Troubleshooting Wikka

See also
This pages lists some common problems (and their solutions) installing or running Wikka. For reporting bugs, please use WikkaBugs.

If you have a problem that you suspect is not actually a bug, you may add a section to this page.
To report a problem, please add a header and tell us about the following things:

Installation problems

Installer hangs
Problem: Solution:
This always indicates some problem with PHP trying to connect to or use the MySQL database; unfortunately, the actual error message which would give a clue is hidden. To get the error message, open ./setup/install.php in an editor and remove the @ from before the mysql statements (mysql_connect(...) etc.). Then run the installer again to see what error message you get. Possible causes are: If the error message does not give enough information to find the cause, try creating a (PHP) document with just
<?php phpinfo();?>
in it, put it in the same directory as your wikka installation, and load it with the browser; look for the PHP configuration switches, and for the MySQL section.

Server Error on fresh Wikka install
Problem: Going to the URL for a freshly-installed Wikka to trigger the installation process, the server issues a 500 (Server error) error and Wikka setup does not start.

Solution: try ServerErrorWorkaround.

Problem: When trying to install Wikka (or earlier) on a system with PHP 5, you will get the following error while trying to install wikka:
Warning: array_merge() [function.array-merge]: Argument #2 is not an array in ["your Path"]\wikka.php on line 910"

Solution: Install version or higher instead.

Problem: Upgrade to to fails with: Warning: array_merge() [function.array-merge]: Argument #2 is not an array in ["path to your wiki"] /writeconfig.php on line 6
Writing configuration
Writing configuration file wikka.config.php... OK

Solution: Check your config file, if it is blank except for the version info, copy and paste the rest of the config file from a clean install. You will likely need to copy the SQL info from your old config file, as well as any other info that differs from the copy/pasted info. (ie, admin's name, acl's etc...)

Known Problems running Wikka

Wikka and free Hosting
Solution: See BlankPageWorkaround for a solution to both of these problems.

Most of Wikka works fine, but some things don't
Solution: These symptions will happen all together (you may not have seen all of them yet); watch the URL for each of these functions - do you see two question marks in there? This indicates a configuration problem with URL rewriting. See ModRewrite for the solution.

Extreme slowness for unregistered users
Problem: For unregistered visitors the Wikka site is very slow while registered (logged-in) visitors don't have any problem.

Solution: At the moment not, will follow on ExtremeSlownessWorkaround.

Only letter salad in the browser
Problem: After installation, when accessing the Wikka main URL (or any page for that matter) only results in garbage characters ("letter salad") in the browser window (looks like viewing a binary file).

Solution: LetterSaladOutputWorkaround.

Charset not supported warnings
Problem: On any page with code blocks, PHP displays a series for GeSHi highlighting code, like these (path shortened):
Warning: htmlentities(): charset `ANSI_X3.4-1968' not supported, assuming iso-8859-1 in [wikihome]/3rdparty/plugins/geshi/geshi.php on line 1608

Solution: CharsetNotSupportedWorkaround.

Truncated pages
Problem: Every page is truncated: the bottom of the page does not appear: the "small print" and maybe some elements above that like comments are not displayed in the browser.

If you look at the HTML source code in the browser, the page stops abruptly and the ending tags </body> and </html> are not there.

Solution: TruncatedPageWorkaround.

Failed to initialize session module
Problem: After succesfully configuring the wiki Wikka (database connects just fine, and all else seems to run fine) you can click on a link to 'your newly created site'.
But you get: Fatal error: Failed to initialize session module in /[your_path]/wikka/wikka.php on line 1150

Solution: InitializeSessionWorkaround.

Only blank pages
Problem: In a newly-installed system (or one previously installed but migrated to a new host) accessing any page (including the home page and other pages that are known to exist) results in nothing but a blank page in the browser.

Solution: BlankPageWorkaround.

Home Page gives 404?
Problem: Installation was successful, but when viewing the HomePage I get a 404 - page cannot be found message. The address bar shows the URL with /HomePage correctly listed so the config file is being read that far but not sure why it's not getting any further.
Using PHP 4.4, mySQL 4.06 but on secured access site so no link.
UPDATE: Apologies, I failed to mention that I'm running an IIS Server (so the ModRewrite page isn't helpful to my scenario). I've had a look through this Wiki and can't find any specific instructions based on that server, yet the Requirements for Wikka don't state that I MUST use Apache, any pointers here would be helpful.

Solution: This is very probably a problem with URL rewriting. See ModRewrite

Garbled output (reported via #wikka)
Problem: On first view of the default homepage all we get is garbled characters - it's totally garbage e.g. ??b?0x11h.C?n0x12?}? P?!0x12??B!N L|and so on

Solution: The problem was double gzip encoding. We use apache's mod_deflate to do all the compression but I just discovered we had zlib.output_compression turned "On" in php.ini. Perhaps adding "ini_set("zlib.output_compression","Off");" to the top of wikka.php (just before the call to ob_start() ) might resolve the issue. (Or, disable zlib.output_compression in php.ini. (Ed.))

