Exploring the BlueSpice wiki tool

Deploying BlueSpice

Thanks to Docker, the next step is deploying BlueSpice – no need to worry about a web server, etc. But for the sake of this example, a few extra settings should be taken into consideration. A BlueSpice instance facing the Internet must support SSL encryption under all circumstances (e.g., to ensure that passwords are not transmitted in plaintext format). BlueSpice is configured to accept external SSL certificates out of the box, but they have to be available to the BlueSpice container. Three files are required: ssl.cert containing the actual SSL certificate, ssl.key containing the corresponding key, and ssl.ca if the SSL certificate used requires an intermediate CA certificate to establish the chain of trust.

For the BlueSpice setup, placing the certificates in the previously created folder /srv/data is sufficient. That folder will later be inserted into the container as /data using a bind mount. /data is where BlueSpice looks for its SSL certificate files, so you're done. You can now pull the Docker image for BlueSpice free from Docker Hub using:

docker pull bluespice/bluespice-free

Firing Up the Docker Image

To deploy BlueSpice, use the most important command in this procedure:

sudo docker run --rm --name bluespice -ti -p 80:80 -p 443:443 -v bluespice-data:/data -e "bs_lang=en" -e "bs_url=https://www.example.net" bluespice/bluespice-free

The parameters appended to the docker command are straightforward. Ports 80 and 443 must be assigned to the Docker container running BlueSpice, so use -p 80:80 and -p 443:443. Docker will now automatically configure port forwarding from the host's IP address to the container's internal (and virtual) address.

To set the language to English, pass in the environmental variable "bs_lang=en". Knowledge management tools will be better accepted by staff members when the interface uses a known language. However, even if the standard language in the container is English, users will still be able to configure their profile's language.

Following the bs_url parameter, you will need to replace https://www.example.net with the full URL to your newly created Wiki to meet local needs. After a few seconds, BlueSpice will be up and running, using a standard login of WikiSysop and a standard password of PleaseChangeMe. Change those values as quickly as possible; they are documented in the official BlueSpice installation guide and hence publicly available. To do so, log in to BlueSpice with a browser using the URL you have inserted into the command and change the password in the account's profile.

Enable BlueSpice at Boot Time

Like most modern Linux distributions, Ubuntu uses systemd. To ensure that a Docker container is automatically started when the system boots, a systemd unit file is required. Listing 1 shows the example for the BlueSpice deployment as described in this article.

Listing 1

Systemd example unit file for BlueSpice


To make systemd recognize the new unit file, place the contents of Listing 1 in a file named /etc/systemd/system/bluespice.unit and run

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

To restart Docker and all systemd units depending on it, use

sudo systemctl restart docker

From now on, whenever the system reboots, BlueSpice will automatically launch afterwards.

It makes sense to have a look at the configuration options provided by BlueSpice in its administration back end. The software tries to use generic defaults wherever possible. Even though they work fine, a few default settings might need changes for special setups. Note that Hallo Welt! also offers a migration path and tool to migrate existing content from Confluence to BlueSpice. A set of scripts automate the migration as much as possible [4] .

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