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Home :: PmWiki :: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This page attempts to answer the more common questions you might have. Many of the answers refer you to other pages for details.

Questions

How do I get my question answered?

The quickest and best way is to join the pmwiki-users mailing list and post your question there. If it really is a frequently-asked question, it will eventually be added to this page.

An alternative way is to leave your question on the Questions page.

Getting help

Where can I get help with PmWiki? (This is a pretty vague question!)

See this FAQ, Troubleshooting, or try a Search.

Error messages

What does warning message or error message "xxxxx" mean?

Error/warning questions and answers are on the Troubleshooting page.

Links

How do I put a link that will open as a new window?

Use the %newwin% wikistyle, as in:

%newwin%http://www.example.com/

http://www.example.com/(approve sites)

How do I place a mailing address in a page?

Use the mailto: markup, as in one of the following:

    mailto:myaddress@example.com
    [[mailto:myaddress@example.com]]
    [[mailto:myaddress@example.com | email me]]

See also Cookbook:EProtect for information on protecting email addresses from spammers.

How do I make a WikiWord link to an external page instead of a WikiPage?

Use link markup. There are two formats:

    [[http://www.example.com/ | WikiWord]]
    [[WikiWord -> http://www.example.com/]]

How do I find all of the pages that link to another page (i.e., backlinks)?

Use the link= option of the (:pagelist:) directive, as in

    (:pagelist link=SomePage:)   -- show all links to SomePage
    (:pagelist link={$FullName}:)  -- show all links to the current page

Tables

How do I create nice tables similar to Product X?

See tables and table directives.

Page Directives

Can I get (:redirect:) to return a "moved permanently" (HTTP 301) status code?

Use (:redirect PageName status=301:).

Is there any way to prevent the "redirected from" message from showing at the top of the target page when I use (:redirect:)?

If you want to suppress the message...

  • in all cases, add add $PageRedirectFmt = ''; in your local/config.php
  • based on the destination/target of the redirect, add $PageRedirectFmt = ''; to a local/group.page.php or local/group.php file (see PmWiki.PerGroupCustomizations).
  • based on the origin/source of the redirect, add the following to your local/config.php
   if (@$_GET['from']) {
     $group = PageVar($_GET['from'], '$Group');
     if ($group == 'SomeGroup') $PageRedirectFmt = '';
   }
Example application: Replace 'SomeGroup' with 'Profiles'

Page History

Is there a way to remove page history from page files?

1. Administrators can clean page histories using the Cookbook:ExpireDiff recipe.

2. Administrators with FTP file access can download individual pages from the wiki.d directory, open them in a text editor, manually remove history, and re-upload the files to wiki.d/ directory. Care must be exercised, when manually editing a page file, to preserve the minimum required elements of the page and avoid corrupting its contents. See PageFileFormat#creating.

3. Edit the page. Select all the contents of the edit text area and cut them to the clipboard. Enter delete into the text area and click on the save and edit button. Select all the contents of the edit text area and paste the contents of the clipboard over them. Click on the save button. This will remove all of the page's history up to the final save in which the pasted material is re-added.

How can I restrict viewing the page history to people with edit permission?

In the local/config.php file, set

$HandleAuth['diff'] = 'edit';

Page Lists

How can I configure my site to always exclude wiki-related pages from searches?

Try the following in your local/config.php file. See also Cookbook:SearchPatterns.

## Exclude Certain pages / groups from search results.
$SearchPatterns['default'][] = '!\\.(All)?Recent(Changes|Uploads|Comments)$!';
$SearchPatterns['default'][] = '!\\.Group(Print)?(Header|Footer|Attributes)$!';
$SearchPatterns['default'][] = '!\\.(Left|Right|Side)(Bar|Menu|Note)$!';
$SearchPatterns['default'][] = '!^Site\\.!';
$SearchPatterns['default'][] = '!^PmWiki\\.!';

If you add $SearchPatterns['default']... to exclude groups and pages from pagelist and search output, you can include the omitted pages by using "list=all" in the pagelist or search parameters.

Passwords Admin

There seems to be a default password. What is it?

There isn't any valid password until you set one. PasswordsAdmin describes how to set one.

PmWiki comes "out of the box" with $DefaultPasswords['admin'] set to '*'. This doesn't mean the password is an asterisk, it means that default admin password has to be something that encrypts to an asterisk. Since it's impossible for the crypt() function to ever return a 1-character encrypted value, the admin password is effectively locked until the admin sets one in config.php.

How do I use passwd-formatted files (like .htpasswd) for authentication?

See AuthUser or Cookbook:UserAuth

Is there anything I can enter in a GroupAttributes field to say 'same as the admin password'? If not, is there anything I can put into the config.php file to have the same effect?

