abstract significant points to a summary table on another page? -- Randy Kramer

thx Andy Kriger

If you can accept PHPlanguage and MySql, MediaWiki works pretty well for your requirements - plus, WikiPedians will be able to use it easily. However, I believe that a lot of the java implementations of WikiWiki use their own separate server... must check that.

Q: I've noticed that Zwiki and coWiki both have the option to display a hierarchy of pages. I know this is a very un-wiki thing to do, but I still wonder, are there other wikis that have this feature?

A: Not sure exactly what those features are like. TWiki supports the notion of parent and child pages, a page started from another page becomes a child of that page, and the "bread crumb trail" at the top of the standard TWiki skin shows the bread crumb trail for that page. For example, the bread crumb trail for looks like "TWiki > Codev > PhpNuke? > PostNuke? > PhpWiki > TWikiOnPhp". See Note that TWiki divides a WikiSite into webs (think, but don't say "directories" or "folders" ;-) ) and there is a way to have a hierarchy of webs - not well known or supported (at least to me). -- RandyKramer

A: Wiki has a drill down contents page sidebar, to allow hierarchy of pages.

Q: I'm looking for a wiki I can either A: install on a winXP machine at home and run when I need to, or B: run on the freely provided 10 MB Web site. I am NOT experienced with anything perl/php/java all that Web stuff. I am a graphic artist and an amateur game designer, and I'm looking for an easy way to post an editable design documents to work with people online. So far we have been using very crude methods to create our past games and I'm looking for something that will allow more workability and organization. Are there any "wiki for total idiots" sites out there, or distributions which require almost 0 knowledge of a specific Web language? -- ShaharEldar?

P.S. something that I can post pictures to would probably be even better than anything I can't...

A: Maybe you want to look at PWP and XAMPP

XAMPP is an Apache webserver with php, perl, mySQL and a lot more features, just unzip it and hit install and you will get it running in 1 minute.

Once you've managed to get XAMPP running you can install PWP. PWP uses flat files and will require no configuration at all, just unzip it and it works. Including images on your pages is also easy to do. The best feature of PWP is it's static page export, which generates a bunch of files you can upload to a simple web server without php and sql capabilities (Such as your Earthlink server). People can then still view your Wiki, although no-one can edit the pages. If you still want this, you will have to look for a more advanced web server, and be willing to pay for that.

EDIT: I found an even lighter webserver which does just the same:

Miniserver (also known as Uniserver) does a lovely job running various WikiWare? packages. And it's a lot smaller than XAMPP (because they took out most of the stuff you'll never use). I plan to release a ready-to-go package with Miniserver and ErfurtWiki, for those who want to set up a PersonalWiki easily.

The latest PWP version is 1.4.1 and it was released on 17 October 2003 -- Ewout Stam at 19 April 2004 11:15 GMT

I installed piki in under 1/2 hour. The design is simple, 1 executable - well, one SCRIPT - file in python. All pages in one dir under the web cgi-bin. I also looked at one of its descendants, MoinMoin, and although it's powerful, the thing left me quaking at the many places in the system it wanted access to, where many system level things live. Piki is nice and secure, so it has mush less to worry about on the security front, and even is simple to set up! You DO have to go in and edit the configuration items so it knows its path information and a few other things. It could use some more features, but it is a good basic wiki and is a breeze in general. I would recommend it to the pythonista reading these words. Another descendant to look for is pikie, (Extended Piki). VERY nice pages. Although it is easy to use, I have not attempted installing it, and cannot comment on security.

-- KirkBailey

I've just started using SqueakWiki for a personal wiki server to catch the contents of my fragmented brain. For some time I've been using a tool called TheBrain to store and retrieve information on my PC. Unfortunately, TheBrain is a Win32-only app and stores its information locally. The beauty of using a wiki is that the information is accessible from any browser.

Currently, the SqueakWiki is running on my Linux box, but I intend moving it to my laptop so that I can access it whilst off-line, but still have it networked when at home or in the office.

-- GarethHowell

The wiki I want:

What is the closest match?


You could have a look at PerspectiveWiki, it doesn't do all of this but it is OSS and the author seems open to suggestions.


