OpenGuides installation instructions

If while following the instructions below or while trying to use your
OpenGuides install you see an error that you don't understand, please
consult the TROUBLESHOOTING file.

For details about installing multiple OpenGuides sites on a single
server, or installing OpenGuides into a directory that isn't where
your system Perl library is, see further down this file.

* Basic installation

Unpack the distribution (using for example 'tar' or 'WinZip'), and set
your working directory to be the top level of the distribution.

If you have an existing "wiki.conf" configuration file and you wish
to keep using the values in that, copy it to this directory.

Now execute the following commands:

perl Build.PL
perl Build
perl Build test
perl Build install

The very first of these commands asks a number of questions regarding
the installation.

  "Skip OpenGuides configuration?"

Answer "n" to this question unless you really know what you're doing.
It's mainly there for developers. (If you already have a configuration
file, and wish to use it without the build script asking you this
question, run Build.PL with the option --force. This will also skip
the "Continue with install?" question.)

  "What type of database do you want the site to run on?"

Answer "postgres", "mysql", or "sqlite".

  "What's the name of the database that this site runs on?"
  "...the database user that can access that database?"
  "...the password that they use to access the database?"

You should create (or ask your ISP/sysadmin to create) a database
specifically for the use of OpenGuides.  If you have more than one
OpenGuides installation, for example if you run guides for more than
one city, each installation will need its own database.

  "...the machine that the database is hosted on? (blank if local"

If the database is running on a local machine with username/password
authentication then just press RETURN to skip this question.  If it
is running on a local machine with IDENT authentication then you may
need to answer "localhost" to this question.  If it is running on a
remote machine then enter the full hostname of that machine.

  "What do you want the script to be called?"

The default is for the main script to be called "wiki.cgi", but
you may prefer to name it after your city - "leeds-guide.cgi" for
example.  Note that your webserver may be configured to only allow
execution of scripts ending in, for example, ".cgi"

  "What directory should I install it in?"

You need to pick a directory for the OpenGuides software to be
installed in.  This must be one known to the webserver as containing
CGI scripts.  You will need to have write permission on this directory
when you come to run "perl Build install"; unless this is a private
directory belonging to you then this might require an 'su' or 'sudo'
to root under Unix.

  "What directory should I install the templates in?"
  "Where should I look for custom templates?"

Normally these will be in the install directory, but they can be anywhere.
Custom templates are intended to be user-modified, so you might want to
put them somewhere in /etc.

  "What URL does the install directory map to?"

Give the full address needed to access the installation directory with
a web browser - for example

  "Do you want me to munge a custom lib path into the scripts?"

If you have installed some or all of the required Perl modules (or indeed
the OpenGuides modules themselves) into a private directory, you will
need to tell the scripts where to find these modules.  Enter the paths
to search here just as you would enter them in a 'use lib qw( ... );'
in a Perl script.

  "Do you want to use Plucene for searching?"

This question is no longer asked, but documentation here is retained for
the benefit of people upgrading.

If you are changing to Plucene from Search::InvertedIndex, you will
need to do two things:
    - either delete your old indexes (they're just files in the index
      directory) or use a different index directory
    - reindex your entire wiki (see in the examples/
      directory of this distribution)

  "What directory can I use to store indexes in for searching?"

You need a directory to store files used as indexes for the site. The
user that your script will run as will need write permission on this
directory.  Under some webserver configurations this might be a
dedicated user - 'nobody' or 'www-data' for example, but for many
multi-user systems this will just be yourself.

  "Do you want to enable page deletion?"
  "Please specify a password for the site admin."

The default is to disable page deletion.  If you choose to enable the
page deletion mechanism then you will need to add a password to your
wiki.conf by answering the question above or manually using a line such as
  admin_pass = putyourpasswordhere
Users who know this password will be able to delete unwanted pages -
along with all their history - from your wiki.

  "What's the URL of the site's stylesheet?  If you don't enter one here,
  the basic OpenGuides stylesheet will be used instead.

Supplying an answer to this question is optional.  If you do not supply
your own stylesheet, your guide will use the basic OpenGuides stylesheet
instead (this is automatically installed in your static content directory
regardless of your answer to the present question).

  "What's the wiki called?"

This is a title which will appear at the top of every page.  If you have
more than one OpenGuides installation at the same site then each should
have a unique name, since this name is used to manage user preferences.

  "Do you want the navigation bar included on the home page?"

Answer "y" or "n".

  "Do you want the ten most recent changes included on the home page?"

Answer "y" or "n".

  "Do you want the Random Page link to avoid returning a locale page?
  "Do you want the Random Page link to avoid returning a category page?

Answer "y" or "n".  The defaults are "n", which means that Random Page is as
likely to return a category or locale page as anything else.  If the category
and locale pages on your Guide are generally just lists of things in that
category/locale, you probably want to pick "y" here.  If, on the other hand,
your category/locale pages generally have substantial content of their own,
you may prefer to choose "n".

  "Do you want the content to appear above the navbar in the HTML?"

