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From mediawiki.org
MediaWiki extensions manual
Release status: stable
Implementation User interface, Hook
Description Provides a mobile-friendly view
Latest version 2.4.1
Compatibility policy Snapshots releases along with MediaWiki. Master is not backward compatible.
MediaWiki 1.33+[1]
PHP 5.5.9+
License GNU General Public License 2.0 or later
Example m.mediawiki.org
  • $wgMFSearchGenerator
  • $wgMFStopRedirectCookieHost
  • $wgMFShowMobileViewToTablets
  • $wgMFLazyLoadImages
  • $wgMFRSSFeedLink
  • $wgMFNamespacesWithLeadParagraphs
  • $wgMFAmcOutreachMinEditCount
  • $wgMFEnableMobilePreferences
  • $wgMFMobileFormatterOptions
  • $wgMFRemovableClasses
  • $wgMFNoindexPages
  • $wgMFShowFirstParagraphBeforeInfobox
  • $wgMFEnableVEWikitextEditor
  • $wgMFVaryOnUA
  • $wgMFLogWrappedInfoboxes
  • $wgMFDisplayWikibaseDescriptions
  • $wgMFEnableJSConsoleRecruitment
  • $wgMobileFrontendFormatCookieExpiry
  • $wgMFLazyLoadSkipSmallImages
  • $wgMFSearchAPIParams
  • $wgMFMobileHeader
  • $wgMFCustomSiteModules
  • $wgMFEnableXAnalyticsLogging
  • $wgMFAutodetectMobileView
  • $wgMFSiteStylesRenderBlocking
  • $wgDefaultMobileSkin
  • $wgMFUseDesktopSpecialEditWatchlistPage
  • $wgMFCollapseSectionsByDefault
  • $wgMFEnableFontChanger
  • $wgMFEditNoticesConflictingGadgetName
  • $wgMFScriptPath
  • $wgMFStopMobileRedirectCookieSecureValue
  • $wgMobileUrlCallback
  • $wgMFAdvancedMobileContributions
  • $wgMFFallbackEditor
  • $wgMFAmcOutreach
  • $wgMFSpecialPageTaglines
  • $wgMFQueryPropModules
  • $wgMFManifestBackgroundColor
  • $wgMFBetaFeedbackLink
  • $wgMFDefaultEditor
  • $wgMFManifestThemeColor
  • $wgMFEnableManifest
  • $wgMFEnableWikidataDescriptions
  • $wgMFUseWikibase
  • $wgMFNamespacesWithoutCollapsibleSections
  • $wgMFEnableBeta
  • $wgMFTrackBlockNotices
  • $wgMobileUrlTemplate
  • $wgMFMinCachedPageSize
Quarterly downloads 832 (Ranked 3rd)
Public wikis using 9,025 (Ranked 14th)
Translate the MobileFrontend extension if it is available at translatewiki.net
Issues Open tasks · Report a bug

The MobileFrontend extension helps improve the mobile presence of a MediaWiki instance.

Features include:

  • creates a separate mobile site for your mobile traffic,
  • provides various content transformations to make your content more friendly,
    • notably section collapsing and content re-arrangement and removal, including putting the lead paragraph above the lead photo or info box, even if the lead paragraph is below them in the page's source code.
  • simplifies mobile footer and adds a desktop/mobile site link,
  • provides replacements for special pages that are not mobile friendly: Special:History, Special:Watchlist, Special:MobileDiff
  • provides a beta mode with a feature management system for adding experimental features for anonymous users.

This page is designed for end users who want to install it on their development instance. If you are keen to help us build it and improve it we encourage you to get involved.



Before installing MobileFrontend, if you make heavy use of templates and/or inline styles (the style attribute) you should review your content to see whether it is mobile friendly. The TemplateStyles extension can be used to style content so that it renders nicely on mobile and desktop. MobileFrontend will not magically fix this for you!

In particular, you may want to review your landing page (main page). See Mobile homepage formatting.


  • Download and move the extracted MobileFrontend folder to your extensions/ directory.
    Developers and code contributors should install the extension from Git instead, using:cd extensions/
    git clone https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/mediawiki/extensions/MobileFrontend
  • Add the following code at the bottom of your LocalSettings.php file:
    wfLoadExtension( 'MobileFrontend' );
  • If necessary configure at your convenience
  • Yes Done – Navigate to Special:Version on your wiki to verify that the extension is successfully installed.

Vagrant installation:

  • If using Vagrant , install with vagrant roles enable mobilefrontend --provision

Setup Nearby

The Nearby feature in MobileFrontend has been removed in MediaWiki 1.40. Instead, a rewritten version of this feature is available at Extension:NearbyPages .

MobileFrontend provides the Special:Nearby page with a little configuration. To get this to work, a few optional steps are required:

  1. Due to browser security, you will need to be running a secure site over SSL — it is not possible to request a user's location over HTTP.
  2. Install the GeoData extension
  3. Run update.php
  4. In LocalSettings.php add $wgMFNearby = true;
  5. Determine article coordinates:
    1. Add location data to your articles by using the coordinates parser function, for example {{#coordinates:37.786971|-122.399677|primary}}. For syntax details, see the documentation for GeoData .
    2. Alternatively, you can use a separate MediaWiki installation for Nearby by setting $wgMFNearbyEndpoint in your LocalSettings.php file. For example, $wgMFNearbyEndpoint = 'https://en.m.wikipedia.org/w/api.php'; will use coordinates of English Wikipedia articles. The nearby endpoint will be used to find content related to a given location.

Set up a skin


MobileFrontend provides you with a mobile formatted website to go alongside your existing desktop website. You can skin it however you want.

