Manual:Pywikibot/Use on third-party wikis

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If you need more help on setting up your Pywikibot visit the IRC channel #pywikibotconnect @ freenode server or Pywikibot mailing list.

The pywikibot may be used to do all kind of things that are important for the maintenance of a MediaWiki project. When this software is to be used outside of the Wikimedia projects, some configuration needs to be done.

Some non-Wikimedia projects, or families, are already supported. These can be found in the pywikibot/families (core) / families (compat) folder.

Using the existing files as examples, it should be easy to adapt the bot to your own project. For a shorter set of instructions, see the Quick Start Guide which might have your bot up and running quickly. If you have any problems, you can come back on this page. file[edit]

The must have a username defined for a wiki, especially if the bot does edit actions on it. The following three lines must be add to the

Code Explanation
mylang = 'xx'

xx is the code for the language code you are working on, "en" is English. If you want to work with more than one language, choose the most common one, as you can override configured value in command line by -lang: parameter.

family = 'sitename'

"Sitename" is the name of the site you're working on. Like the language, this can be changed by using the -family: parameter. It is the prefix of the <sitename> file without the "".

usernames['sitename']['en'] = u'ExampleBot'

Your file needs to specify the bot's username, for a specific family and language. The sitename must be the name of a valid family and at least one username must be specified for the configured default language/sitename combination. It doesn't create an account on that page so it must be an already created one. In core the language (en in the example) can be replaced by * and then the username is used for that site, if no username for the specific language is used.

In this example, the user is working on English sitename, and is logging in as a bot with the username "ExampleBot".

Now save again.

Family file[edit]

If there is no family file for the wiki that you are going to use the bot on, then you need to create one. The username must be manually added after creation of a family.


In core it is possible to define an AutoFamily in the and doesn't require an additional family file, but doesn't allow as much configuration freedom. There is no AutoFamily configuration in compat.

To add a family with the name 'mhwp' or 'w3c' the following lines can be added:

family_files['mhwp'] = ''
family_files['w3c'] = ''

It adds w/api.php at the end of the URL if it doesn't end with api.php. So if your wiki does something different (like the W3C example) simply use the complete URL to the api.php. The text must begin with http:// or https:// to be detected as an AutoFamily. Usernames can be defined as usual (usernames['whwp']['*'] = u'ExampleBot') but there are no such thing as languages.

Script to generate family file[edit]

The in the root directory of both versions automatically generates a family file and stores it in the family repository. Given the URL it queries the page and extracts the location of api.php from it. If it succeeds you can login to your wiki using python login (core)/python (compat) (make sure you have already created the account on the wiki!). If that fails, then you will need to modify the existing files below, or create a new file, in a text editor.

Manually in core[edit]

Save the file in the pywikibot/families (core) folder, with a name such as <sitename> where sitename is the name of site you have chosen (for example,

The basis looks something like this:

from pywikibot import family                                                    
class Family(family.Family):                                                    
    def __init__(self):                                                         
        family.Family.__init__(self)                                            = 'ksp'                                                       
        self.langs = {                                                          
            'en': '',                                

If the wiki is configured like the official WMF wikis, this is the least amount of code required. Important is that the class is named Family and that the constructor (__init__ doesn't require any additional parameters (apart from self). If a wiki does support multiple languages it is possible to define them in the langs dictionary.

This assumes that the api.php is in the directory /w/ (in that example the full URL would be If this is not the case and for example the api.php is in the scriptpath(self, code) method of Family has to be overwritten. It does not return the domain and can be dependent on the language/code:

def scriptpath(self, code):
    return '/mediawiki'

To support HTTPS with a family (not AutoFamily) it is necessary to add that specifically:

    def protocol(self, code):                                                         
        return 'HTTPS'

This enables for all languages/codes in that family the HTTPS protocol. It can also return 'HTTP' to not use a secure HTTP connection and add conditions to only use HTTP/HTTPS in certain cases. If the certificate is rejected, the authentication process can be ignored via:

    def ignore_certificate_error(self, code):
        return True

Manually in compat[edit]

Save the file in the families folder, with a name such as <sitename> where sitename is the name of site you have chosen (for example,

Follow the sections below in order (each section makes the following section easier).