Answer "y" or "n".  The default is "n", for reasons of backwards
compatibility with existing stylesheets, but the recommended answer is
"y", as this will help search engines to find the most relevant parts
of your pages.

  "What should the home page of the wiki be called?"
  "How would you describe the wiki?"


  "What city is the wiki based in?"
  "What country is the wiki based in?"

If the wiki will not be city or country specific you can leave either or
both of these blank.

  "Contact email address for the wiki admin?"

Self explanatory.

  "What language will the site be in? (Please give an ISO language code.)"

eg "en" for English, "it" for Italian.

  "What's the name of the node or page to use for the text formatting
   rules link?"
  "What URL do you want to use for the text formatting rules"

From 0.19, OpenGuides allows users to choose whether or not to have a
permanent link to the text formatting rules node or page in their navbar.
You need to put the name of that node or URL in here for it to work, though.
You might want to call the node "Text Formatting Examples",
"Text Formatting Rules", "House Style" or whatever.

Note that these the latter question will override the former, so if you
want to use a local node make sure to leave the latter blank.

  "Make node titles link to node backlinks (C2 style)?"

This refers to turning titles into links which bring up a list of referring
pages. This was the convention with older wikis ("C2" refers to the original
wiki at, but is not intuitive.

  "Do you want to use the Leaflet mapping library?"

Answer "y" or "n", but "y" is recommended.  In version 0.67 of OpenGuides,
we switched from using the Google Maps API to the open source Leaflet mapping
library.  For now, Google Maps support is retained for legacy reasons, but is
deprecated and will be removed in the future.  We therefore recommend that
you answer "y" to this question.

  "Would you like to display a map on every node that has geodata?"

Answer "y" or "n".  Note that an answer of "y" will only take effect if you've
either chosen to use the Leaflet mapping library, or you've supplied a Google
Maps API key.  Note further that users can choose to turn this off in their

  "Do you have a Google Maps API key to use with this guide?"

As of version 0.67 of OpenGuides, we recommend using the Leaflet mapping
library instead of Google Maps - our Google Maps support is out of date and
no longer maintained.  However, if you do want to use Google Maps, you need
to register with Google to get an API key. Visit and follow the
instructions. Paste the great long string into the console window where you
are installing. See README.GMAPS for more information.

  "What is the longitude of the centre point of a map to draw for your guide?"
  "What is the latitude of the centre point of a map to draw for your guide?"

This is only necessary if you're using Google Maps - our Leaflet code will
figure this out for you.  If you do choose to use Google Maps, it's probably
a good idea to pick some notionally central point for your
guide. For example, Carfax for Oxford, Charing Cross for London. As a
convenience, you may paste in a Google Maps URL for the centre longitude
question and the (long,lat) will be parsed out from the URL.

  "What default zoom level shall we use for Google Maps?"
  "What default zoom level shall we use for Google Maps in the search results?"

The defaults are probably appropriate in most cases.

  "Forcibly treat stored lat/long data as if they used the WGS84 ellipsoid?"

Default this answer if you don't know what it means.

  "Do you have a Google Analytics key to use with this guide?"

If you'd like to use Google Analytics to track the traffic on your guide,
visit to sign up for a key.  The answer to
this question is the string in quotes in the HTML fragment they ask you to
paste into your HTML, something along the lines of _uacct = "UA-1234567-1"
- it's the UA-1234567-1 part that you need to put in here.  If you've
forgotten your key, go to Analytics Settings, click "Edit" under Settings,
then click "Check Status" in the top right-hand corner of the box with grey

  "What licence will you use for the guide?"

We strongly recommend that you think at the outset about the licence your
guide will use, for maximum usefulness. In particular for a guide that will
be on the OpenGuides network, we recommend the
"Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5" licence.

  "What is the URL to your licence?"

If you used our recommendation above the URL you will want here is:

  "What is the URL to your local page about your licensing policy?"

You should probably include a page on your wiki about your local licensing
policy, but you can leave this blank for now if you don't have one yet.

  "What module would you like to use for spam detection? (optional)"

The module you choose should have a method called "looks_like_spam", which
accepts a hash with content and metadata as keys, and returns true or false
to the question of whether the edit should be considered to be spam.

  "What directory should we install static content (CSS, images, javascript)

OpenGuides comes with some static content which will be installed

  "What is the URL corresponding to the static content?"

You will need to configure the above directory in your web server, then
input the URL the content will be visible at here.

  "Should we send email notifications when a moderated node is edited?"

For spam avoidance, you can configure certain nodes to require moderation.
To ensure that such edits are noticed, OpenGuides can email you.

  "Distance calculation methods available are:
      1) British National Grid
      2) Irish National Grid
      3) UTM ellipsoid
   Which would you like to use?"

  (and if you choose UTM ellipsoid)
  "Which ellipsoid would you like to use? (eg 'Airy', 'WGS-84')"

See for how this all works.
A UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) ellipsoid maps latitude and
longitude to eastings and northings on a square grid, which allows
more accurate distance calculations within the guide.  The British and
Irish National Grids are scaled and parametrised versions of UTM
ellipsoids (Airy 1830 in the British case, Modified Airy in the Irish).