// Choose one of these pairs of lines and add chosen code to bottom of LocalSettings.php file:
wfLoadSkin( 'MinervaNeue' );
$wgDefaultMobileSkin = 'minerva'; // use Minerva skin (You need to download and install it separately in 1.37 and older, otherwise you'll get an exception)
wfLoadSkin( 'Vector' );
$wgDefaultMobileSkin = 'vector'; // use Vector skin
wfLoadSkin( 'Timeless' );
$wgDefaultMobileSkin = 'timeless'; // use Timeless skin

The following skins are compatible with MobileFrontend:

Configuration settings


See Extension:MobileFrontend/Configuration

All configuration options are detailed in the README.md file.

Additional tweaks


Get the most out of MobileFrontend by adding these optional compatible extensions:

Local customisations


CSS styling

MediaWiki version:

To apply CSS to your mobile theme, edit MediaWiki:Mobile.css, the counterpart of MediaWiki:Common.css. In order for the stylesheet to function you may have to add mw.loader.using('mobile.site.styles') to your MediaWiki:Mobile.js.

MobileFrontend does not load the global MediaWiki:Common.css, neither does it load any of the user stylesheets.

More information


If you would like to test the mobile extension on a desktop browser or your device doesn't render the mobile version, you can append the following key-value pair to the URL query string: ?useformat=mobile. For example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MediaWiki?useformat=mobile

If you would like to view the mobile version of a page without enabling the extension across the entire site you can append the string to the URL on that page, too.

Legacy features of MobileFrontend


MobileFrontend has traditionally been a very large extension. Many features have either surpassed their requirements or will do at some future date. These are listed below.



APIs are provided by the MobileFrontend extension, but long term we expect to deprecate them in favour of Page Content Service. Use these APIs at your own risk. They may disappear (although we will give you sufficient notice when they do)!

MobileView API


See Extension:MobileFrontend/MobileViewAPI .

Extended action=parse


action=parse accepts extra parameters:

Return rendered page HTML in a mobile format 1.23+.
Apply mobile main page transformations.


    "parse": {
        "title": "Therion (band)",
	    "text": {
            "*": "<div><table class=\"infobox vcard plainlist\" style=\"width:22em\"><tr><th colspan=\"2\" style=\"text-align:center;font-size:125%;font-weight:bold;background-color: #b0c4de\"><span class=\"fn org\">Therion</span></th>\n</tr><tr><td colspan=\"2\" style=\"text-align:center\"><a href=\"/wiki/File:2130860153_281d30b3bf_b.jpg\" class=\"image\">



The domain of the mobile version of the site (which might or might not be the same as the normal domain) is available under the mobileserver key of the general siteinfo information.

For developers/sysadmins




You may need to run npm install and install php composer to get the precommit hook to run, depending on what you're doing with the extension.

Testing with articles on a foreign wiki (live data)


See Extension:MobileFrontendContentProvider .

Using the mobile view


WMF sites


On Wikimedia Foundation-run sites, we use Varnish caching servers to check the user agent of your device.

Non-WMF sites


For non-WMF sites, you can either set up your configuration to mimic how things are done at the WMF (doing device detection at the proxy layer and setting specific X-Device headers), or you can simply use "?useformat=mobile" to switch an article to use the mobile view. See Extension:MobileFrontend/Configuring browser auto-detection.

Starting from the snapshot version 1.28, the default $wgMFMobileHeader was changed from X-WAP to X-Subdomain. You could either set $wgMFMobileHeader = 'X-WAP'; or modify your cache (Varnish) header setting, as long as they match.

Using Apache (.htaccess or httpd.conf)


To set up a mobile domain, add the following rule to .htaccess or http.config

<IfModule mod_headers.c>
<If "req('Host') =~ /^mobile./i">
RequestHeader set X-Subdomain "mobile"

In your hosts file (assuming your desktop site is on localhost):  mobile.localhost

In LocalSettings.php:


$wgMFAutodetectMobileView = true;
$wgMobileUrlCallback = fn( $domain ) => "mobile.$domain";

Now if you navigate to mobile.localhost you should see the mobile site.



The following questions frequently appear on our talk page. Please check this list before posting about them on the talk page or use the existing talk topic, if available, to receive clarifications.

Q: How do I customise the main menu of the Minerva skin?


A: This is tracked in phabricator but you can see Topic:Tiggc18fvd3stmsf has an interim solution.

Q: How do I add HTML to the Minerva skin, for example to add ads or additional script tags?


A: You can do this by editing the template file for the skin (currently include/skins/minerva.mustache). See this discussion for details.

Q: The extension I am using doesn't seem to work on MobileFrontend. Why?


A: It's likely the extension is old and needs to add compatibility to MobileFrontend. Please contact the developer of the extension and point them to ResourceLoader/Writing a MobileFrontend friendly ResourceLoader module. Please do not post to the talk page, as in this case it would be better to file a bug on Phabricator (you can login using your MediaWiki.org username) for a quicker response.

Q: I upgraded MobileFrontend and now I'm getting a fatal exception!


A: You are probably using incompatible versions of MobileFrontend and MediaWiki. In most cases, we can't help you here. Try upgrading MobileFrontend or MediaWiki to resolve your issue.

Q: After upgrading MediaWiki I'm getting an exception wgMFDefaultSkinClass is not setup correctly.


A: MobileFrontend currently assumes you have the Minerva Neue skin installed. If you don't you'll need to install this or configure your mobile skin per instructions above.

For Extension Developers


By default resource modules in extensions will not be loaded in mobile view.

Should a module need to be loaded while in mobile view this guide on writing MobileFrontend friendly modules will be of help.

See also



  1. :Fatal error: Uncaught ExtensionDependencyError: MobileFrontend is not compatible with the current MediaWiki core (version 1.32.2), it requires: >= 1.33.0.