You must have the correct details as described in the sections below.

Potential problems:

  • errors in the custom namespaces mean the family file won't work properly (though you'll get a warning when you login?)
  • an error in specifying index.php will prevent you logging in;
  • an error in specifying api.php seems likely to lead to problems, since the wiki is accessed via API.

The README-family.txt file in the families folder offers considerable documentation of the options available to family files. In fact, README-family.txt is a simple 'prototype' family file. You can just copy README-family.txt to <sitename>, then open up the <sitename> file in a text editor, and tweak it per the instructions below.


Note, several family files do not have this in the file, for example,

You must have a correct index.php path in your private family file created above.

To check if you have the correct path for your index.php, test which address redirects to your wiki's homepage - probably one of these:


(You may be able to guess from the address of a regular wiki page, but you need to check it - e.g. a wiki page may be but the correct path may be 'w/index.php' - this occurs at for example.)

Near the end of your file, you find something similar to this. You shouldn't modify or remove the "/w" there but define your own scriptpath method in your private family file as necessary:

    def scriptpath(self, code):
        """The prefix used to locate scripts on this wiki.

        This is the value displayed when you enter {{SCRIPTPATH}} on a
        wiki page (often displayed at [[Help:Variables]] if the wiki has
        copied the master help page correctly).

        The default value is the one used on Wikimedia Foundation wikis,
        but needs to be overridden in the family file for any wiki that
        uses a different value.

        # This line may need to be changed to /wiki/ or /mw/,
        # depending on the folder where your mediawiki program is located.
        return '/w/' #The path of index.php, look at your wiki address.


Note, several family files in the pywikibot family folder do not have this in the file, for example,

You must have a correct API.php path in this needed to be corrected but variables now allow it to find the path from the scriptpath added in the step above.

The API.php file is found in the same place as index.php. Test this by navigating to for example:




The correct address will give you an auto-generated MediaWiki API documentation page (the important thing is that it confirms you have the correct address).

The api is defined like this:

def apipath(self, code):

    return '%s/api.php' % self.scriptpath(code)

There is nothing here that needs to be changed.

Custom Namespaces[edit]

Note, several family files in the pywikibot family folder do not have this in the file, for example,

A wiki can feature custom namespaces in addition to the standard namespaces, i.e. File:, File talk:, User:, etc... If it is the case and you want to handle those pages with your bot, you have to specify them.

Adding a custom namespace to a family file is not well documented in the README-family.txt file. The Uncyclopedia example below has some examples using custom namespaces, but the addition of these namespaces to your family file requires knowing the numerical ID of each namespace.

Finding the details you need: Start with the api URL (which you found above) and add this string to the end:

?action=query&meta=siteinfo&siprop=general|namespaces|namespacealiases|statistics your address might look something like:|namespaces|namespacealiases|statistics

The resulting page will list the information about your namespaces that you need for the family file, including the numerical ID.[2]

