Wikispooks:Site Backup

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You are encouraged to download the Compressed.gif wikispooks-latest backup (13 Gb) in case the site goes offline for any reason.

Weekly backup snapshots for the last two months are listed on the right in the Backup files list. The Compressed.gif file is a link to the most recent snapshot (13 Gb). As the site is open licenced you are free to publish some or all of the content elsewhere, either as a mirror or as part of another website.

Setting up and running a Copy Of The Site

Gnome-system-software-installer.svg System requirements

The backup file contains everything you need to run a mirror of this site on a suitably configured web server; Separate installation of Mediawiki is NOT required.

The web server currently used by Wikispooks is Apache running on Centos 7 Linux. These instructions assume Apache, though NginX, IIS and other web servers may work just as well. The instructions have been slightly modified to try to suit other Linux distos as well.

N.B. WampServer or Xampp provide all the Apache web-server software required (except for Xcache) to run the Wikispooks site locally on either a Linux or Windows machine.. If you do not install either Xcache or APC separately, then you must change $wgMainCacheType = CACHE_ACCEL; to $wgMainCacheType = CACHE_DB; in /w/LocalSettings.php.


Set up your web server; create a blank MySQL database; download to your server root and unpack it; import file path-to-server-root/backups/ws.sql into your blank MySQL database; edit path-to-server-root/w/LocalSettings.php and enter your database name and user credentials; navigate to your web-server root from your web browser to browse your local copy of Wikispooks.

Web server directives

  • Pretty urls are required for full site functionality. Add the following to the bottom of your server or virtual server config file:
Alias /wiki path-to-server-root/w/index.php.
Apache config files are usually located at /etc/httpd/.
  • for correct display of the Site backups list box. Add the following to your server config file:

<Directory "path-to-server-root/backups">
Options +Indexes
IndexIgnore .. header.html
HeaderName header.html
IndexOptions FancyIndexing SuppressDescription SuppressLastModified NameWidth=*

  • Linux only: you may have to tweek a few directory permission for the site to run smoothly. In particular the following require user (Usually Apache) write permissions:

The MySQL database

The database must be created manually (see MySQL manual).
This site uses database name "wikispooks" and user "WSuser", so using these is simplest. If you change them, make sure to adjust LocalSettings.php accordingly.

The backup file

Place your downloaded file in the server root directory and and unzip it. This will create a directory structure containing all application and associated site files. It will also place the database content file ws.sql in the path-to-server-root/backups/ directory.

Import the Wikispooks content into your database

Import path-to-server-root/backups/ws.sql into the new database.

N.B. The file is too large for a default configuration of phpMyAdmin to handle. Try a MySQL command for this, e.g.

$ mysql -u username --password=password --host=localhost data-base-name < ws.sql


The file at path-to-server-root/w/LocalSettings.php contains the local customisations of the default Mediawiki install. It needs editing as follows to match your install:

Domain settings

  • Modify the below two lines to suit your install (For installation on your machine, set these to "http" and "localhost" respectively):

$WSprotocol='https'; // For a local install, should be "http"
$WSdomain=''; // For a local install, should be "localhost"

Database settings

  • Enter your new database details in the below lines:

$wgDBtype = "mysql";
$wgDBserver = "localhost";
$wgDBname = "wikispooks";
$wgDBuser = "root";
$wgDBpassword = "";


If things don't go smoothly, the first thing you should do is go to the end of the file where you will see the following lines:

#$wgShowExceptionDetails = true;
#$wgShowSQLErrors = 1;

Remove the # characters to get diagnostic output that may help you debug. It's recommended to replace them once things are working OK.

Warning: include(../../cgi-bin/WsDbInfo.php)...

This occurs if you haven't fixed the database credentials as explained above.

CACHE_ACCEL requested but no suitable object cache is present.

This means that the ACCEL cache is not available on your webserver. The first thing to try is to find the following lines:

$wgMainCacheType = CACHE_ACCEL;
#$wgMainCacheType = CACHE_DB;

Try commenting the first of these out, and uncommenting the second. If this doesn't work, the easiest way to get it running is to comment them both out. This disables the cache, which will impact performance, but that problem can be tackled later if need arises.

Sorry! This site is experiencing technical difficulties.

The active part of this message is a couple of lines lower. If it says "Cannot contact the database server:" this means that the custom Database credentials you entered into Localsettings.php are not functioning properly.

Lua error: Internal error: The interpreter exited with status 2

Lua error: Internal error: Error reading from pipe.

The above error messages indicate that Lua is hitting a memory limit problem.[1] In this case, the pages will appear mostly OK, but will lack infoboxes. In this case, you should raise the amount of memory available for Lua.[2] Find the following two lines and comment them in:

#$wgScribuntoEngineConf['luastandalone']['memoryLimit'] = 209715200; # bytes
#$wgMaxShellMemory = 204800; # in KB

Running A Live Site Mirror

If you have interest and resources to set up a realtime site mirror on your server, you are encouraged to do so. We may also be able to provide you with some technical assistance if needed. Requests for help setting up realtime mirrors should be addressed to admin[at] and encrypted with this key.

Known Issues

  • xdebug is a php debugging tool which produces output similar (but considerably more verbose) to $wgShowExceptionDetails above. It is installed and enabled by default in both Wamp server and Xampp. Wikispooks admins have found it useful in tracking down common installation problems but that a default setting results in ungraceful out of memory failures on some of the more common installation issues, rendering it useless in tracking them down. Either disable it by commenting out the [xdebug] block in php.ini or increase max_nesting_level from the default 100 with the following if you wish to use it: xdebug.max_nesting_level=300
  • The backups do not include the Anon Uploads Form or Piwik stats.
  • Suggestions, Queries etc? - Either Email the admin (non-Wikispooks members) or use this discussion page (Wikispooks members)
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