Fundamental Introduction to MediaWiki
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This guide provides instructions on how to install and configure MediaWiki, both manually, and by easier alternatives. Installing more than one wiki and installing existing wikis are also covered. The appendices provide links to more detailed installation notes for specific system configurations and other less common uses of the software.
If you are already running MediaWiki, see the Upgrade guide.
For experienced users, here is the quick version of the installation instructions. Most users (like if you don't know how to install or check for the prerequisite software on your computer) will want to follow the main installation guide.
- Check that your system meets the following minimum requirements. (See Installation requirements for more details. Make sure to also check the RELEASE NOTES shipped with MediaWiki for requirements.) You'll need:
- MediaWiki (current stable version is 1.36.0)
- A web server such as Apache or IIS
- Local or command line access is needed for running maintenance scripts
- PHP 7.3.19+
- A database server, that is, one of the following:
- Download MediaWiki (direct link to download the stable release version) and extract the archive to a web-accessible folder on your computer.
- Point your browser to the directory where MediaWiki was extracted and follow the link to the setup screen. It should be in the form
http://domain/directory/mw-config/index.php. Replace directory with the path to your extracted MediaWiki folder. If installing on a local machine, replace domain with
localhost. If you install locally and later want to access your wiki from domain, then you will need to change LocalSettings.php from
localhostto domain. If installed on a remote server, replace domain with your server's domain name (e.g. www.myserver.com).
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.
These instructions are deliberately brief. There is a lot that could go wrong, so if in doubt, you are advised to read the full instructions!
Main installation guide
- Before installing MediaWiki, read these:
- Configuring MediaWiki
Alternatives to manual installation
If your head is swimming from reading the above — or you feel frustrated, stuck, or lost — this section is for you...
You can avoid manual installation by using a pre-integrated MediaWiki software appliance, hosting services with 1-click installation, or wiki farms.
If you are installing for development or testing, consider using MediaWiki-Vagrant, a set of configuration scripts for Vagrant that automate the creation and update of a virtual machine that runs MediaWiki and your choice of extensions and services.
These are community based resources and should always be treated with some measure of caution. Use at your own risk.
Wiki families (multiple wikis)
- Main page: Manual:Wiki family
A wiki family is more than one wiki installed on the same computer.
Installing MediaWiki more than once
One approach is to install multiple instances of MediaWiki (such as with a software bundle like the Bitnami MediaWiki Stack) in different directories – one for each wiki. For example, you want an enterprise wiki and a personal wiki, and you want to keep them totally separate.
Multiple wikis with one MediaWiki
You could use a single installation of MediaWiki for multiple wikis, by either:
- Using a different database for each wiki. See $wgDBname.
- Using a different database prefix for each wiki. See $wgDBprefix.
Installing an existing wiki
Some users wish to install MediaWiki with Wikipedia, Wiktionary, or some other wiki loaded. This is useful for reading offline, for conducting experiments, and for mirroring/forking.
The main (but not necessarily the easiest) method for doing this is to install MediaWiki and then import. See Manual:FAQ#Wiki importing.
(Non-MediaWiki solutions, such as Xowa and Kiwix, can be found at w:Wikipedia:Database download, and are probably the best options).
The following pages give instructions about how to install/configure MediaWiki for other, less common purposes.
The following pages cover some of the more advanced configuration options:
- FAQ: FAQ#Installation and configuration
- connect channel on IRC
- mediawiki-l is the high-traffic mailing list to ask for support.
The following pages give more detailed installation instructions aimed at specific systems. However, by and large Manual:Installing MediaWiki is more up to date, and better written than the per system docs, and as such it is recommended you first consult the main install instructions before looking at a per system installation documents.