Please note that at the moment there is no provision for changing your
mind later about which ellipsoid to use, but it shouldn't be too hard
to write a conversion script so don't worry too much about picking the
wrong one.  However do note that once you've entered some location
data you should not change this value in the config file without running
some kind of converter.

If you decide to use the British or Irish National Grid, your users
will be able to choose between entering location data as lat/long
or as grid co-ordinates.

You must have Geo::Coordinates::OSGB installed to use the British
National Grid, Geo::Coordinates::ITM to use the Irish National
Grid, and Geo::Coordinates::UTM to use a UTM ellipsoid.

If you want to use a UTM ellipsoid, WGS-84 is the best choice, as it
will allow you to use the mapping support with the minimum of fuss.

* Dependency errors

If, after you have answered these questions, the build script complains
about missing dependencies, don't panic! Simply install them from CPAN and
then try again. Note that a wiki.conf file will have been written out at
this point, so if you retain it you won't have to answer all the questions

* Custom templates and CSS

Once you have installed OpenGuides you may wish to edit templates that
provide site-specific design. These templates are stored in the directory
custom-templates/ by default and are described in the file CUSTOMISATION.

The id and class tags used for the CSS in OpenGuides are specified in

* Security

The installer will try to create (or modify an existing) a .htaccess file
to protect wiki.conf, which contains sensitive data (ie passwords).
However we cannot tell whether apache (or any other web server you may be
using) is using this file, so you should check that it functioning and that
you cannot access wiki.conf over HTTP.

You should also configure wiki.conf with the minimum permissions required
so that local users cannot read the file. This is difficult to automate,
but the file should be probably be mode 0640, owned by root or an admin
user, and set to the group the web server runs with.

* Web server configuration

In order to let your web server serve up OpenGuides correctly, you will
have to tell it to recognise your installation directory as one
containing CGI scripts. However you can make your URLs nicer by
employing mod_rewrite as well. The following Apache configuration
directives show how:

	Alias /myguide /usr/lib/cgi-bin/myguide
	<Directory /usr/lib/cgi-bin/myguide>
	    Options FollowSymLinks Indexes ExecCGI
	    RewriteEngine on
	    RewriteBase /myguide/
	    RewriteRule ^$      wiki.cgi        [L]
	Redirect /cgi-bin/myguide/

You will of course need to make the appropriate substitutions for
your site. You also need to make sure that mod_rewrite is enabled in
your web server before adding such a configuration. The final step in
this URL tidying is to tell OpenGuides that the main CGI script can be
assumed to be called from the root of the install directory; do this by
setting the script name to be empty in wiki.conf:

	# what do you want the script to be called?
	script_name =

Currently the Build script does not support this value, so you will
have to make sure that you fix this up after an upgrade.

* Custom install locations

If you wish to install the OpenGuides modules in a private directory,
you will need to specify this when you run the Build.PL.

If you are using version 0.20 or newer of Module::Build, do:

  perl Build.PL install_path=lib=/path/to/my/modules/ \
		install_path=script=/path/to/my/bin/ \
        install_path=arch=/path/to/my/modules/auto/ \
		install_path=libdoc=/path/to/my/man/ \

Or for earlier versions of Module::Build, do:

  perl Build.PL config='sitelib=/path/to/my/modules/'

If any or all of the modules required by the OpenGuides scripts are in
a private directory, then you'll need to tell the scripts where to find
them. See the section above about munging in a custom lib path.


Important note for those using SQLite:

The user your CGI is running as must have write access to not only the
database file itself, but the directory that the file is in, in order
that it can write a lockfile. If it doesn't have write access to the
database file, you'll see errors like "Unhandled error: [DBD::SQLite::db
do failed...".


* Multiple installations

If you want to run multiple OpenGuides sites on one machine, you can use
some tricks to make life easier. This isn't currently part of the official
install routine, but will generally work. In the rest of this section we
will assume that you already have a working OpenGuides install for a
single site.

Make a directory for the new site, and populate it with a set of symlinks
to the main installation directory (ie. for wiki.cgi, supersearch.cgi,
newpage.cgi, preferences.cgi, and the templates directory). wiki.conf
will not be a symlink, since this will differ from the original site.
In this case, simply copy the wiki.conf from the original install and
modify it in the obvious way; most importantly, by giving it a different
database name (we'll create the database in a moment). Don't forget to
set up a separate directory for indices for the new site.

Normally, the database is created by the installation process described
above; however since we only want one copy of the modules and CGI
programs, it isn't appropriate to run them again. So we will make use of
the utility program "cgi-wiki-setupdb" which is included with the
Wiki::Toolkit distribution. Documentation for this command can be found in
its man page; run this with the appropriate arguments to create the
new database.

Once the key step of setting up the database has been performed, and the
web server configured appropriately, the new site should be ready to go!