Setting up a local preview or creating a static site

It’s usually nice to be able to see changes locally, before having the whole world see them. Also, it’s often convenient to use ikiWiki to create a static site. Both these tasks are easy to do (but aren’t documented too well). Here are brief instructions:

  1. First install ikiwiki on your local machine.

  2. Clone the wiki repository into the directory local-wiki.

  3. Copy your wiki setup file from the server into preview.setup and put it into the local local-wiki directory.

  4. Edit preview.setup and make the following changes:

    srcdir: .
    destdir: ./html_output
    exclude: (^|/)Makefile$|\.setup$|(^|/)html_output

    Also edit libdir if you have custom ikiwiki scripts on the server

  5. For speed improvement you might want to comment out the lines with

  6. Disable unnecessary plugins: userlist, notifyemail, 404, recentchanges.

  7. Disable the cgiurl, and discussion pages. If you don’t want the default documentation etc. that comes with the default ikiWiki, also disable the default underlay.

    # cgiurl: 
    underlaydir: /dev/null
    discussion: 0
  8. Create a file called Makefile with the following:

            ikiwiki --setup preview.setup --verbose --refresh
            rm -rf html_output
            ikiwiki --setup preview.setup --verbose --rebuild
  9. Run make rebuild. Now running make will refresh your wiki. Open html_output/index.html in your local browser and you have a local preview.

  10. If you wanted to create a static site, then the contents are in the html_output directory. rsync this directory to your server and you’re good to go.


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