Related issue ticket: #733

Comments [Hide comments]
Comment by
2005-03-24 13:17:33
Warning: array_merge() [function.array-merge]: Argument #1 is not an array in ["your path"]\install.php on line 7

You should be running:
["your path"]\wikka.php to install wikka, not
["your path"]\setup\install.php
Could be a good idea to put a check install.php, something like
if (!isset($wakkaConfig)) {echo "To install wikka, you have to execute wikka.php, not this file";exit(1);}
Comment by MyTreo
2005-05-30 21:36:23
I have a problem with our Wikka installation I hope somebody can help to recover it please.

After editing a page when you press "Store" it just goes to a blank page, with url /PageName/edit still displayed in the browser bar. The page changes do save correctly but the browser never actually redirects to /PageName (without the /edit).

The server is using php 4.3.11 mysql 4.1.11 and Wikka

Everything works correctly on my test server and this is puzzling me. For an example of the problem please see If I can provide more info then please let me know.

Thank you for your help
Comment by NilsLindenberg
2005-05-31 11:42:07
Hi MyTreo
I see that you added UserRegistration. Any other changes you made to the default wikka?
Comment by MyTreo
2005-05-31 17:30:23
Hi Nils thanks for taking a look for me.

The wikka install has been through the mill a bit so I decided to do a fresh install removing all old files first and the problem is now gone.

Thanks again
Comment by NilsLindenberg
2005-06-01 13:39:49
Glad to hear its running now, but it keeps me wondering what the error was.
Comment by
2005-06-03 16:56:33
I'm trying to install. When I hit the Continue button I get just "Testing Installation" and nothing happens. I believe I have set up the database properly.

As well, my email address contains a number in it which fails the regular expression test.

I'm using MySQL 4.0.18, PHP 4.3.9, Wikka on Fedora Core 3.

Comment by
2005-06-03 17:19:05
Hi Daryl,
If you can, please look into the files of the installer and remove every @ before the database-calls, since it surpresses mysql-errormessages.
Comment by
2005-06-03 18:04:27
I installed on another machine that has the proper php-mysql bridge files for MySQL 4.x (the machine came with 3.x installed). So it's working now, thanks.
Comment by
2005-10-04 19:10:16
The 'SetEnvIfNoCase' in .htaccess caused me to get a Server 500 error.
I simply renamed .htaccess as I didn't need the mod_rewrite functionality & all was good :)
Comment by
2006-01-03 22:56:09
I get this error when I try to start a new installation of wikka.


Warning: main(setup/header.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /www/lordmax/ on line 1143

Warning: main(): Failed opening 'setup/header.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:') in /www/lordmax/ on line 1143
Invalid action
Warning: main(setup/footer.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /www/lordmax/ on line 1145

Warning: main(): Failed opening 'setup/footer.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:') in /www/lordmax/ on line 1145
Comment by JavaWoman
2006-01-05 09:35:18
First question must be: does the setup directory exist and do the header.php and footer.php files exist in that directory? "No such file or directory" seems to indicate the directory and/or files are not actually on the server.
Comment by ClaireP
2006-07-25 13:18:48
I'm having problems with my wikka, everytime I try to load it I get a 404 error, no matter what page I try to load, although the pages do exist in the database. It was working just fine a little while ago, up until I moved to Dreamhost. However, I was also hacked before I made the move. I cleaned out all the old files, upgraded to the new version, and still it gives me the 404 error. I'm running on PHP 4.4.2 and MySQL 5.0.18. Can anyone help?
Comment by NilsLindenberg
2006-07-25 14:32:17
Claire, did you change base_url and mod_rewrite in the config accourdingly to your new provider? Do you have an url to look at?
Comment by RockyRoad
2007-06-26 18:07:05
I installed Wikka just fine in a subdirectory of my webspace (with my service provider you must install the software in subdirectory /html), and called it up with:

I get a static page with an error message: unknown method "page/wikka.php". None of the links work; I click on them, but it all just sits there. The static page is as follows:

MyWikkaSite : html
ConvivialWiki :: Categories :: PageIndex :: RecentChanges :: RecentlyCommented :: Login/Register
<em class="error">Unknown method "page/wikka.php"</em>
Page History :: Search:
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional∞ :: Valid CSS∞ :: Powered by Wikka Wakka Wiki∞
Page was generated in 0.2716 seconds

I checked the wikka.config file which shows 'rewrite_mode' => '1', so rewrite is enabled.

