System Requirements & Preparation

Before you install MoinMoin, you must have the necessary infrastructure in place. This procedure explains the steps necessary to install the infrastructure and provides detailed instructions for the installation of MoinMoin.

Many users prefer to install software products in a folder other than the installation default. Python typically changes the default installation folder name with each point release, and Apache has changed the default installation folder name with the release of version 2. Instead of enumerating all the possibilities at each step, this procedure will use the Reference name in the table below as the installed location for each product. Substitute your real installation location when editing configuration files and entering commands.



Installation Default or Typical Name



C:\Program Files\Apache Group\Apache2





wiki instances

C:\My Documents\Moin

Downloading and installing all of the required components below will require almost 100 MB of disk space - shouldn't be a problem nowadays, right?


Installing Apache

  1. Download & Install Apache 2.0.xx or greater

    1. Note about versions: Apache2 was re-written with better support for non-unix systems (such as Windows), therefore the 2.xx series is strongly recommended for Windows users over Apache 1.3.xx.

    2. Go to

    3. download the Win32 Binary (MSI Installer) for the latest version of Apache 2.

    4. Read the Apache documentation to determine the correct installation procedure for your situation.
    5. Test your Apache installation to make sure it runs correctly before proceeding (questions and problems with the Apache installation should be resolved through the resources provided by the Apache organization).

Installing Python

There are currently two different distributions of Python available for Windows.

  1. Download & Install Python for Windows.

    1. Go to

    2. Note about versions: Moin is well tested on Python version 2.5.x, and therefore recommended. Python 2.6.x should work fine, however is less tested. Moin currently does not work with Python 3.0.

Installing MoinMoin

  1. Download MoinMoin

  2. Expand the archive

    • Note: users of older versions of WinZip report problem expanding .tar.gz files. Either upgrade or switch to the free 7-Zip utility.

    • Expand the archive into C:\TEMP or an alternative location.

    • You should then have a folder such as C:\TEMP\moin-x.x where "x.x" is the current release number. This folder will contain a file in addition to several other files and subfolders.

  3. Run from the commandline

    • Open an DOS window (start > Run... > type cmd) and enter the commands:

    cd \TEMP\moin-x.x
    C:\Python\python install --record=install.log

The above commands will add MoinMoin to your C:\Python installation and create an install.log file in C:\temp\moin-x.x listing all the copied files. You can use Windows Explorer to examine the newly created folders within C:\Python. You should find a C:\Python\share\moin folder and a C:\Python\Lib\site-packages\MoinMoin folder. The MoinMoin folder contains many Python scripts and several subfolders.

You are now ready to create a wiki instance.


It is a good practice to try to keep all of your personal or site specific data under a few root folders. This way you can easily backup your important data on a regular basis without having to waste time either backing up static files or picking out dozens of important folders scattered throughout your folder structure. You should avoid placing your wiki data under the C:\Python folder so that you can later upgrade Python or MoinMoin without accidentally overwriting or deleting your wiki data. For the same reason, you probably don't want to place your wiki data within the C:\Apache folder.

Choose a location appropriate for you; the following instructions assume you will be creating one or more wiki instances in C:\Moin\ and the first wiki instance will be named mywiki.

You may replace the name mywiki with almost any name you wish, but do not use wiki because that is used by MoinMoin for loading standard images and style sheets. Although this can be changed later, the name you choose for mywiki will become part of the url used to access your site, e.g.

Creating a Wiki Instance

Start an DOS window and enter the commands below. This will create a clone of the MoinMoin wiki in the mywiki folder.

cd C:\
md Moin
md Moin\mywiki
md Moin\mywiki\data
md Moin\mywiki\underlay
cd \Python\share\moin
xcopy data        C:\Moin\mywiki\data /E
xcopy underlay    C:\Moin\mywiki\underlay /E
copy  config\*.* C:\Moin\mywiki\*.*
copy  server\*.* C:\Moin\mywiki\*.*

If your server is going to run multiple wikis, you need to create additional clones. Do the same commands again, but use mywiki2 instead of mywiki.


Edit C:\Moin\mywiki\ and at least change sitename to the name of your wiki:

    sitename = 'My Wiki'

Additionally, set data_dir and data_underlay_dir to the absolute paths of the particular directories. Like here:

    data_dir = r'C:\Moin\mywiki\data'
    data_underlay_dir = r'C:\Moin\mywiki\underlay'

For a public installation, you'll normally want to forbid some of the more dangerous actions. Add a line like this to

    actions_excluded = ['AttachFile', 'DeletePage', 'RenamePage', ]

If you will not be running a Wiki farm (if you're not sure what this means, then you probably won't be), make sure to delete the file from the C:\Moin\mywiki directory, or else moin.cgi will most likely give off various errors (including one about not being able to find a configuration file) and will ultimately fail to start up properly.

Additional configuration details can be found in HelpOnConfiguration.

Configuring moin.cgi

Use your editor to edit the file C:\Moin\mywiki\moin.cgi. Change the first line (the shebang statement) to point to your local Python executable program. Note the forward slashes -- Apache uses the Unix convention for folder separators. This tells Apache the moin.cgi file is an executable script that will be interpreted by a program to be loaded from C:/Python/python.

 #! C:/Python25/python

Configuring Apache httpd.conf

The next step is to tell Apache that is has more work to do. Use your editor to append the following lines to C:\Apache\conf\httpd.conf. Note the presence and absence of trailing slashes, it is important to enter the lines exactly as shown below.

Alias       /moin_static160/ "C:/Python/share/moin/htdocs/"
ScriptAlias /mywiki          "C:/Moin/mywiki/moin.cgi"

The Alias line above instructs Apache to serve images, style sheets, etc. from the specified folders and subfolders. The ScriptAlias line is needed once for each wiki instance, so if you have multiple wikis, repeat the statement using mywiki2, mywiki3, etc. The ScriptAlias statement instructs Apache to execute scripts from the specified folder. See the Apache docs for a complete explanation.

Test your changes by restarting your Apache server and try to access your newborn wiki with the URL You should see the FrontPage, try to edit and save it, and if that works, verify your edit is reflected on the RecentChanges page.

And now, it is up to you and your user community to transform your wiki into an informative and useful tool. You will probably want to retain most of the HelpOn~ pages dealing with editing, delete those pages with irrelevant information (like this page, don't let your users or boss know how easy it was to install MoinMoin ;-) ), and rewrite the FrontPage to introduce your wiki topic.


The first place to look for clues when the unexpected happens is to try changing your url to: If Apache can find and execute the module C:/Moin/mywiki/moin.cgi, a page of diagnostics titled MoinMoin CGI Diagnosis will be displayed. Check the output for error messages.

The second place to look for is C:\Apache\logs\error.log. The following are common errors grouped by the message displayed by your browser:

Next Steps

Authenticating MoinMoin Users Against a Domain Controller

Simple Windows MoinMoin Backup

FastCGI with Windows

All content (C) 2008 Free Software Foundation. For terms of use, redistribution, and modification, please see the WikiLicense page.