Example of Mediawiki API Result
You are looking at the HTML representation of the XML format.
HTML is good for debugging, but probably is not suitable for your application.
See complete documentation, or API help for more information.
<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <general mainpage="Dead Wiki" base="" sitename="Dead Wiki"
generator="MediaWiki 1.16.0" phpversion="5.2.14" phpsapi="cgi-fcgi" dbtype="mysql" dbversion="5.0.91-log"
case="first-letter" rights="" lang="en" fallback8bitEncoding="windows-1252" writeapi="" timezone="UTC"
timeoffset="0" articlepath="/w/index.php?title=$1" scriptpath="/w" script="/w/index.php" variantarticlepath=""
server="" wikiid="dea199999999999999-mw_" time="2010-11-19T08:49:37Z" />
      <ns id="-2" case="first-letter" canonical="Media" xml:space="preserve">Media</ns>
      <ns id="-1" case="first-letter" canonical="Special" xml:space="preserve">Special</ns>
      <ns id="0" case="first-letter" content="" xml:space="preserve" />
      <ns id="1" case="first-letter" subpages="" canonical="Talk" xml:space="preserve">Talk</ns>
      <ns id="2" case="first-letter" subpages="" canonical="User" xml:space="preserve">User</ns>
      <ns id="3" case="first-letter" subpages="" canonical="User talk" xml:space="preserve">User talk</ns>
      <ns id="4" case="first-letter" canonical="Project" xml:space="preserve">Dead Wiki</ns>
      <ns id="5" case="first-letter" subpages="" canonical="Project talk" xml:space="preserve">Dead Wiki talk</ns>
      <ns id="6" case="first-letter" canonical="File" xml:space="preserve">File</ns>
      <ns id="7" case="first-letter" subpages="" canonical="File talk" xml:space="preserve">File talk</ns>
      <ns id="8" case="first-letter" subpages="" canonical="MediaWiki" xml:space="preserve">MediaWiki</ns>
      <ns id="9" case="first-letter" subpages="" canonical="MediaWiki talk" xml:space="preserve">MediaWiki talk</ns>
      <ns id="10" case="first-letter" canonical="Template" xml:space="preserve">Template</ns>
      <ns id="11" case="first-letter" subpages="" canonical="Template talk" xml:space="preserve">Template talk</ns>
      <ns id="12" case="first-letter" canonical="Help" xml:space="preserve">Help</ns>
      <ns id="13" case="first-letter" subpages="" canonical="Help talk" xml:space="preserve">Help talk</ns>
      <ns id="14" case="first-letter" canonical="Category" xml:space="preserve">Category</ns>
      <ns id="15" case="first-letter" subpages="" canonical="Category talk" xml:space="preserve">Category talk</ns>
      <ns id="6" xml:space="preserve">Image</ns>
      <ns id="7" xml:space="preserve">Image talk</ns>
    <statistics pages="1757" articles="620" views="150" edits="2606" images="0" users="1" activeusers="-1" admins="1" jobs="28184" />

README-family.txt explains two ways to list namespaces:

1. Changing a specific language's namespace:

self.namespaces[2]['en'] = u'Wikiuser'
self.namespaces[3]['en'] = u'Wikiuser talk'

2. Changing an entire batch of languages at once:

self.namespaces[4] = {
    '_default': [u'WIKINAME', self.namespaces[4]['_default']], # REQUIRED
    'de': 'Name des wiki',
    'es': 'Nombre del wiki',
    'fr': 'Nom du wiki',
    # ETC.

When adding custom namespaces you must use the second style. The first method only works because self.namespaces[2]['en'] already exists. With custom namespaces, they do not, so you must use the second style, including the curly braces, even if you only have one language. For example, suppose you have a News namespace, and your Wiki only operates in English:

self.namespaces[100] = { 'en': 'News' }
self.namespaces[101] = { 'en': 'News talk' }

If you do not use this format, the family file will not work, the resulting error message will not help - it will ask you to create a file, even if that file already exists and works correctly.

Custom User Groups & Permissions[edit]

Pywikibot assumes that the Wiki it is running on uses the standard, default user groups and that each group is assigned the usual permissions. This means that it may refuse to do things that its account would allow, and it may attempt to do things that its account is not allowed to do (these attempts will fail, so this is not a security issue).

The fact that it will attempt things it is not allowed to do is minor, but the inability to perform certain actions (e.g. deleting pages) without being in the "Sysop" group can be a sizable limitation. If the bot account has such permissions without being in the "Sysop" group (being part of some other, non-standard group), the only known work-around is the edit itself. This file controls most bot actions, and is found in the main folder Pywikibot has been installed to.

In the _getUserData() function within, a pair of lines like this exists:

        if 'Sysop' in self._rights[index]:
            self._rights[index].extend(['delete', 'undelete', 'block', 'protect', 'import', 'deletedhistory', 'unwatchedpages'])

In version 2008-10-29T19:21:05.438703Z 6043, this is line 4705 and 4706, but that line number may be different, even very different, in other versions. Using the Find function of your text editor to find "def _getUserData(" (to find the function definition) is recommended.