Any help would be appreciated.
Comment by BrianKoontz
2007-06-26 18:59:04
First step would be to turn off mod_write and change your base_url accordingly, probably something like '' and see if you can access a page (such as HomePage).

If successful, then most likely it's a problem with the way the DocumentRoot is mapped (possibly in conjunction with VirtualHost?) or some other Apache config weirdness you'll have to work around (assuming, of course, Apache is the server in question).

If not successful, then there's probably a permissions problem or some other installation issue.
Comment by RockyRoad
2007-06-27 19:52:34
I fooled around with various combinations of 'base_url' and 'rewrite_mode' in the wikka.config.php file, and the subdirectory name after RewriteBase in the htaccess file, and at one point my site miraculously started working. Thank you. (What is weird is that I think it started working just when I put all the settings back to how they were originally.)

Now I have a new problem. When I created the site, I used my real name as owner, but now I would like to change it to something neutral like "SystemAdministrator". I tried changing 'admin_users' in the config file, but the owner was still my real name. I then wanted to try changing the corresponding user entry in the MySQL database with phpMyAdmin, but couldn't seem to modify it (I'm new to all this). Is there a procedure for changing the name of the owner/administrator?
Comment by BrianKoontz
2007-06-27 23:37:59
Did you register a new user called "SystemAdministrator"? That should be all you need to do. I probably wouldn't change the wikka_users table entry (no telling what other related records might be affected), just register a new user called "SystemAdministrator".

You can change ownership of individual pages from the "Edit ACLs" link at the bottom of the page (so after creating SystemAdministrator, you should see that in the page owner dropdown).
Comment by JefeL36
2008-01-11 17:50:35
I'm running mac OS10.3.9, PHP 4.4.7, Apache/1.3.33 (Darwin), and mySql 4.1.22.
I was able to get php activated (by uncommenting the php lines in httpd.conf), and a database created in mysql and a user with all access privileges granted (using the commands from this wiki's entry on creating a db).
I was able to open and fill out the Wikka Installation web form (with Firefox for Mac) on my localhost, but it reported:
Testing Configuration
Testing MySQL connection settings... FAILED
I tried quitting Firefox, turning off the mySql server (using preference pane which came with the installer), and restarting the apache server, then restarting my computer, and turning mySql server back on (websharing is also on, btw).
After all this, I still got the same connection failure.
I checked the name of the db to make sure there were no extra spaces after the name in the installer page, and even tried creating a fresh database and setting privileges and using that db in the installer page, but to no avail.
I'm out of ideas.
This is my first time trying to install a wiki, fyi.
Comment by BrianKoontz
2008-01-11 19:01:18

Welcome! The first step is to make sure you can connect to your MySQL db from the command line:

> mysql -u username -p dbname

You should get a password prompt...if you get a mysql> prompt, then you know the password and username are correct, and the username has access to the db.

If you get an "access denied for user..." message, then you'll need to execute a grant statement to permit access to dbname from username:

GRANT ALL ON dbname.* TO 'username'@'localhost';
FLUSH privileges;

Really, this is more of a MySQL issue than a Wikka issue. There is usuallly someone on IRC (freenode channel #wikka), or drop us an e-mail at
Comment by SolariS
2009-02-04 06:20:19
i run an old version of wikka ("wakka_version" => "" says the wikkaconfig.php).
Recently, my webhost provider switched to PHP5, and since then forced links are no more displayed if they contain accented letters.
For example, a forced link like this:
%% [ [ AiEoU (some accented letters here)] ] %%
will not appear at all in the page, leaving a blank.
Any hints?
PS: i couldn't manage to post a comment with accented letters at all here!
Even by putting double double-quotes, or using code tags... weird, isn't it?
Comment by BrianKoontz
2009-02-05 23:38:26
I did a quick install of on my iBook, running PHP 5, and had no problems setting up a forced link with accented characters. Sounds like it might be an issue with your webhost rather than with Wikka. That said, I'd recommend upgrading to (or, to be out real soon now)... is rather old, and there have been several security upgrades since then.
Comment by BobClown
2010-03-31 10:34:14
Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
Wikka: version 1.2, patch level 1
MySQL: 5.1.45-community MySQL Community Server (GPL)
PHP: Version 5.3.2


I had a problem with the install - none of the configuration variables from the setup page are being used.

The initial error showed up with the mysql_connect failing. Added debug info (variable dump) to line 59, setup/install.php and found that $config["mysql_password"] was blank. Overrode that with my password for the wikka MySQL user account, at which time setup completed.

Found upon trying to access wiki ( that I was being looped back to "" with a redirect to same page. Checked configuration file to find entirely default values.

Not sure what's causing it, workaround was manually setting up wikka.config.php after install wrote default values.

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