MediaWiki installs itself using an interactive, web-based installation script. Before you can run this script, you need to do a couple of things: see prerequisites or short installation guide for experts.
MediaWiki can be difficult to install for the average computer user who does not have experience with Apache, PHP and MySQL. Most users who wish to use wiki software may benefit from using a free MediaWiki host or via a software bundles.
Note: For troubleshooting information, see Special:MyLanguage/Manual:Errors and Symptoms#Installation Errors.
Download MediaWiki software
You can download a release version of MediaWiki from the official download page: generally, if you're using a production environment, you want to be running the stable release.
To download MediaWiki 1.25.1, which is the latest stable release version, to a *nix machine you can use the following command:
Alternatively, using cURL:
The downloaded files are in
.tar.gz format, so will need to be uncompressed before use. This can be done locally (and then uploaded via FTP) or directly on your server. This is usually done with software such as 7-Zip (free), WinZip, WinRAR or IZArc (free) on Windows. On Linux and Mac OS X, you can untar the file using this command:
tar xvzf mediawiki-*.tar.gz
NOTE: If you untar the archive as root, you should probably change the ownership afterwards with chown, otherwise the files will end up owned as user # 1000, which may or may not be what you want.
If you have not already uploaded the files to your web server, do so now.
Make sure the "Change file names to lowercase" option for upload is disabled.
Upload the files to your web server's web directory either by:
- directly copying the unzipped folder or
- by using an FTP client such as FileZilla (Open Source Software, Windows, OSX and Linux) or Cyberduck (OSX).
If you installed Apache, the correct directory is specified in your
httpd.conf file (it's typically
<apache-folder>/htdocs). Note: This changes in Ubuntu 14.04 with Apache 2.4.7 where the primary config file for Apache server settings and directories is
If you are using a Linux or Unix server you can instead copy the files to any directory on your server and then make a symbolic link to that folder from your web server's web directory.
Rename the uploaded folder to whatever you would like to have in the URL. If your web server is running as
http://localhost for example, renaming to
/w/ directory would mean you would access your wiki at
http://localhost/w/index.php. Do not use
/wiki/ if you want to use it as a Short URL. (And don't set up short URLs until you have run the installation script.)
This (renamed) folder will now be referred as
Create a database
If you already have a database server and know the root password for it, the MediaWiki installation script can create a new database for you. If this is the case, you can skip to the Run the installation script section below. If you don't know the root password, for example if you are on a hosted server, you will have to create a new database now. Currently, you must use SQLite, MySQL or PostgreSQL to store the actual contents of your wiki.
MediaWiki supports SQLite since version 1.13, however at least 1.16 is highly recommended. SQLite is a stand-alone database library that stores the database contents in a single file. If PHP has the pdo-sqlite module, no further setup is required.
On the installation page, you will need to choose a database name (which can be anything) and the SQLite database directory. For the database directory, the installer will attempt to use a subdirectory outside of the document root and create it if needed. If this directory is not safe (for example, web-readable), change it manually to avoid making it accessible to everyone on the web.
MediaWiki will ask you for database and user name and will attempt to create them if they don't already exist. If doing so from MediaWiki is impossible, you can do this using various control panels such as PhpMyAdmin, which are often available from shared hosts, or you may be able to use ssh to login to your host and type the commands into a MySQL prompt. See the corresponding documentation. Alternatively, contact your host provider to have them create an account for you.
- Download and install MySQL - MediaWiki supports version 5.0.2 or later. MySQL typically installs in /usr/local/mysql. (If you use your Linux distribution's package manager to install MySQL, the following commands may be in some other directory; try typing them without the path prefix /usr/local/mysql/bin/ .)
- Check and see if the database server is running; for example, run /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqladmin status. If it is not, run mysqld_safe to start it: sudo /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqld_safe &.
- Another way to initially start the MySQL server is to run the configure script available at the root of the installation. It creates the initial tables and automatically starts the mysql daemon
- Set a password for the "root" account on your database server. /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqladmin -u root password yourpassword
- Run the MySQL command-line client: /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql -u root -p
- This will prompt for the "root" database password you just set, then connect to the MySQL server. Now, continue with the SQL commands below.
- Download MySQL msi (mysql-5.5.22-winx64.msi for example)
- Run msi file and accept all defaults. When creating the root account, use a password that you will remember.
- Run Start->All Programs->MySQL->MySQL Server->MySQL Command Line Client
- Enter the root password you just created
- Now continue with the instructions below
create database wikidb; grant index, create, select, insert, update, delete, drop, alter, lock tables on wikidb.* to 'wikiuser'@'localhost' identified by 'password';
If your database is not running on the same server as your web server, you need to give the appropriate web server hostname -- mediawiki.example.com in my example -- as follows:
grant index, create, select, insert, update, delete, drop, alter, lock tables on wikidb.* to 'wikiuser'@'mediawiki.example.com' identified by 'password';
If you are using PostgreSQL, you will need to either have a database and user created for you, or simply supply the name of a PostgreSQL user with "superuser" privileges to the configuration form. Often, this is the database user named postgres.
Here's one way to do most of the setup. This is for a Unix-like system. In this example, we'll create a database named wikidb, owned by a user named wikiuser. From the command-line, as the postgres user, perform the following steps.
createuser -S -D -R -P -E wikiuser (then enter the password) createdb -O wikiuser wikidb
or as superuser (default postgres) execute the following commands at the database prompt:
CREATE USER wikiuser WITH NOCREATEDB NOCREATEROLE NOSUPERUSER ENCRYPTED PASSWORD 'password'; CREATE DATABASE wikidb WITH OWNER wikiuser;
Beware of the list of known issues when running MediaWiki with PostgreSQL.
Run the installation script
Once all of the above steps are complete, you can complete the installation through a web browser by going to the index.php URI in your browser -- check the instructions mentioned in Special:MyLanguage/Manual:Config script.
If needed, you can run the command-line installer or CLI:
Note: MediaWiki 1.16 and earlier needed to be able to write to the
<MediaWiki-folder>/config directory when it ran its installation script. This is no longer required.
Keep up to date!
Once installed, make sure you stay up to date with releases, and keep your server secure!
- FAQ: FAQ#Installation and configuration
- mediawiki-l (Mailing List) is the high-traffic mailing list to ask for support
- Manual:Page customizations lists wiki pages that MediaWiki messages link to, you need to create these pages or edit the messages.
- Manual:Configuring MediaWiki for links to more advanced configuration.
- Manual:Short URL for having more user-friendly URL to article pages.
- Manual:Wiki family to set up multiple instances of MediaWiki with single set of MediaWiki files.
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