kb8uaq's picture


    Is Git normally used as part of Turnkey MediaWiki Appliance?  We have a Turnkey Wiki appliance which was set up by one of my predecessors (who has since moved on to other things), that runs a knowledgebase for our company. It's been working well for a long time, so I haven't really touched the box much (other than to get some remote backup going with our IT department to backup the virtual hard drive of the VM that the Turnkey Linux Wiki is installed in).

    I discovered today that there were problems with the Wiki, and when I investigated, the root file system of the TKL MediaWiki App was at 100% usage (that is, there was no free space on the virtual hard drive).

    I found that most of this space (9.5G) was being used by /etc/.git

    I made a backup of the virtual machine, deleted /etc/.git, then rebooted the server, and it at least appears that everything is working correctly with the Wiki once again.

    So, now I am trying to figure out if that git repo was SUPPOSED to be part of TKL MediaWiki Appliance, or if someone else created a Git repo on our wiki server who probably shouldn't have been.

Jeremy Davis's picture

It is used as the backend for etckeeper (which is included with TKL by default). The etckeeper README is also worth a read IMO.

Judging by your comments, you are suffering 2 bugs that affected the usage of etckeeper in TKL v11.x. Both of these bugs were fixed in the TKL v12.x release.

So one way to go would be to migrate your data to a shiny new TKL v13.0 appliance (TKLBAM is the recommended way to do that). If you want to do that then this post might be of value for you. Any questions please feel free to ask...

The other would be to workaround the bugs by making some mods to your server. The relevant v11.x bugs are:

  • Webmin was storing logs and other garbage in /etc. This was making /etc grow larger than it should. The workaround can be found on the old (now defunct) TKL Launchpad bug tracker. FWIW we now use GitHub for tracking bugs.
  • The other bug was that etckeeper config wasn't optimised quite as much as it probably should have been. It can be tweaked by adding the code detailed in this post. If you do that, then I suggest that you try this first to clean up the etckeeper git repo.

Let me know how you go...

kb8uaq's picture

Jeremy: Thanks so much. So, I have some followup questions:

1) Did I break things by deleting the /etc/.git directory?  Any suggestions on the best route to un-break it? One possibility might be that I restore the .git directory I deleted, then follow the instruction in the link you shared for cleaning up the etckeeper git repo and tweaking the config. Would that work? Will I be screwed up because I  now have not had the .git dir for about a week?

2) How important is that etckeeper git repo. Now that I deleted it, if we aren't going to make any config changes using Webmin, can we just keep using TKL MediaWiki for the time being without it?

3) Regarding upgrade - our plan is to very soon migrate our wiki to a central knowledge repository called "Confluence", so I may or may not upgrade (I might upgrade if doing so will make it easier to migrate to Confluence, but I hate to spend a day or two (potentially) upgrading a system that we're just going to retire in a month or two (hopefully).


My main goal for now is to keep it running, and successfully migrate all the articles to the new system, in that order.

Not that I have anything against TKL MediaWiki - looks like you guys put together a quality product, and it works well, but my company has made the decision that we are consolidating all knowledge into a single system, to give all employees a single place to find answers and solutions, and to give IT a single system to administer and backup.

Jeremy Davis's picture

1) I would try reinitialising the etckeeper repo. I reckon that should fix it as I think that is what I did back then... IIRC that is with this command:


You could then proceed to implement the tweaks I linked to. I don't think that the repo missing will cause you any issues (although I don't know for sure...)

2) If you don't care about keeping track of config modifications (which is what etckeeper does) then I doubt your current situation (i.e. with /etc/.git missing) will have any immediate negative impacts on the usage of your TKL Mediawiki appliance. Although if you don't wish to use it, then I'd probably be inclined to remove it altogether like this:

apt-get remove etckeeper

3) I doubt upgrading will make any difference to migrating your content. I don't know how Confluence works (I have never even heard of it...). And I have no idea abut the best way to export data from MediaWiki (I guess that will somewhat depend on the ways that you can import data into Confluence). The only scenario I imagine where upgrading may be beneficial would be if you find a MediaWiki extension that can export the data in a format that works nicely with Confluence and it is not available for the version of MediaWiki currently installed. Otherwise I personally wouldn't bother.

Pity to see you go, but glad that you have been left with a postitive impression of TurnKey. Good luck with your new system and don't forget to recommend us if you get the opportunity! :)

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