Manual:$wgPingback

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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 updatelog 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.


Implementation[edit]

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.

Privacy considerations[edit]

MediaWiki's privacy policy appears to cover data collected via the pingback feature. Changes to that privacy policy are sent to the WikimediaAnnounce mailing list.

The pingback feature will send new data on the first page load after upgrading to a new MediaWiki version. It can be disabled at any time by setting it to false, but that will not remove any previously sent data.

As the data is transmitted via a request to Wikimedia Foundation servers, your server's IP address will be logged in the web request logs. Because a unique ID is set with each request, it would be possible for someone with access to Wikimedia's server access logs and the pingback data to determine what wiki sent the specific data. The purpose of the unique ID is to be able to de-duplicate events after a wiki upgrades their MediaWiki version. To view your wiki's ID, run the following SQL command:

SELECT * FROM updatelog WHERE ul_key="PingBack";

To reset the ID, just delete the row:

DELETE FROM updatelog WHERE ul_key="PingBack":

This could cause MediaWiki developers to double count your instance of MediaWiki, potentially skewing decisions made based on the data.


Changes to the data that is sent must be approved by a MediaWiki developer with merge permissions.

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]