In order to get the rights listed in the second line, the first line must be changed to recognize your custom user group (note: if your custom user-group has some, but not all of those rights, changing this will not give you those rights - it will simply let Pywikibot attempt to exercise them if you direct it to. Doing so is strongly not recommended as the program's behavior in such a case is undefined). The exact name of the user group can be found by logging in manually as the bot, and viewing the HTML code of any Wiki page. Near the top, a line as follows should appear:

var wgUserGroups = [ ... ]

Where the ellipsis is replaced by a list of the groups that the bot is a member of. Choose the one that matches the custom user group that gives you the rights that you are attempting to exercise, and replace Sysop in the above code from with that name. This should activate those rights for Pywikibot.

LDAP Authentication[edit]

If your site uses LDAP Authentication you will need to set the ldapDomain in your family file:

self.ldapDomain = "MyDomain"

Configuring custom families folder[edit]

If you create your own family files, you may not want to mix them with those provided by Pywikibot. You can put your custom family files into their own folder, and configure your script to look for them. To do that the easiest way is to edit the and add all directories in which the family files are via register_families_folder(directory). All families in the files ending with are available then.

Via register_family_file(family name, file name) it is also possible to just add one family file which doesn't has to follow the filename convention.

Running the Pywiki Bot[edit]

Refer to Manual:Pywikibot/Basic use on how to run the bot.


Once the family module exists for the Wikibase repository, it needs to be modified so that the Family subclass tells Pywikibot that it supports Wikibase.


Edit the family module so that the Family subclass implements method shared_data_repository, similar to


Edit the family module so that the Family subclass implements method interface, similar to

Family File examples[edit]

Example: Mozilla wiki[edit]

The Mozilla Foundation's wiki,, is a very simple example because it is only available in one language.

This is the contents of families/ Hints for you to write your own family specification are underlined.

 # -*- coding: utf-8  -*-
import family
 # The official Mozilla Wiki. #Put a short project description here.
class Family(family.Family):
     def __init__(self):
         family.Family.__init__(self) = 'mozilla' # Set the family name; this should be the same as in the filename.
         self.langs = {
             'en': '', # Put the hostname here.

         # Translation used on all wikis for the different namespaces.
         # Most namespaces are inherited from family.Family.
         # Check the file (in main directory) to see the standard
         # namespace translations for each known language.
         # You only need to enter translations that differ from the default.
         self.namespaces[4] = {
             '_default': u'MozillaWiki', # Specify the project namespace here.
         self.namespaces[5] = {
             '_default': u'MozillaWiki talk', # Specify the talk page of the project namespace here.
     def version(self, code):
         return "1.4.2"  # The MediaWiki version used. Not very important in most cases.
     def scriptpath(self, code):
         return '' # The relative path of index.php, api.php : look at your wiki address.
# This line may need to be changed to /wiki or /w,
# depending on the folder where your mediawiki program is located.
# Note: Do not _include_ index.php, etc.

Example: Starwars[edit]

This is the content of the Starwars wiki at wikia. The file is located at families/

Here explains how to configure the Pywiki bot to work at this site.

import family
class Family(family.Family):
   def __init__(self):
       family.Family.__init__(self) = 'starwars'
       self.langs = {
           'en': None,
       # Translation used on all wikis for the different namespaces.
       # Most namespaces are inherited from family.Family.
       # Check the file (in main directory) to see the standard
       # namespace translations for each known language.
       # You only need to enter translations that differ from the default.
       self.namespaces[4] = {
           '_default': u'Wookieepedia', # Specify the project namespace here.
       self.namespaces[5] = {
           '_default': u'Wookieepedia talk', # Specify the talk page of the project namespace here.
       # A few selected big languages for things that we do not want to loop over
       # all languages. This is only needed by the module, so
       # if you carefully avoid the options, you could get away without these
       # for another wiki family.
       self.languages_by_size = ['en']
   def hostname(self,code):
       return ''
   def path(self, code):
       return '/index.php'
   def version(self, code):
       return "1.9" # Which version of MediaWiki is used?

