This page documents step-by-step how to properly setup and customize ikiwiki on NearlyFreeSpeech. A good deal of the documentation here has been lifted from but altered and updated.

Register for an account and set up a site

After you get an account, create a site using their web interface.

Mine is named ikiwiki-test and I used their DNS instead of getting my own, resulting in (Not being kept up anymore.)

They gave me 2 cents free funding for signing up, which is enough to pay for 10 megabytes of bandwidth, or about a thousand typical page views, at their current rates. Plenty to decide if this is right for you. If it is, $5 might be a good starting amount of money to put in your account.

ssh in and configure the environment

ssh into their server using the ssh hostname and username displayed on the site's information page. Example:


Now set up .profile to run programs from ~/bin.

cd $HOME
echo "PATH=$PATH:$HOME/bin" > .profile
. .profile

Download an unpack ikiwiki

Use wget to download the ikiwiki tarball. You can find the tar file at the bottom of this page:

Then unpack it:

tar zxvf ikiwiki*.tar.gz

Build and install ikiwiki

cd ikiwiki
export MAKE=gmake
$MAKE install

Create your wiki

All it takes to create a fully functional wiki using ikiwiki is running one command.

ikiwiki --setup /etc/ikiwiki/auto.setup

Or, set up a blog with ikiwiki, run this command instead.

ikiwiki --setup /etc/ikiwiki/auto-blog.setup

Either way, it will ask you a couple of questions.

What will the wiki be named? foo
What revision control system to use? git
What wiki user (or openid) will be admin? username
Choose a password:

Then, wait for it to tell you an url for your new site..

Successfully set up foo:
srcdir:      ~/foo
destdir:     ~/public_html/foo
repository:  ~/foo.git
To modify settings, edit ~/foo.setup and then run:
ikiwiki --setup ~/foo.setup

We are almost done, but some parameters will most likely be incorrect. Edit your foo.setup file and change:

  • url to
  • srcdir to /home/private/foo
  • destdir to /home/public
  • cgiurl to
  • cgi_wrapper to /home/public/ikiwiki.cgi

Now rebuild again using:

ikiwiki --setup foo.setup

All done with building ikiwiki!

Setting up SSL

Navigate to your main public directory and run the following:

Follow the easy instructions and you'll have proper SSL setup in seconds!