I'm looking for a personal wiki for knowledge management. I'd like it to be open source (free). I took a look through the WikiMatrix already, but the options are a little too broad for me.

Basically, I want the wiki to run portable (off USB) or run both portable and locally installed. I lack installation permission at work, so it would run portable there, but locally on my other machines.

The rub is that I'd like to set up the content to sync to dropbox (or cloud) without having to run it off of a server. This is because I'd like to keep the content confidential (ignoring dropbox security issues).

I need it to run on Windows (7+) and OSX. Portability is required for Windows OS only.

I don't care how the content is stored (flat file, RDBM) as long as I can point the wiki to access it from the cloud. I'm not sure this is even possible, running a portable wiki that points to cloud-based data. I can't use a dropbox-synced local folder.

  1. Portable wiki (windows/OSX)
  2. Open source (free)
  3. Dropbox/cloud sync without running on a server

I'm not open to evernote as that's what I'm trying to replace.

Old version of this question on SU (2009)

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    Is running DropboxPortableAHK (nionsoftware.com/dbpahk) not an option? This would let you run Dropbox off your USB and widen your options for wikis. And if you have space issues on your USB, Dropbox's selective sync would let you only sync the folder with your wiki data if needed. – Michael Cheng Jan 12 '15 at 12:23
  • @MichaelCheng I hadn't ever heard of that, I'll definitely give it a look – Raystafarian Jan 12 '15 at 14:41

I've finally found a better solution since the time of my first answer. TiddlyWiki. Here is how it fits your requirements:

  1. It runs on all popular browsers (example: Firefox and Chrome, ...), which have portable versions available. So that makes TiddlyWiki also portable. It also has a portable and open source desktop app TiddlyDesktop for Windows and Linux.
  2. It is open source. Here is the github repository
  3. Syncs to Dropbox. Quote:

With TiddlyWiki, your information is yours, and you store it where you want to - on your device, on a USB stick, in Dropbox, on your server.

What is not explicitly stated is if you can still edit your filed directly in Dropbox from the web. I will update the answer after I've tried that(*).

(*) It is possible to open the wiki file in the browser from Dropbox, but it will only save locally. That means you'll have to upload the file manually back into Dropbox. I understand that it's suboptimal, but I don't believe there are more portable solutions

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  • awesome, I will give this a try! – Raystafarian Mar 10 '15 at 9:17
  • TiddlyWiki is cool, but I cannot use it, because I hate the interface. I need something less messy. – Quidam Nov 3 '19 at 15:49

I had basically the same issue that I solved using an assortment of software with Google Drive as the cloud service:

For the work computer (Windows OS), use SyncDocs. It is a tool that syncs your documents with Google Drive. Its most important features are:

  • It can be installed without administrator privileges
  • It also has a portable version for USB drives which you can find if you scroll down the download page
  • You can choose which folders to sync from Google Drive

Edit: Since SyncDocs is not free, the next most useful alternative is a portable version of Google Drive. You can download it here where you'll also find instructions on how to make your own portable version

For the home computer, you can use the official Google Drive app, which is also available for most smartphones.

Now that the cloud sync is set up, you can use any editor for writing the wiki. I use Emacs with Org-mode. It fits your criteria of being:

  • Cross platform
  • Open source

Plus a wide array of life-management features. It comes with a thick manual, and a compact guide. Documents written with org-mode can be exported directly to html and viewed with any browser.

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I use Zim - A Desktop Wiki . And i'm guessing if the wiki is residing in a 'Dropbox' folder, it would sync just like any other file(s). That, or it seems also possible to set it's 'Custom Tools' up so that it could get copied or uploaded automatically, using whatever tools desired (e.g megasync, ftp, rsync, scp etc. etc.) , upon changes made to it.

It's also got an internal http server that can be enabled, for easy remote viewing.

(For more details: https://github.com/jaap-karssenberg/zim-wiki/wiki )

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