Our system documentation is in Word, but we would like to have it in a Wiki, especially for the reason that everybody can see what the last changes were about.

Now, is it necessary to cut and paste every document (and loose the formatting etc.)? I thought of linking or attaching the various Word documents to respective Wiki pages. But then they won't get included in the Wiki-comparison, will they? Or is there any other possibility? ... and which Wiki will help me with all that?

-- B**rbel Brandl

A: You could "SaveAs" the Word documents as html and then generate a wiki page with links to the documents. It's a start to html'ifying your documents. -- FrancisLiu

Q: I'm looking for a wiki supporting mathematical formulas. I already tried pm-wiki, which works great. I don't have any Mysql-Access and would prefer php, does anyone know the right Wiki for me? olli, 12.05.2004

Every wiki I know about support mathematical formulas in the form of standard .png images.

Several wiki support mathematical formulas in the (more convenient to edit) TeX (which is then automatically converted to .png files for web browsers):

Q: I'm looking for a personal wiki that can run from Pocket PC. Not bothered about which language it is written in.

Neil - 2 June 2004

Q. Does anyone know if there's a wiki that lets people see what has been revised on the page itself (through bold or italicized text, say)? I like how you can step back to previous versions of a page, but for long documents I can see how it would be difficult to track changes. Thanks for your help.--LL (7/13/04)

BenKovitz's GreenLightWiki uses a vertical yellow bar at the left of modified text after the manner of WhyClublet's GoldBar. WhyClublet also has a very nice way of accessing previous versions (see the bottom RHS of any page there), but the engine is proprietary to RichardDrake. I would recommend talking to Ben first.

I started simple, with a perl-based wiki distributed with the book The Wiki Way. Soon I did some modifications and then I realized that I needed much more, so I moved to TWiki.

If you want only a Wiki, TWiki is a good choice and easy to install. I didn't manage to make any plug-in work correctly, they all have twists in the installation.

Now I am moving to TikiWiki, because I really think a collaboration system is more than a Wiki.

There is a caveat. I can't convert pages without a lot of work!


I'm looking for a wiki that is more OBJECT based. Simply put, each paragraph is an object (with an author/date modified/date created/revision history at the paragraph level).

Any ideas?

Sounds like "PurpleNumbers?". I've been told they've been implemented in at least one wiki so far -- see .


Hi I am also looking for a wiki which serves my needs, can anyone help.

I already tried four and I am a little frustrated.

Here are my requirements: -php -Mysql => which leafs only 30 (or so :-))) Features:

User management e.g. I want to create a page where I can specify who sees it. Also the link on the former page should only be displayed when the user has the respective access rights



Categorization (not so important, but if its there great)

Easy to install

extremely easy to use (!)

The purpose is to drive discussions around a software project

Thanks for your help

MoinMoin satisfies all these requirements.

Q: I am looking for something I can set up for a High School Theory Of Knowledge (Dirty IB Snobs) class so technologically retarded individuals can help create a class lexicon with the openness of a wiki, moderated file hosting, and preferably an automatic directory system as there will be several classes running their own wikis in parallel. I don't particularly care whether or not it will need usernames and passwords, but it should at least record information of each editor.

So what question do you have that isn't answered by the provided resources at the links of the top of the page? We can't very well tell you what to use without constraints from you, and you should at least put in the effort of reading the resources provided.

2/15/05 I'm looking for a Wiki with the following features:

Which is my wiki?
  Thanks, Erez Segal

I want... a flat wiki that requires no database, just a plain/text file. Coz, a database cost me few buck every months. Yet featureful, like FreeGuppy? or FlatNuke? (not a wiki though) or TikiWiki.

A: Try PmWiki, which is flat-file out-of-the-box. It has a very vigorous and strong community, a huge Cookbook for plug-ins, entirely PHP, cross-platform independent, portable from server-to-server, and it's GPL. It's about to go to 2.0 release, and is VERY usable and stable as it stands.

Q: Does anyone know of a text file-based wiki engine that keeps pages as single, plain-old wiki-formatted text files? I want to be able to directly edit the page files from my web server shell account or to upload them from my PDA and want the files to be nice, simple, readable, text. I also prefer an engine that's a single, as-simple-as-possible, Perl CGI script.

