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How to Install Wiki.js on Ubuntu 18.04

Published on: Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 10:55 am EST

Wiki.js is a free and open source, modern wiki app built on Node.js, Git and Markdown. Wiki.js source code is publicly hosted on Github. This guide will show you how to install Wiki.js on a fresh Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Vultr instance using Node.js, MongoDB, PM2, Nginx, Git and Acme.sh.

Requirements

Requirements to run Wiki.js and finish this guide are as follows:

  • Node.js version 6.9.0 or later
  • MongoDB version 3.2 or later
  • Nginx
  • Git version 2.7.4 or later
  • Minimum of 768MB RAM
  • Domain name with A/AAAA records set up

Check the Ubuntu version.

lsb_release -ds
# Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS

Create a new non-root user account with sudo access and switch to it.

adduser johndoe --gecos "John Doe"
usermod -aG sudo johndoe
su - johndoe

NOTE: Replace johndoe with your username.

Set up the timezone.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure tzdata

Ensure that your system is up to date.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Install necessary packages.

sudo apt install -y build-essential apt-transport-https

Install Git

Git 2.7.4 comes preinstalled on Ubuntu server edition, so we don't need to install it. If you want to install a newer version, you can use third-party PPAs or compile the latest release of Git from source.

You can verify the currently installed version of Git by running:

git --version
# git version 2.7.4

If you want to install a newer version of Git software, you can use the following.

# Remove existing git package
sudo apt remove -y git
sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:git-core/ppa
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
sudo apt install -y git

Verify Git version.

git --version
# git version 2.17.0

Install Node.js

Install Node.js by utilizing the NodeSource APT repository for Node.js.

curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_8.x | sudo -E bash -
sudo apt install -y nodejs

Check the Node.js and NPM versions.

node -v && npm -v
# v8.11.2
# 5.6.0

Install MongoDB

We will use the official MongoDB repositories, which are kept up-to-date with the most recent major and minor MongoDB releases.

Install MongoDB Community Edition.

sudo apt install -y mongodb

Check the version.

mongo --version | head -n 1 && mongod --version | head -n 1
# MongoDB shell version v3.6.3
# db version v3.6.3

Install and configure Nginx

Install Nginx.

wget https://nginx.org/keys/nginx_signing.key
sudo apt-key add nginx_signing.key
rm nginx_signing.key
sudo -s
printf "deb https://nginx.org/packages/mainline/ubuntu/ $(lsb_release -sc) nginx\ndeb-src https://nginx.org/packages/mainline/ubuntu/ $(lsb_release -sc) nginx\n" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/nginx_mainline.list
exit
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y nginx

Check the version.

sudo nginx -v
# nginx version: nginx/1.15.0

Enable and start Nginx.

sudo systemctl enable nginx.service
sudo systemctl start nginx.service

Configure Nginx as a reverse proxy for the Wiki.js application.

Run sudo vim /etc/nginx/conf.d/wiki.js.conf and populate it with the basic reverse proxy configuration below.

server {

    listen [::]:80;
    listen 80;

    server_name wiki.example.com;

    root /usr/share/nginx/html;

    charset utf-8;
    client_max_body_size 50M;

    location /.well-known/acme-challenge/ {
        allow all;
    }

    location / {
        proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:3000;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
        proxy_next_upstream error timeout http_502 http_503 http_504;
    }

}

The only thing you need to change in the above config is the server_name directive and potentially the proxy_pass directive if you decide to configure any other port besides 3000. Wiki.js uses port 3000 by default.

Check the configuration.

sudo nginx -t

Reload Nginx.

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

Install Acme.sh client and obtain a Let's Encrypt certificate (optional)

Securing your wiki with HTTPS is not necessary, but it will secure your site's traffic. Acme.sh is a pure unix shell software for obtaining SSL certificates from Let's Encrypt with zero dependencies.

