Can I run a local wiki?
May 7, 2008 8:39 PM   Subscribe

How do I run a wiki on my PC?

I have been doing some procedure manuals in HTML for use on a couple of office computers, and I'd really like them to be in a wiki format so that others can easily read and edit them.

I tried a couple of wikis, including PMWiki, but they need to run off a server. I'd rather have this working out of a directory on my XP office computer. It seems that it can be done because I used such a thing briefly a couple of years ago (and forgot what it was called).

In short, is there a Wiki designed for this purpose? How can I make a wiki run locally? It doesn't need to do anything fancy, just display some editable html with a few images. Should I be using some other tool to do this?

My knowledge of html and computers is pretty good, but if the comment is something like `install Apache!' without any further explanation, I will be more confused! Thanks all!
posted by tomble to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

TiddlyWiki is "...written in HTML, CSS and JavaScript to run on any modern browser without needing any ServerSide logic."

Sounds like that's what you want.
posted by majick at 8:43 PM on May 7, 2008

Second tiddlywiki. It's designed to solve your problem.
posted by pompomtom at 9:19 PM on May 7, 2008

Second on TiddlyWiki, but you've got some work to do before you can share it to your coworkers. If you want to be spared the hassle of running a server yourself, give Luminotes a try.
posted by semi at 9:28 PM on May 7, 2008

If you want a personal wiki, I can recommend wikidpad.

If you put a personal wiki on a shared network drive for multiple users to access and edit at the same time you might run into trouble. If you want multi-user write access, you should set up a wiki built for multiple users, not a personal one. From perusing the docs, I can't tell how well Tiddly Wiki works in that environment; it might be worth playing with to figure it out.

The canonical list of wiki engines is at is the original wiki. More on Tiddly Wiki at

Eddie's Wiki won the Easiest Installable Wiki Contest.

For multiple user document development, I'd recommend a version control system (like subversion), but that's probably more than you're looking for. Some wikis have revision control built in.
posted by and for no one at 9:29 PM on May 7, 2008

Seconding TiddlyWiki - The application is entirely contained in a single HTML file that works great in any modern browser. You can move it around to wherever you want just by copying the file.
posted by cnc at 9:35 PM on May 7, 2008

FYI - TiddlyWiki does not support simultaneous multiuser editing in its default form. Check here for some server side solutions.
posted by cnc at 9:44 PM on May 7, 2008

>if the comment is something like `install Apache!' without any further explanation, I will be more confused!

If TiddlyWiki doesn't work out for you, then ... 'install Apache!'.

No seriously. It's very simple these days to install Apache, and PHP, on a Windows computer, using things like XAMPP. It certainly won't be as simple as "install nothing except Tiddly" but it's easier than you think. And then you'd be able to a variety of Wikis with all the features they normally have online.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 9:56 PM on May 7, 2008

moinmoin has a desktop edition as well.
posted by themel at 10:06 PM on May 7, 2008

And just to be clear (I'm a big user of Tiddlywiki I take extensive reading notes in it) - if you are working with large amounts of data on TW you will see performance degradation. Once your file size hits around ~1MB or so.

So I use and love TW but I have to split my notes across multiple TW files.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 3:44 AM on May 8, 2008

Since you want multiple users to edit the wiki, Tiddlywiki isn't a good idea. If Alice loads the page, then Bob loads the page, then Alice saves the page, then Bob saves the page, Alice's changes are lost. themel's suggestion of MoinMoin's Desktop Edition. There's no configuration involved, just install python, download and extract moinMoin, the double-click, and your wiki is online.
posted by PueExMachina at 8:58 PM on May 8, 2008

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