MIT SIPB Script Services for Athena

Getting Started with

The automatic installers allow you to get popular software up-and-running quickly.

You can easily try out a new wiki, blog, forum, photo gallery, or other piece of software by simply running two commands at an Athena prompt (you must use an Athena computer to run these commands; we recommend using a cluster workstation or

add scripts

(If you are confused about how to run the above commands on Athena, e-mail for assistance. You must have an Athena account and understand the MITnet rules of use in order to use the service.)

The quick-start installer will then present a menu and ask you to select from the following popular software packages:

Wikis and Blogs:

  • MediaWiki demo – wiki software from the Wikimedia Foundation that helps users to create and edit content on the web. Mediawiki is especially suited for collaborative writing.

Photo Galleries:

  • Gallery2 demo – enables simple management and publication of photographs and other digital media. Gallery2 features automatic thumbnails, resizing, rotation, and flipping. Albums can be organized hierarchically and individually controlled by administrators or privileged users.


  • phpBB demo – a high powered, fully scalable, and highly customizable bulletin board package. phpBB has a user-friendly interface, a simple and straightforward administration panel, and a helpful FAQ.

Software Issue Trackers:

  • Trac demo – an integrated wiki, ticket tracker, and source code viewer for various revision control systems (including Subversion and Git).

Web Application Frameworks:

  • Django – another Python based rapid webapp development framework

(If you would like us to create an automatic installer for a software package that is not currently on this list, you can let us know by e-mailing Alternatively, you can use the web script service to immediately set up whatever software you want to have installed.)

If you choose WordPress or another software that requires a SQL database, you may get an error message that says The MySQL login information in your .my.cnf file appears to be incorrect. If this happens, you will need to manually set your MySQL password. Go to and log in via your MIT certificate. Click Account and create a new MySQL password. Your MySQL password should be different from your Athena account password. Copy this password into the .my.cnf file in your Athena home directory after the password=. If you rerun scripts, the installer should now work correctly.

After the Install

You should add yourself to the scripts-announce mailing list if you would like to receive announcements of major service changes and outages. This list receives only a few messages per year.

If you set up a site for your group using and you would like to be able to use a URL of the form
please visit this page on how to obtain a shorter URL

Technical Details

For more information, see our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Each of these installers does the following:
  • signs you up for the web script service
  • places the desired software into your web_scripts directory
  • signs you up for the MySQL service if necessary (all of the installers except the one for PHP iCalendar use MySQL)
  • signs you up for security updates

The installers place your MySQL account password in a .sql/my.cnf file in your Athena locker. You may use this password to manage your MySQL account at the web interface.

© 2004-2020, the SIPB project.
These pages may be reused under either the GFDL 1.2 or CC-BY-SA 3.0.
Questions? Contact

You are currently connected to