Download and install Acme.sh.

sudo mkdir /etc/letsencrypt
git clone https://github.com/Neilpang/acme.sh.git
cd acme.sh
sudo ./acme.sh --install --home /etc/letsencrypt --accountemail your_email@example.com
cd ~

Check the version.

/etc/letsencrypt/acme.sh --version

Obtain RSA and ECDSA certificates for wiki.example.com domain/hostname.

# RSA 2048
sudo /etc/letsencrypt/acme.sh --issue --home /etc/letsencrypt -d wiki.example.com --webroot /usr/share/nginx/html --reloadcmd "sudo systemctl reload nginx.service" --accountemail your_email@example.com --ocsp-must-staple --keylength 2048
# ECDSA/ECC P-256
sudo /etc/letsencrypt/acme.sh --issue --home /etc/letsencrypt -d wiki.example.com --webroot /usr/share/nginx/html --reloadcmd "sudo systemctl reload nginx.service" --accountemail your_email@example.com --ocsp-must-staple --keylength ec-256 

After running the above commands, your certificates and keys will be in:

  • For RSA: the /etc/letsencrypt/wiki.example.com directory.
  • For ECC/ECDSA: the /etc/letsencrypt/wiki.example.com_ecc directory.

After obtaining certificates from Let's Encrypt, we need to configure Nginx to use them.

Run sudo vim /etc/nginx/conf.d/wiki.js.conf again and configure Nginx as an HTTPS reverse proxy.

server {

    listen [::]:443 ssl http2;
    listen 443 ssl http2;
    listen [::]:80;
    listen 80;

    server_name wiki.example.com;

    root /usr/share/nginx/html;

    charset utf-8;
    client_max_body_size 50M;

    location /.well-known/acme-challenge/ {
        allow all;
    }

    # RSA
    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/wiki.example.com/fullchain.cer;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/wiki.example.com/wiki.example.com.key;
    # ECDSA
    ssl_certificate /etc/letsencrypt/wiki.example.com_ecc/fullchain.cer;
    ssl_certificate_key /etc/letsencrypt/wiki.example.com_ecc/wiki.example.com.key;

    location / {
        proxy_set_header Host $http_host;
        proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
        proxy_pass http://127.0.0.1:3000;
        proxy_http_version 1.1;
        proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
        proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
        proxy_next_upstream error timeout http_502 http_503 http_504;
    }

}

Check the configuration.

sudo nginx -t

Reload Nginx.

sudo systemctl reload nginx.service

Install Wiki.js

Create an empty document root folder where Wiki.js should be installed.

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/wiki.example.com

Navigate to the document root folder.

cd /var/www/wiki.example.com

Change ownership of the /var/www/wiki.example.com folder to the user johndoe.

sudo chown -R johndoe:johndoe /var/www/wiki.example.com

From the /var/www/wiki.example.com folder, run the following command to download and install Wiki.js.

curl -sSo- https://wiki.js.org/install.sh | bash

To view the currently installed version of Wiki.js, you can run the following command.

node wiki --version
# 1.0.78

Once the installation is completed, you'll be prompted to run the configuration wizard.

Start the configuration wizard.

node wiki configure

This will notify you to browse to http://localhost:3000 to configure Wiki.js. If you have Nginx in front of Wiki.js, you can open your domain name (e.g. http://wiki.example.com) instead of going to localhost.

Using your web browser, navigate to http://wiki.example.com and follow the on-screen instructions. All settings entered during the configuration wizard are saved in the config.yml file. The configuration wizard will automatically start Wiki.js for you.

Install PM2

By default, Wiki.js will not start automatically after a system reboot. In order to make it start on boot, we need to setup PM2. PM2 comes bundled with Wiki.js as a local NPM module, so we don't need to install PM2 globally.

Tell PM2 to configure itself as a startup service.

/var/www/wiki.example.com/node_modules/pm2/bin/pm2 startup

Finally, save the current PM2 configuration.

/var/www/wiki.example.com/node_modules/pm2/bin/pm2 save

Wiki.js runs as a background process, using PM2 as its process manager.

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