A: DidiWiki comes close, but has control characters imbedded in the text.

Q: What control codes? I've only found Ctrl-M at the ends of lines and Ctrl-@ at the end of a file. These are trivial to deal with. Are there any others? (Replies might be better on DidiWiki)

Q: Similar to above. I'd like to be able to edit any text within my wiki via gvim, rather than a web browser. I'm hoping to find a wiki that has a flat-file database of text files, so that I can mount it remotely through LUFS (via ssh). I basically want the power of my text editor for managing text, with the ad-hoc organization of a wiki to organize it all. User accounts might be nice, although if it's what I'm looking for, it will be flat-file, and I can probably just use a .htaccess file to manage what areas are public or not. Does anyone hav eany ideas? DidiWiki seems to come close.... I'd like it to be in perl or php.

Edit: I may have answered my own queston. pmWiki seems to do more or less everything I want. Awesome.

Q: I am actually looking for a Wiki which will work on my Playstation Portable (believe it or not). I have 2 gigs of space to work with and would like to have a Wiki that I could port back and forth to work as a PIM. I use it as portable gaming/music already and like it for that, but with its browser features, I was hoping I could put a Wiki on the card as well. It can handle Javascript, but that is about it beyond the standard browser. - Thanks Michael A. B.

Q: I have a client who has written a book and would like to run an experiment with a Wiki. He'd like to show his book's original text on one side of the page and the Wiki-editable text on the other side. Is there a Wiki product that allows display of two versions of a text side by side? I would prefer Unix over Windows, but will look at anything. - Thanks, Erik

A: I can't think of any wikis where that is the standard display mode. However, many wikis are backed by a RevisionControlSystem and allow a side-by-side view of different revisions of the page with differences highlighted. (See VersionControlAppliedToWiki.) Is that close enough?

Q: I'm looking for a wiki with good organization features. What I really want is hierarchical organization that lets a page be a child of more than one page (so that the graph of the wiki structure isn't a tree, but an arbitrary acyclic graph), plus a way to put a map of this structure on the sidebar, preferably with collapsible categories so that it doesn't get enormous. I know TiddlyWiki has exactly what I want (using TagglyTagging and SiteMap), but I'd like a wiki more usable by multiple people (page locking would be nice...). If there is no wiki with exactly what I want, what are wikis with various nice organization options?

Q: I'm not sure exactly how to ask, but I'm wanting a wiki that will allow me to have 2 column pages with each side editable on its own. It's for a Wiki game that I'm trying to put together, where one side (or panel) is for discussion (like a forum) and the other side is for actual play (paragraphs in a story). Am I looking for a wiki that can be templated, a special farm, or what?

A: You mean, something like ? Q: Is this something that is built in to MediaWiki ?

Q: Shouldn't the title of this page be ChoosingAWiki? The current page title shows up as "Choosinga Wiki", which is kinda odd...

A: Yes.

Q: I have a basic website that is hosted for free, so it does not allow PHP, MySQL, CGI/Perl/SS, Frontpage Extensions etc (which are all 'extra'). So I am basically limited to HTML. Is there any wiki out there that I could use?

A1: All wiki are CGI extensions (no matter if they are written PHP, Perl, or whatever). So it sounds like you can't start a new wiki on that host. However, you may "use" any public wiki that already exists. Please respect what the people already at that wiki are trying to build.

A2: Also, you can start a new wiki on some other server that has a WikiFarm or WikiHive like or .

A3: Perhaps TiddlyWiki?

Q: Hello, please could someone advise whether there is a wiki that can do all of the following in the same instance:

I've tried Dokuwiki, TWiki, and Tikiwiki, but failed to get LaTeX formulae to display. Moinmoin, Instiki, and PMWiki look interesting; any advice warmly welcomed.



Q: Hello, first time poster here (long time reader). Which wikis support TransClusion of one page (or part of one page) into another? A simple codebase would be ideal. I have only found one or two wikis that do--notably PurpleWiki. Suggestions on general transclusion mechanisms to build a new wiki are also not unwelcome, as I can always adopt an existing codebase (Wi?). Other ideal features include flat file format, backlinks, and perhaps an RSS feed, but none is a dealbreaker.



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