I am building a site for some tutorial material. I intend to use a wiki platform. DokuWiki and MediaWiki are very heavy, I have shortlisted two platforms - Boltwire - LionWiki I basically would like to have a user management based access control, so that only recommended users can edit the pages.

Anyone with any suggestions.

a Request -- Can anyone of you, probably experienced users, spend five minutes to check Blotwire and lionwiki. If it is possible. thanks.

  • It's BoltWire, not Blotwire. Also, frankly, it's pretty unreasonable to ask other people to install software for you. (Not to mention that it's not clear to me what if anything it would teach you if one of us installed it.)
    – Telemachus
    Jul 4, 2009 at 21:45
  • Sure, you are right, that is why i asked it as a request. The reason I asked for it was if someone who is better experienced can offer some insight into it. Jul 5, 2009 at 2:19
  • I surprised you think DokuWiki was very heavy; it's basically a bunch of PHP scripts in one directory - and requires no database server at all. No heavy database servers or server page engines; just a basic web server.
    – Mei
    Jul 9, 2009 at 1:04

9 Answers 9


http://www.wikimatrix.org is a great place to start when you are looking for the right wiki.

Just reading the list of features available will help you along.

You may want to look into foswiki.org. It works fine with Apacheauth (no worrying about the wiki logon being safe), and happily accepts LDAP Auth through Apache. It saves the posts in plain text files and is easily expanded by plugins. The learning curve is nice and flat, although it is a rather powerful software if you wish to delve deeply.


Do not forget Trac - it is lightweight (but not PHP based), includes a wiki, runs on Linux and provides membership with access control.

Wiki System

  • WIKI_VIEW - View existing wiki pages
  • WIKI_CREATE - Create new wiki pages
  • WIKI_MODIFY - Change wiki pages
  • WIKI_DELETE - Delete wiki pages and attachments
  • WIKI_ADMIN - All WIKI_* permissions, plus the management of readonly pages.

I like ikiwiki because it can store the wiki pages in a real source control system (I use Git). This means I can edit my wiki offline and merge the pages later using all the standard Git features.

Ikiwiki also supports Markdown by default, which is a nice lightweight markup language.

  • Can I change the layout. Jul 4, 2009 at 12:44
  • 1
    Of course. With open source, you can change anything about everything. Jul 5, 2009 at 0:02

If you're open for a Windows Server solution, there is a very good platform:

ScrewTurn Wiki by Dario Solera.

It's an open source project, written in C#/.NET. We use it for our internal documentation in my company and very happy with it. The setup is simple and it has a nice feature set including the ones you mention:

ScrewTurn Wiki is a performant and simple Wiki engine, written in C# and based on the ASP.NET 2.0 platform. Its main features are described below.

  • Free and open-source
  • No need for a database (but SQL Server and MySQL are supported with Plugins)
  • No need to touch IIS or ASP.NET configuration (works in ASP.NET Medium Trust environment)
  • High performance and scalability on every hardware configuration, thanks to a smart and configurable content caching system
  • Low bandwidth usage, thanks to the (configurable) usage of custom ViewState Compression and HTTP Compression
  • Simple deployment, administration and usage
  • Small footprint
  • Theming available entirely through CSS files (CSS Media Types are fully supported)
  • Automatic page backups (performing a rollback is as easy as a mouse click)
  • Simple user accounting system (with Administrators and Users and a built-in admin account)
  • Useful features such as Page-level coarse-grained authorization, the possibility to make the Wiki completely public (no registration needed to edit pages) or Private (anonymous access is not allowed)
  • Page Categorization and Discussion
  • Page Transclusion and Snippets
  • Plugins support (see documentation)
  • Protection against dangerous files, scripts and spammers (Captcha control on registration)
  • Multilanguage interface (English, Italian, French, Spanish, German and other 13 languages)
  • RSS 2.0 notifications for every page as well as for the whole Wiki and for Page Discussions
  • No, but thanks anyways, i am looking for linux based rather PHP based solution. And the site i will use for wiki is running on a Debian machine Jul 4, 2009 at 13:27
  • It may not help you exactly, but ScrewTurn does rock.
    – Mcbeev
    Jul 5, 2009 at 2:52

I like PmWiki quite a lot. It's easy to install, easy to customize, and it doesn't require a database. (Neither does Ikiwiki, which I've also used and liked.)

PmWiki supports a great deal of customization through cookbook recipes, and it appears that it can do what you want in terms of user authentication and permissions. See this page. But I haven't used it that way, so I can't confirm how well that works.

Edit: In response to the OP's comment, I have used BoltWire (check your spelling and your link - both are incorrect), and I prefer PmWiki. They are both reasonably easy to install and both pretty lightweight. I didn't dislike BoltWire at all, but I found PmWiki more fully-featured and easier to configure.

Edit 2: Since you mention in a comment on another post that you are using Debian, both Ikiwiki and PmWiki are available in Debian and pretty trivial to install using your favorite APT package manager. I would recommend that you try both out and decide for yourself.

  • PmWiki is heavier than blotWire.org, just have a look and what do you suggest. Do you suggest me PmWiki or BlotWire. Ps it might take 5 mins for u to install and check, and will help me a lot, since you are more experienced. Jul 4, 2009 at 12:49

I'll stick to MediaWiki. It may be heavy in the features it offers but it's incredibly easy to set up, configure and use. The tremendous number of extensions available means you are quite likely to find one already made for any kind of customisation you desire.

I run a copy on my laptop to record all those bits of information that others put on paper. When the time came to install a wiki for the company intranet I simply copied it from my laptop to the server and created an empty database for it. Add an extension for authentication against Active Directory and it was ready to go. One advantage of using MediaWiki is that it scales very well, so I don't need to learn one system for personal use and another for the company intranet. The ability to easily copy articles between them is an added bonus.

I'm sure the above applies to some other wiki software as well but it's unlikely to apply to what you may consider "lightweight" software. Wikis are dynamic beasts with a powerful tendency to grow. Why impose unnecessary limits that you may later regret?


Mindtouch Wiki (aka Deki Wiki) is the one I use.

  • Platform independent
  • Mono/.Net using C# and PHP
  • Good for mashups
  • Stored in MySQL
  • Data is stored in XML, not WikiText format
  • They have a preconfigured VM server you can download and use from your PC.



I know you said Dokuwiki and MediaWiki were both a bit heavy, but you can simplify the installation process to a few clicks by checking the packages here:


  • The site also includes packages for Trac as well, which was mentioned in one of the responses Sep 1, 2009 at 10:43

Ask 99 wiki users and you'll get 99 different recommendations. If you want to really understand you need to try the different wikis for yourself. If you are using Debian, many of the wikis are available through apt, so trying (and removing) them is really trivial.

Personally, I think Dokuwiki is MUCH lighter than Mediawiki (hey, text files vs mysql). But it IS heavier than Boltwire and even PmWiki. I don't like the way PmWiki stores the pages in teh text files. Boltwire isn't a bad little program and is really easy to set up.

I prefer markdown myself so I use a custom wiki I wrote. Never found a wiki using markdown that worked for me. And having the pages readable as text is a definite plus.

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