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MoWeS Portable (Former WOS Portable) is one easy way of running MediaWiki as a wiki on a stick. This package is provided by CH Software. MoWeS Portable does not need an extra drive letter and it is ready to run instantly after unzipping; just plug a USB stick in any Windows computer and the wiki webserver starts up in your browser.
CH Software discontinued business activities on November 7, 2012.
MoWeS Portable packages a complete Apache/PHP/MySQL webserver with a wrapper that automatically configures and starts the servers; the Small Edition takes only 20 Mb. The complete package occupies less than 60Mb with an empty wiki. The SQL cache adds another 10Mb or so, in addition to the contents of your wiki. You can zip the MoWeS folder that contains your Wiki if you have limited space on your USB drive. After zipping the folder the size will shrink about 60% to 70%.
You can run MoWeS Portable from any writable drive or folder. The first time it is run, MoWeS configures the paths for the servers based on the current directory. Each time it is started after that, it checks if it has been moved to a new directory or folder and corrects the corresponding paths.
If you're just starting, you "do not have a MoWeS Portable II package".
Select Apache and PHP versions * The option to use a "Small Edition" should work fine, as should either PHP4 or PHP5, with MediaWiki. Select MediaWiki along with any other "application software" you might want to try out!
(*) This procedure has been tested with
MediaWiki 1.6.1, WOS Portable SE] 1.1.1 (Apache] 2.0.5, PHP 5.1.2 and 4.4.1, MySQL 4.1.18-nt)
MediaWiki 1.7.1, WOS 1.1.2 (Apache 2.2.0, PHP 5.1.2, MySQL 5.0.18-nt)
MediaWiki 1.9.2, WOSX (with WOS 1.1.2)
MediaWiki 1.10.1, Apache 2.2.4, PHP 5.2.3, MySQL 5.0.41
...however the best approach is to use the latest versions available, since most of the packages listed above are not available anymore but are replaced with more recent versions.
It is possible to add MediaWiki as a package later, but this may be more difficult.
Go to the drive where you are installing it. Usually you'll be selecting your USB drive, but if you'd like to install to your hard disk, you can run it from any directory or you could create a virtual disk using the subst command: subst W: "C:\Temp\MyWikiOnAStick"
Unzip the distribution files. Unzip MoWeS Portable into the root directory, and MediaWiki into a subdirectory of www. It's convenient to rename the subdirectory to "w". The configuration I'm working with looks like this: W:\
Run the mowes.exe executable.
The default for the apache web server is to listen on port 80 of the host machine. This is likely to cause problems if there's an existing server on your target machine or if Skype is running. To change the port number, open the file apache2\conf\httpd.conf in a text editor like notepad.
Search for the line that says Listen 80 and change it to Listen 127.0.0.1:8080
Search for the line that says ServerName localhost:80 and change it to ServerName 127.0.0.1:8080
If you want to use a Creative Commons license, you should select it first. Scroll down to the Copyright/license section, click on Creative Commons license - choose, and select your license.
Fill in the site config information
Name your wiki
Assign a WikiSysop password
You can disable all the email options for a tiny wiki
Assign a wikiuser password for the Database config
If you've changed the root password, enter it here; otherwise, you must clear the Superuser password, because by default MoWeS runs with the superuser account root with no password.
Click Install MediaWiki! After a short delay you should see the MediaWiki 1.6.1 Installation success screen.
Move the W:\www\wiki\config\LocalSettings.php file to W:\www\wiki
Click on "then follow this link to your wiki" and after a short delay you should see the MediaWiki home page.
Open the MoWeS Portable Options tab and change the value for "Use the following URL in the browser" from http://localhost:8080/start/ to http://localhost:8080/wiki/ (or whatever port and directory you assigned above).
You're not quite done yet. If there's any problem with any of the configuration files (especially if you moved the MoWeS directory), MediaWiki will behave normally, but the data may be lost when you shut the server down.
Shut down MoWeS - click End, then wait until it closes.