Example: Memory Alpha[edit] is the "family" definition of Memory Alpha,, a Star Trek wiki. This specification is a little bit more difficult because it has several languages.

 # -*- coding: utf-8  -*-
 import family
 # The Memory Alpha family, a set of StarTrek wikis.
 class Family(family.Family):
     def __init__(self):
         family.Family.__init__(self) = 'memoryalpha'
         self.langs = {  # All available languages are listed here.
             'de': None, # Because the hostname is the same for all languages,
             'en': None, # we don't specify it here, but below in the hostname()
             'nl': None, # function.
             'sv': None,
         # Most namespaces are inherited from family.Family.
         self.namespaces[4] = {
             '_default': u'Memory Alpha', # All languages use the same project namespace name.
         self.namespaces[5] = {
             '_default': u'Memory Alpha talk',
             'de': u'Memory Alpha Diskussion',
             'nl': u'Overleg Memory Alpha',
             'sv': u'Memory Alphadiskussion',
         # A few selected big languages for things that we do not want to loop over
         # all languages. This is only needed by the module, so
         # if you carefully avoid the options, you could get away without these
         # for another wiki family.
         self.biglangs = ['en', 'de'] # Not very important
     def hostname(self,code):
         return '' # The same for all languages
     def scriptpath(self, code):
         return '/%s' % code # The language code is included in the path
     def version(self, code):
         return "1.4"

Example: Uncyclopedia[edit]

The various Uncyclopedias are slightly more awkward as not all are hosted at the same domain or under the same name. Domain names and paths must be specified individually. Just over half are Wikia-hosted; exceptions include fi: hu: ja: ko: no: pt: sv: and zh-tw:. Many have their own registered domain names and many use custom namespaces.

The approaches which work for an Uncyclopædia or a Memory Alpha project typically can be adapted to other Wikia.

Note: There have been subsequent updates and changes, see wikia:uncyclopedia:es:Usuario:Chixpy/ for more current versions of the Uncyclopedia interwiki bot configuration. There are also unresolved issues in which some interwiki languages are not available from all Uncyclopedia projects or point to incorrect/inconsistent destinations; proceed with caution.

# -*- coding: utf-8  -*-
import family
# The Uncyclopaedia family, a satirical set of encyclopaedia wikis. (May 2006)
# Save this file to families/ in your pywikibot installation      
# The pywikibot itself is available for free download from        

class Family(family.Family):
    def __init__(self):
        family.Family.__init__(self) = 'uncyclopedia'
        self.langs = {
            'ar': '',
            'ca': '',
            'da': '',
            'de': '',
            'el': '',
            'en': '',
            'es': '',
            'fi': '',
            'fr': '',
            'he': '',
            'hu': '',
            'it': '',
            'ja': '',
            'la': '',
            'no': '',
            'pl': '',
            'pt': '',
            'ru': '',
            'sv': '',
            'zh': '',
            'zh-tw': '',
        # Most namespaces are inherited from family.Family.
        self.namespaces[1] = {
            '_default': u'Talk',
            'ar': u'نقاش',
            'ca': u'Discussió',
            'da': u'Diskussion',
            'de': u'Diskussion',
            'el': u'Συζήτηση',
            'en': u'Talk',
            'es': u'Discusión',
            'fi': u'Keskustelu',
            'fr': u'Discuter',
            'he': u'שיחה',
            'it': u'Discussione',
            'la': u'Disputatio',
            'no': u'Diskusjon',
            'pl': u'Dyskusja',
            'pt': u'Discussão',
            'ru': u'Обсуждение',
            'sv': u'Diskussion',
            'zh-tw': u'討論',

