Introduced in Tiki 27 and refined in subsequent versions, this build system brings numerous enhancements aimed at improving efficiency, consistency, and ease of maintenance for developers and users alike. However, it requires power users and administrators to familiarize themselves with the new installation method from Gitlab (Version Control System).

As Tiki 27 and its installation process stabilize, this guide is an ongoing work and will be used to update the Official Tiki Documentation.

Tiki Wiki new System Build

The Tiki 27 plus Build System leverages modern development tools and practices, aligning Tiki with contemporary web development standards. This includes the integration of tools like Composer for PHP dependencies and Node.js for JavaScript and CSS dependencies. It modernizes the development workflow and eases the setup of several components required for Tiki Wiki. It also ensures consistency across different environments (development, staging, production). The automated setup process minimizes the risk of environment-specific issues, leading to more reliable deployments.

At the time of this article, the Tiki 27 plus Build System will mainly setup:

  • Composer
  • Node.js and npm
  • ...

Global Installation and preliminaries to run the Tiki 27+ Build System

Ensure you have the necessary requirements prerequisites installed, such as PHP, Composer, Node.js, and npm. Follow the Tiki documentation to install and configure these tools. You can download and install Node.js and npm from the official Node.js website.

Cloning and refreshing your code

Clone the Tiki repository from the Tiki Gitlab repository to your local development environment. This will provide you with the latest version of the Tiki codebase.

Run setup sh

It is highly recommended you run this script using the same user as your Tiki Wiki web directory (e.g., www-data). Use "root" only as a last resort if you have an issue.
Tiki Wiki provides a script to automate the setup process and apply correct permissions

Run the following command in your project directory:

If you have one PHP version
Copy to clipboard

If you have several PHP versions installed, it is critical to select the proper PHP version (see Tiki Wiki requirements) to run the script.
Here a sample on Debian12 and using the Virtualmin LAMP setup.

If you have several PHP versions
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sh -p /usr/bin/php8.2

You will use the option "b" (build) and then "f" to set permissions.

The "b" option will install Composer packages and PHP dependencies, and npm to install JavaScript and CSS dependencies.

You may see several warnings (it is still a work in progress), but only errors require your attention.

If all goes well, use the "f" option to apply permissions and ownership over your Tiki files and directories.

Compiling Your Theme and Public Generated Files

With the Tiki 27+ Build System, compiling your theme SCSS and CSS files is different from previous versions. Tiki 27+ uses a different directory and file pattern, and it relies on public generated files to ensure your Tiki instance looks and functions as intended. This involves processing your custom stylesheets, scripts, and other assets to make them ready for production use.

The last step of the script execution for will run npm to complete the installation. You will need to run npm run watch each time you modify your custom CSS theme, templates, custom files, or custom language files to ensure all your public files are up-to-date.


root or not root

Each developer has their own ways and preferences, and various environments can complicate the setup process. While we recommend never using root, there are cases where you might find yourself stuck.
In systems where you cannot modify the sudoers list or where the cost of making changes is too high, you may have to use root to install the correct npm and Node.js versions, as well as to run the command npm run watch.

Required version npm and node

Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager) are essential for installing and running Tiki Wiki 27 and later versions due to several key reasons related to modern web development practices.
As of the date of this article, Tiki Wiki requires the following versions of Node.js and npm to be installed on your system:

  • npm: Version 9.0.0 to 11
  • Node.js: Version 18.0.0 to 22

You can find these version requirements specified in the package.json file.

If your packages are not within these version ranges, and other npm commands such as npm run watch will fail.

Correct version of npm and Node.js

To upgrade or downgrade your npm and Node.js versions, visit Node.js Downloads.

Use the dropdown selector to choose the Node.js version suitable for your environment.

  1. Follow the provided instructions to install the selected Node.js version.
  2. Once installed, you should be ready to complete your Tiki installation.

Fix System limit for number of file watchers reached

Linux uses the inotify package to observe filesystem events for individual files or directories. When working with projects that involve monitoring many files, such as Tiki Wiki, you may encounter warnings related to the inotify watch limit being reached. Increasing this limit can resolve these warnings.

To address this issue, follow the discussion on Stackoverflow and apply the solution that fits your specific case and environment.

I hope this information proves helpful for now. As Tiki 27 and its installation process stabilize, this guide will be used to update the Official Tiki Documentation.