For the sitewide edit password (in config.php), use '@_site_edit'. I haven't tested this, but I think one can also use '@_site_admin', '@_site_read', '@_site_attr', etc. for the other site-wide passwords set in config.php. '@admin' is used to specify the site admin password.

How do I edit protect, say, all RecentChanges pages?

(needs answer)

Internationalizations

If my wiki is internationalized by config.php, how do I revert a specific group to English?

Use $XLLangs = array('en'); in the group.php configuration file.

Web Feeds

How can I use the RSS <enclosure> tag for podcasting?

For podcasting of mp3 files, simply attach an mp3 file to the page with the same name as the page (i.e., for a page named Podcast.Episode4, one would attach to that page a file named "Episode4.mp3"). The file is automatically picked up by ?action=rss and used as an enclosure.

The set of potential enclosures is given by the $RSSEnclosureFmt array, thus

$RSSEnclosureFmt = array('{$Name}.mp3', '{$Name}.wma', '{$Name}.ogg');

allows podcasting in mp3, wma, and ogg formats.

How to add "summary" to the title in a rss feed (ie. with ?action=rss)?

Add this line in you local/config.php

$FeedFmt['rss']['item']['title'] = '{$Group} / {$Title} : $LastModifiedSummary';

How to add feed image?

Add the following to local/config.php (this example is for ?action=rss):

$FeedFmt['rss']['feed']['image'] =
"<title>Logo title</title>
 <link>http://www.example.com/</link>
 <url>http://www.example.com/images/logo.gif</url>
 <width>120</width>
 <height>60</height>";

How do I insert RSS news feeds into PmWiki pages?

See Cookbook:RssFeedDisplay.

How can I specify default feed options in a configuration file instead of always placing them in the url?

For example, if you want ?action=rss to default to ?action=rss&group=News&order=-time&count=10, try the following in a local customization file:

   if ($action == 'rss')
     SDVA($_REQUEST, array(
       'group' => 'News',
       'order' => '-time',
       'count' => 10));

Troubleshooting

Why am I seeing strange errors after upgrading?

Make sure all of the files were updated, in particular pmwiki.php.

This question sometimes arises when an administrator hasn't followed the advice, which used to be less prominent, on the installation and initial setup tasks pages and has renamed pmwiki.php instead of creating an index.php wrapper script. If you have renamed pmwiki.php to index.php, then the upgrade procedure won't have updated your index.php file. Delete the old version and create a wrapper script so it won't happen again.

Sometimes an FTP or other copy program will fail to transfer all of the files properly. One way to check for this is by comparing file sizes.

Be sure all of the files in the wikilib.d/ directory were also upgraded. Sometimes it's a good idea to simply delete the wikilib.d/ directory before upgrading. (Local copies of pages are stored in wiki.d/ and not wikilib.d/.)

I'm suddenly getting messages like "Warning: fopen(wiki.d/.flock): failed to open stream: Permission denied..." and Cannot acquire lockfile"... what's wrong?

Something (or someone) has changed the permissions on the wiki.d/.flock file or the wiki.d/ directory such that the webserver is no longer able to write the lockfile. The normal solution is to simply delete the .flock file from the wiki.d/ directory -- PmWiki will then create a new one. Also be sure to check the permissions on the wiki.d/ directory itself. (One can easily check and modify permissions of the wiki.d/ directory in Filezilla (open-source FTP app) by right-clicking on the file > File attributes)

My links in the sidebar seem to be pointing to non-existent pages, even though I know I created the pages. Where are the pages?

Links in the sidebar normally need to be qualified by a WikiGroup in order to work properly. Otherwise they will point to whatever group you happen to be viewing the sidebar in.
Also: Make sure you type SideBar with a capital B.

Why am I seeing "Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent ..." messages at the top of my page.

If this is the first or only error message you're seeing, it's usually an indication that there are blank lines or spaces before the <?php or after the ?> in a local customization file. Double-check the file and make sure there aren't any blank lines or spaces before the initial <?php. It's often easiest and safest to eliminate any closing ?> altogether.

If the warning is appearing after some other warning or error message, then resolve the other error and this warning may go away.

Why is PmWiki prompting me multiple times for a password I've already entered?

Usually this is an indication that the browser isn't accepting cookies, or that PHP's session handling functions on the server aren't properly configured. If the browser is accepting cookies, then try setting $EnableDiag=1; in local/config.php, run PmWiki using ?action=phpinfo, and verify that sessions are enabled and that the session.save_path has a reasonable value. Note that several versions of PHP under Windows require that a session_save_path be explicitly set (this can be done in the local/config.php file).

I edited config.php, but when I look at my wiki pages, all I see is "Parse error: parse error, unexpected T_VARIABLE in somefile on line number."

You've made a mistake in writing the PHP that goes into the config.php file. The most common mistake that causes the T_VARIABLE error is forgetting the semi-colon (;) at the end of a line that you added. The line number and file named are where you should look for the mistake.