        self.namespaces[2] = {
            '_default': u'User',
            'ar': u'مستخدم',
            'ca': u'Usuari',
            'da': u'Bruger',
            'de': u'Benutzer',
            'el': u'Χρήστης',
            'en': u'User',
            'es': u'Usuario',
            'fi': u'Käyttäjä',
            'fr': u'Utilisateur',
            'he': u'משתמש',
            'it': u'Utente',
            'la': u'Usor',
            'no': u'Bruker',
            'pl': u'Użytkownik',
            'pt': u'Usuário',
            'ru': u'Участник',
            'sv': u'Användare',
            'zh-tw': u'用戶',

        self.namespaces[3] = {
            '_default': u'User talk',
            'ar': u'نقاش المستخدم',
            'ca': u'Usuari Discussió',
            'da': u'Bruger diskussion',
            'de': u'Benutzer Diskussion',
            'el': u'Συζήτηση χρήστη',
            'en': u'User talk',
            'es': u'Usuario Discusión',
            'fi': u'Keskustelu käyttäjästä',
            'fr': u'Discussion Utilisateur',
            'he': u'שיחת משתמש',
            'it': u'Discussioni utente',
            'la': u'Disputatio Usoris',
            'no': u'Brukerdiskusjon',
            'pl': u'Dyskusja użytkownika',
            'pt': u'Usuário Discussão',
            'ru': u'Обсуждение участника',
            'sv': u'Användardiskussion',
            'zh-tw': u'用戶討論',

        self.namespaces[4] = {
            '_default': u'Uncyclopedia',
            'ar': u'ويكيبيديا',
            'ca': u'Valenciclopèdia',
            'da': u'Spademanns Leksikon',
            'de': u'Uncyclopedia',
            'el': u'Ανεγκυκλοπαίδεια',
            'en': u'Uncyclopedia',
            'es': u'Inciclopedia',
            'fi': u'Hikipedia',
            'fr': u'Désencyclopédie',
            'he': u'איןציקלופדיה',
            'it': u'Nonciclopedia',
            'la': u'Uncapaedia',
            'no': u'Wikipedia',
            'pl': u'Nonsensopedia',
            'pt': u'Desciclopédia',
            'ru': u'Абсурдопедия',
            'sv': u'Psykelopedia',
            'zh': u'伪基百科',
            'zh-tw': u'偽基百科',
        self.namespaces[5] = {
            '_default': u'Uncyclopedia talk',
            'ar': u'نقاش ويكيبيديا',
            'ca': u'Valenciclopèdia Discussió',
            'da': u'Spademanns Leksikon diskussion',
            'de': u'Uncyclopedia Diskussion',
            'el': u'Ανεγκυκλοπαίδεια συζήτηση',
            'en': u'Uncyclopedia talk',
            'es': u'Inciclopedia Discusión',
            'fi': u'Keskustelu Hikipediasta',
            'fr': u'Discussion Désencyclopédie',
            'he': u'שיחת איןציקלופדיה',
            'it': u'Discussioni Nonciclopedia',
            'la': u'Disputatio Uncapaediae',
            'no': u'Wikipedia-diskusjon',
            'pl': u'Dyskusja Nonsensopedia',
            'pt': u'Desciclopédia Discussão',
            'ru': u'Обсуждение Абсурдопедии',
            'sv': u'Psykelopediadiskussion',
            'zh': u'伪基百科 talk',
            'zh-tw': u'偽基百科討論',

    self.namespaces[6] = {
            '_default': u'Image',
            'ar': u'صورة',
            'ca': u'Imatge',
            'da': u'Billede',
            'de': u'Bild',
            'el': u'Εικόνα',
            'es': u'Imagen',
            'fi': u'Kuva',
            'he': u'תמונה',
            'it': u'Immagine',
            'la': u'Imago',
            'no': u'Bilde',
            'pl': u'Grafika',
            'pt': u'Imagem',
            'ru': u'Изображение',
            'sv': u'Bild',
            'zh-tw': u'圖像',

