Manual:Installation requirements

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Requirements Requirements in short

For image thumbnailing and TeX-support, additional programs are required.

(*) – MariaDB, a GPL fork of the MySQL code by Monty Widenius, the founder of MySQL, is an alternative and can also be used by MediaWiki. Debian/Ubuntu repos.

For experienced users, here is the quick version of the installation instructions. Most users will want to go through all the passages.

  1. Check that your system meets the minimum requirements
  2. Download MediaWiki (direct link to latest version) and extract the archive to a web-accessible folder on your server.
  3. 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]. A locally installed wiki will need the LocalSettings.php modified from [localhost] to [domain] if you will ever be accessing the wiki from that domain. If installed on a remote server, replace [domain] with your server's domain name (eg:
  4. 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!

In addition to the software itself, a standard MediaWiki installation has the following requirements:

  • A web server is required to serve the requested pages to the client browser.
  • PHP is required to run the software.
  • A database server is required to store the pages and site data.

In addition, there are various optional dependencies which are required if you want to use certain advanced features (see below).

If your website is hosted (i.e. you don't have direct control over it) then contact the server administrators or hosting company to ensure these are installed.

Simple One-Download Installation

Use XAMPP to install and configure all of the important packages with only one download. It is available for Linux, Windows, Mac and Solaris. It includes Apache, PHP and MySQL besides other components. Note that the latest version of XAMPP has moved past the PHP 5.3.3 release (5.5.3 at the time of this note) for Windows, so it should be working. For Mac latest release also offers PHP 5.5.3 at the time of this note.

Web server

In order to serve the generated pages to the client browser, MediaWiki requires some web server software. Often you will not have a choice of which software to use - it will be the one provided by your hosting provider.

Most installations use the Apache web server, available at the official download page. However, MediaWiki has also been tested under IIS 7.0, Cherokee, Hiawatha, LiteSpeed, nginx (configuration example), and lighttpd.


PHP is the programming language in which MediaWiki is written, and is required in order to run the software.

Note that although MediaWiki ships with an installation script which provides web-based configuration of the most important elements, some knowledge of PHP is required for more detailed customizations.

  • For the latest stable version of MediaWiki, PHP version 5.3.3 or later is required.
  • If you are unable to upgrade to PHP 5.3.3, then you can use MediaWiki 1.19.24 (no longer supported), which requires PHP version 5.2.3 or later
  • The following extensions are required:
  • Note that all of these are enabled in PHP by default.
  • MediaWiki's installer will warn if you don't have the optional PHP intl extension "to handle Unicode normalization". In most Debian/Ubuntu-based distros, this is in the php5-intl package.
  • On most Debian/Ubuntu-based distros, either the php5-mysql or php5-mysqlnd package is required if you want MediaWiki to use MySQL.
  • If you are installing MediaWiki on CentOS 5.6, use the php53 package instead of php. The php package contains PHP 5.1.x, which is not compatible with the latest version of MediaWiki.
  • If you are installing MediaWiki on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 (CentOS 6.4), you will need to install the php-xml package in addition to the normal php package.
  • Some features of MediaWiki may require PHP functions that execute external processes, like image thumbnailing, that some cheap hosts usually disable. This has surfaced specially in MediaWiki 1.23 on file uploads (task T68467). Please take this into consideration if you plan to install MediaWiki on a shared host.
  • MediaWiki extensions may require additional PHP features, e.g. VisualEditor requires libcurl support (php5-curl on Debian/Ubuntu-based distros).

If you need to compile PHP from source, then see PHP configuration for compilation options that affect MediaWiki.

  • Some servers may also require the equivalent database module and session management module be installed. See individual operating system instructions for more information.
  • When installing on Windows using the Microsoft installer, add the extension for your database of choice (MySQL or Postgres) to the features to be installed.

VisualEditor[edit | edit source]

The Parsoid web-service, which is implemented using node.js. This is not provided by most shared-hosting companies (HostGator, Bluehost, Dreamhost, etc.). For performance and security reasons, it is better to use a dedicated hosting solution such as a VPS.

Scribunto[edit | edit source]

If you want to use Lua templates the wiki will also require Scribunto.

Database server

MediaWiki stores all the text and data (content pages, user details, system messages, etc.) in a database, which it is capable of sharing with other web-based applications (phpBB, etc.). You will need one of the following database servers to run the latest version of MediaWiki:

Some users find it helpful to install an additional software package such as phpMyAdmin (MySQL) or phpPgAdmin (Postgres) to help administer the database server.

MySQL 5 has been required since MediaWiki 1.19. MySQL 4 support has been required since MediaWiki 1.6. (If you are using an ancient version of MySQL and cannot upgrade then you need to use MediaWiki 1.5.8. Note that this version is no longer supported.)

Hardware requirements

The recommended minimum requirements are 256MB of RAM for a single-computer website and 85MB of storage, although this will not suffice for a busy public site or a site with uploading enabled. Some users have reported running MediaWiki on computers with as little as 48MB of RAM.

The install size can be reduced to around 50Mb for a developer install and to around 26Mb for a non-developer, end-user install. See Manual:Reduce size of the installation

Optional dependencies

  • ImageMagick or GD is required for image thumbnailing.
  • TeX is required for the in-line display of mathematical formulae. In most Debian/Ubuntu-based distros, this is in the texlive package.
  • Sendmail is required in order for the system to be able to send e-mails.
  • Shell access is required to run maintenance scripts; upgrading may be more difficult without it.

For further information about the above items, see Manual:Installing third-party tools.

See also[edit | edit source]

Software bundles
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