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Site customization: $wgPingback
If true, MediaWiki will report back data about its installation from time to time to aid developers
Introduced in version: 1.28.0 (Gerrit change 296699; git #f181cde)
Removed in version: still in use
Allowed values: boolean
Default value: false
Other settings: Alphabetical | By function

System information reported[edit]

Other reported data is in the Privacy of Data section.

Name Description Example Rationale
wiki Cryptographically random hash 49748f9060251596beb44eaac206135c This is a unique hash that is generated once per MediaWiki installation and then saved in the updatelogManual:Updatelog table table under the "PingBack" key.
database Configured database type "mysql", "sqlite" To understand the usage and popularity of different database types.
MediaWiki MediaWiki version "1.27.1" To see the usage of different MediaWiki versions, and when people update to newer versions.
PHP PHP version "5.6.0", "7.0.9" To see the usage of different PHP versions, and if we want to raise the minimum requirement, what the impact would be.
OS Operating system and release "Linux $version", "Windows $version" To see how MediaWiki is used on different operating systems, and the versions of those operating systems
arch Identifying 32-bit or 64-bit "32", "64" To see how extensively MediaWiki is used on 32-bit systems, and what the impact would be of only supporting 64-bit systems.
machine Machine hardware "x86_64" To see what architectures MediaWiki is used with
serverSoftware Web server software "Apache/2.4.10 (Debian)" To see which webservers MediaWiki is used with, and whether compatibility hacks for specific versions of webservers should be kept.
memoryLimit php memory limit 220M To see the amount of memory MediaWiki normally has available and what the impact would be of potentially raising MediaWiki's memory requirements.


The time and data sent is logged to the debug log when it is enabled. The data points are implemented in the includes/Pingback.php file.

Enabling the Pingback; Data collection and use[edit]

The web installer asks the user if they want to enable the feature during the installation of MediaWiki. The user may choose at this time to opt out of the pingback. If the user opts in, the pingback feature will send new data on the first page load after upgrading to a new version of MediaWiki. Users may choose to disable the pingback at any time by setting the $wgPingback configuration variable to false in LocalSettings.php. However, this will not delete any data that has already been transmitted to our servers.

The pingback anonymously tracks which version of MediaWiki is being used, along with the configured database type and PHP version, as well as your operating system, system type (32-bit or 64-bit), machine hardware, server software, and memory limit. The feature also sends a unique ID with the data transmission, which is used to track upgrades made to wikis over time.

You may view your wiki’s ID after a pingback is sent by running the following SQL command:

SELECT * FROM updatelog WHERE ul_key="PingBack";

You can delete the ID by running the following SQL command.

DELETE FROM updatelog WHERE ul_key="PingBack":

If you delete it, a new unique ID will be generated the next time a pingback is sent. After deleting the ID, the collected data can no longer be associated with the data from the same installation, which has been gathered in earlier transmissions. Note however that the sum of different information collected for each transmission might however give a certain probability that data of different transmissions is in fact coming from the same installation. The only way to avoid this is to set $wgPingback to false.

For more information, please see the complete MediaWiki Pingback privacy statement.

Access to data[edit]

Currently the data is stored in Wikimedia's EventLogging database. Users with a signed NDA with the WMF can access the data via analytics machines. It is planned to make aggregated data publicly available (see phab:T152222).

See also[edit]