    self.namespaces[7] = {
            '_default': u'Image talk',
            'ar': u'نقاش الصورة',
            'ca': u'Imatge Discussió',
            'da': u'Billede diskussion',
            'de': u'Bild Diskussion',
            'el': u'Συζήτηση εικόνας',
            'es': u'Imagen Discusión',
            'fi': u'Keskustelu kuvasta',
            'fr': u'Discussion Image',
            'he': u'שיחת תמונה',
            'it': u'Discussioni immagine',
            'la': u'Disputatio Imaginis',
            'no': u'Bildediskusjon',
            'pl': u'Dyskusja grafiki',
            'pt': u'Imagem Discussão',
            'ru': u'Обсуждение изображения',
            'sv': u'Bilddiskussion',
            'zh-tw': u'圖像討論',

        self.namespaces[8] = {
            '_default': u'MediaWiki',
            'ar': u'ميدياويكي',
            'he': u'מדיה ויקי',
            'zh-tw': u'媒體維基',

        self.namespaces[9] = {
            '_default': u'MediaWiki talk',
            'ar': u'نقاش ميدياويكي',
            'ca': u'MediaWiki Discussió',
            'da': u'MediaWiki diskussion',
            'de': u'MediaWiki Diskussion',
            'es': u'MediaWiki Discusión',
            'fr': u'Discussion MediaWiki',
            'he': u'שיחת מדיה ויקי',
            'it': u'Discussioni MediaWiki',
            'la': u'Disputatio MediaWiki',
            'no': u'MediaWiki-diskusjon',
            'pl': u'Dyskusja MediaWiki',
            'pt': u'MediaWiki Discussão',
            'ru': u'Обсуждение MediaWiki',
            'sv': u'MediaWiki diskussion',
            'zh-tw': u'媒體維基討論',

        # Custom namespace list for en: (and fi:)
        self.namespaces[100] = {
        self.namespaces[101] = {
            '_default':u'Wilde talk',
            'en':u'Wilde talk',
            'pl':u'Dyskucja cytatów',
        self.namespaces[102] = {
        self.namespaces[103] = {'_default':u'UnNews talk'}
        self.namespaces[104] = {'_default':u'Undictionary'}
        self.namespaces[105] = {'_default':u'Undictionary talk'}
        self.namespaces[106] = {'_default':u'Game'}
        self.namespaces[107] = {'_default':u'Game talk'}
        self.namespaces[108] = {'_default':u'Babel'}
        self.namespaces[109] = {'_default':u'Babel talk'}
        self.namespaces[110] = {'_default':u'Forum'}
        self.namespaces[111] = {'_default':u'Forum talk'}

        # A few selected big languages for things that we do not want to loop over
        # all languages. This is only needed by the module, so
        # if you carefully avoid the options, you could get away without these
        # for another wiki family.
        self.languages_by_size = ['en', 'pl', 'de', 'es', 'ru', 'fr']

    def hostname(self,code):
        return self.langs[code]

    def scriptpath(self, code):
        if code=='fi':
           return '/hikipedia'
        if code in ['hu', 'ja', 'pt', 'sv', 'zh-tw']:
           return '/w'
        if code=='no':
           return ''
        return '/wiki'

    def version(self, code):
        return "1.7"



For a single-language site, the language specified does not matter as long as it is consistent between the and families/

Login failed. Wrong password?[edit]

Pywikibot does not report anything more useful than success, failure, or host connection failure. If possible, try accessing the web server logs (Apache uses access_log by default) and take a look at the URL strings.

You could also try running in 'very verbose' mode, i.e.: python -v -v . This will dump a lot of information, including possibly the html code from the server, so you can see exactly what is going on. (however this option does run the risk of possibly revealing some security sensitive info so be careful...)

Make sure your scriptpath, the relative path to your api.php and index.php files, is defined appropriately for your wiki in your families file:

def scriptpath(self, code):
    return '/wiki'

If this does not help, add a line like

  authenticate[''] = ('botName','botPassword')

to your file.

See the mozilla configuration for clues.

Bot doesn't want to stay logged in[edit]

If you are able to log in with, but the bot doesn't seem to want to remember your credentials no matter what you should consider using a password file.

