For a small team of system administrators and helpdesk people I'm looking for a tool to collect and combine all small tips, tricks and interesting snippets. I've had a look at FAQ software, code snippet tools and some knowledge base tools, but none of them stuck.

I'm basically looking for a tool:

  • to store small text snippets, how-to's and general info
  • which can be installed locally or on a local webserver (no cloud software)
  • which needs next to no knowledge to use (users should be able to just dump a text snippet inside and don't care about formatting or have to jump through hoops to format/edit said snippet)
  • with a full-text search (so not only tags & titles)
  • which has the ability to add tags
  • which is free (management doesn't want to pay for such a tool and will only allow free tools)
  • which is not a wiki. We've nearly tried them all, and all flavours we tried were too complex for the editors (almost always some markup etc is needed)

Can anybody recommend such a tool? Thanks for the suggestions!

Edit: after the suggestions made by Peterh I noticed I left out two important conditions - it should be free (as in price) and not a wiki. Thanks Peterh for the suggestions though!

1 Answer 1

  1. Atlassian Confluence is a very useful, particularly in business environments, although it requires not a little Java knowledge to correctly set it up, and below 8GB of server RAM it won't be really useful. Although it is proprietary (and not cheap), there is a month long trial version supporting unlimited users. The trial can be extended with another month, legally, unlimited times.

  2. The PHP-based Mediawiki, the software driving Wikipedia, is a free software and it is included in most Linux distributions.

The major advantages of Confluence are:

  • Supports real-time cooperative editing
  • Is a very good name by company environments

Its disadvantages:

  • Requires monthly extension or a lot of $$$
  • It is hard to set up nicely

Advantages/disadvantages of Mediawiki:

  • Simple PHP software
  • creeping featurism syndrome
  • Many oldie code

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