Install The Pretty Wiki on a Digital Ocean Droplet

Science & Design
2 min readJun 17, 2023

In this article we’ll get The Pretty Wiki running, and available for anyone to access. Let’s get right into it.

What you’ll need:

  • A working email address
  • A debit or credit card

Step 1: Get a Server

A VPS, or, Virtual Private Server, is a dedicated virtual computer that will run your software. We’ll use Digital Ocean since it’s one of the cheapest and most reliable options available. Go to digitalocean.com and create an account. You’ll need a payment method to register.

If you prefer to use a payment method like cryptocurrency, you can use Njalla, a privacy-focused hosting provider.

Step 2: Create a Droplet

Droplets are what Digital Ocean calls a VPS. When you complete registration, click “Explore our control panel.”

Next, click “Create”, then select “Droplets”. Choose the hosting plan that works for your needs. This tutorial will use Debian for the operating system.

Step 3: Log In to Your VPS

After your Droplet is created you’ll see the server’s IP address. Copy it. The IP address highlighted after creating a DropetOpen your terminal and log in:

ssh root@<IP ADDRESS>

Step 4: Update Your System and Install MediaWiki

Now we’ll get everything updated and installed. Once you’ve logged in, enter this to begin:

apt update && apt -y dist-upgrade

then, install MediaWiki:

curl -sSL https://install.thepretty.wiki | bash

MediaWiki needs a database to store article content, and part of the install script will create a MySQL database for you. You’ll just need to give it a name, a username, and a password. There are pre-filled values that you can use for the database and user name. Write these values down.

Step 5: Activate MediaWiki

Once the install process completes, enter your server’s IP address into a web browser. Complete the steps to activate your wiki. When you’re asked to enter your database credentials, use the same information from the steps before.

When MediaWiki completes setup, a LocalSettings.php file will automatically download.

Back in the terminal, create your LocalSettings.php file:

nano /var/www/html/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php

Open the file that downloaded, copy the contents and paste them into the terminal.

To save the file press Control + X, Y to save, and Enter to confirm.

Now back in your browser, click “enter your wiki.” You’ll see the base MediaWiki install.

Congrats, you have a working Wiki! You can stop here and use it as is, or you can add our custom homepage and skin with a single command.

Step 6: Prettify Your Wiki

Back in your terminal, enter this command to transform your wiki experience:

curl -sSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/scidsg/the-pretty-wiki/main/prettify.sh | bash

Refresh your browser to see your new homepage!

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Science & Design

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