Add the line

  password_file = "secretsfile"

to your The secretsfile should be made only readable by the user who executes the bot (for Unix it's usually the the mode 600), that file has to be UTF8 encoded (or ASCII if it only consists of ASCII characters). Each line contains a tuple with 2 to 4 values (compat doesn't support the option with 3 values):

("username", "password")
("family", "username", "password") # Not available in compat!
("language", "family", "username", "password")

It'll select the last applicable entry, so the values should be ordered from most generic to least generic. If no language is given it'll use that password on all languages of that family and if family is also not given it'll choose that password if the username is matching.

This is not the same as the tip above, which is for HTTP AUTH BASIC-protected wikis.

Possible issue with SVN pywikipedia, custom URL schemes, and/or MediaWiki in XAMPP[edit]

My particular difficulty with (from SVN rev 9509, with Python 2.6.something and MW 1.17) is that it initially logs in just fine, but -test immediately after says:

You are not logged in on <wiki>:<lang>.

when clearly I just did. There is nothing unusual in the output of python -v -v. Yet none of the other bot scripts are able to use the credentials which should have been cached by Since I'm using it with non-Wikimedia wiki, using a custom (short) URL scheme, with the wiki running on Windows (XAMPP), and with all those strikes against it, I'm not about to call this a bug. But certainly isn't remembering the login cookie as advertised. Annoying, because I was trying to loop through a thousand plus images with and being asked a password for each one. The workaround above works.

Mismatched interwiki configuration[edit]

In some projects (such as Uncyclopedia), each language operates as an independent wiki. This may mean that interwiki tables differ from one individual wiki to another within the same project. is built on the assumption that, if outbound interlanguage links are available at all from a language, the list of available link-destination languages and the destination URL for each will match perfectly across all wikis in the project.

This leads to some potential pitfalls:

  • If one language is missing outbound language interwiki support entirely, one must avoid giving pywikibot an account on that wiki (in in order to ensure that leaves that one language wiki untouched.
  • If one language is using a valid but incomplete interwiki table, running on that language wiki will create broken links. Unlike the case where one language is missing project-wide, there is no clean and easy workaround.
  • If a language in a project has been forked (not just mirrored), the interwiki for each individual language pair will point to only one of the multiple forks. Verify the wiki your bot is looking at is the same one that is being linked from the wiki you're editing - otherwise the bot will delete some valid links as "page does not exist".

Customisation of namespaces[edit]

Some projects use non-standard extensions to provide Special:Interwiki and Special:Namespaces lists; where available, these lists should be checked against the configuration files to detect any additional namespace customisations.

Short URL rewrites[edit]

If your site uses short URL rewrites, you may have to add "/api.php" to the blacklists, Otherwise, your bot scripts will not be able to access api.php.

Check your rewrite conditions in your Apache conf file, and make an appropriate addition.

Bot & private wikis[edit]

Some wikis require logging in into mediawiki before being able to view any wikipage. If you have any such site, add to your custom family file :

def isPublic(self):
    return False

Fixing Permission Denied problems

Creating page [[Category:Help]] via API                                    
Unknown Error. API Error code:permissiondenied                            
Information:Permission denied

Your wiki may require users to be part of a particular group in order to edit pages. If so, login to your wiki as an administrator and use Special:UserRights to put your bot into the proper group(s) to avoid API permission problems.

Bot & HTTP auth[edit]

Some sites will require password identication to access the HTML pages at the site. If you have any such site, add lines to your of the following form:

authenticate[''] = ('John','XXXXX') # where John is your login name, and XXXXX your password.

See also[edit]

Language:Project:Language policy English  • español


  1. The 'u' in front of the username stands for Unicode. The 'u' is important if your username contains non-ASCII characters. If you are using ASCII characters only or Python 3, you can remove the 'u' (if you have troubles logging in with your bot, otherwise you can leave the 'u' as is).
  2. Typically these numerical IDs start at 100, and each even number is a content space and the following odd number is the talk space for that content space. But to get the exact list view the Wiki's Mediawiki API Result file.