Searches and pagelists stopped working after I upgraded -- no errors are reported, but links to other pages do not appear (or do not appear as they should) -- what gives?

Be sure all of the files in the wikilib.d/ directory were also upgraded. In particular, it sounds as if the Site.PageListTemplates page is either missing (if no links are displayed) or is an old version (if the links do not appear as they should).

Some of my posts are coming back with "403 Forbidden" errors or "Not Acceptable"? This happens with posts containing "wget", "curl", "file(" or ...

Your webserver probably has mod_security(approve sites) enabled. The mod_security "feature" scans all incoming posts for forbidden words or phrases that might indicate someone is trying to hack the system, and if any of them are present then Apache returns the 403 Forbidden error. Common phrases that tend to trigger mod_security include "curl ", "wget", and "file(", although there are many others.

Since mod_security intercepts the requests and sends the "forbidden" message before PmWiki ever gets a chance to run, it's not a bug in PmWiki, and there's little that PmWiki can do about it. Instead, one has to alter the webserver configuration to disable mod_security or reconfigure it to allow whatever word it is forbidding. Some sites may be able to disable mod_security by placing SecFilterEngine off in a .htaccess file.

I get the following message when attempting to upload an image, what do I do?

Warning: move_uploaded_file(): SAFE MODE Restriction in effect. The script whose uid is 1929 is not allowed to access /home/onscolre/public_html/pmwikiuploads/Photos owned by uid 33 in /home/onscolre/public_html/pmwiki/scripts/upload.php on line 198

PmWiki can't process your request

?cannot move uploaded file to /home/onscolre/public_html/pmwikiuploads/Photos/FoundationPupilsIn1958.jpeg

We are sorry for any inconvenience.

Design Notes

Why doesn't PmWiki use hierarchical / nested groups?

It essentially comes down to figuring out how to handle page links between nested groups; if someone can figure out an obvious, intuitive way for authors to do that, then nested groups become plausible. See DesignNotes and PmWiki:HierarchicalGroups.

Why don't PmWiki's scripts have a closing ?> tag?

All of PmWiki's scripts now omit the closing ?> tag. The tag is not required, and it avoids problems with unnoticed spaces or blank lines at the end of the file. Also, some file transfer protocols may change the newline character(s) in the file, which can also cause problems. See also the Instruction separation(approve sites) page in the PHP manual(approve sites).

Does PmWiki support WYSIWYG editing (or something like the FCKEditor)?

Short answer: PmWiki provides GUI buttons in a toolbar for common markups, but otherwise does not have WYSIWYG editing. For the reasons why, see PmWiki:WYSIWYG.

Access Keys

How can I change the keyboard shortcuts for editing and saving a page?

See PmWiki.AccessKeys.

Skin Templates

How do I customize the CSS styling of my PmWiki layout?

See Skins for how to change the default PmWiki skin. See also Cookbook:Skins, where you will find pre-made templates you can use to customize the appearance of your site. You can also create a file called local.css in the pub/css/ directory and add CSS selectors there (this file gets automatically loaded if it exists). Or, styles can be added directly into a local customization file by using something like:

$HTMLStylesFmt[] = '.foo { color:blue; }';

Where can the mentioned "translation table" be found for adding translated phrases?

See Internationalizations.

Images

How do I insert pictures on wiki pages?

See Images.

Spam

I'm getting a lot of spam on my wiki site. How can I password protect the pages?

See Security, UrlApprovals, and the Cookbook:Blocklist2 recipe.

Summary pages

Why are 'RecentChanges' pages editable?

You might want to edit these pages if a spammer creates a page with an unsavory name. To prevent others from editing these pages, insert the following lines into your local/config.php file. Editing then requires the admin password.

## Require admin password to edit RecentChanges (etc.) pages.
if ($action=='edit'
    && preg_match('/\\.(All)?RecentChanges$/', $pagename))
  { $DefaultPasswords['edit'] = '*'; }

How do I generate RSS feeds from PmWiki?

See Web Feeds.

Disable formatting

How do I put plain text into a wiki page and disable wiki formatting?

You can use the [@TEXT GOES HERE@] markup as explained in the section Escape Sequence TextFormattingRules. Note that this preserves any text file formatting such as newlines and spaces.

Read-access to pages in the Site wikigroup

What pages in the Site wikigroup need to be unrestricted for reading by any user of the wiki?

The following pages probably need to be accessible (see Site.Site):

Site.EditForm
Site.EditQuickReference
Site.PageActions
Site.PageListTemplates
Site.Search
Site.SideBar
Site.UploadQuickReference
The names of other pages will vary from skin to skin, but you will also want to enable reading of the pages that make up the banner and footer areas of the site.

Category: Questions