Manual:Running MediaWiki on Red Hat Linux

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Introduction[edit | edit source]

This article gives detailed instructions for people who want to run MediaWiki on a Red Hat Linux platform.

Prerequisites: Quick Installation of Apache, MySQL and PHP[edit | edit source]

The major difficulties to installing Mediawiki lie in the correct installation of Apache, MySQL and PHP. You can install the three packages separately from your Red Hat or via any third party compilation and packaging effort, with a good tutorial on setting up a so-called LAMP environment.

Otherwise, you can use the xampp which contains all three of these, properly configured for use by MediaWiki. See FAQ.

Install operating system packages[edit | edit source]

Using the Red Hat package system:

yum install httpd php php-mysql php-gd mysql-server php-xml mysql

Database (MySQL) post-install configuration[edit | edit source]

Start MySQL and secure it

service mysqld start

Log into MySQL monitor:

 mysql -u root -p

Create the wiki user and grant it DB creation privileges:


Remember the 'wiki' password for MySQL that you create here. You will need it when setting up the wiki database. You can test it with:

 mysql -u wiki -p

Next, create the database:

 CREATE DATABASE database name;

For example:

 CREATE DATABASE wikidatabase;  

To confirm that it was created:


Grant privileges to newly created DB:

 GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON wikidatabase.* TO 'wikiuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'Pippo123456?' WITH GRANT OPTION;

To display what has been granted:

 SHOW GRANTS FOR 'wiki'@'localhost';

Autostart webserver and database daemons (services)[edit | edit source]

Make sure Apache and MySQL start on boot

chkconfig httpd on
chkconfig mysqld on

Download MediaWiki[edit | edit source]

Install mediawiki tarball ("sources")[edit | edit source]

You can install mediawiki directly from the mediawiki web site (recommended), see below for installing pre-built packages from EPEL.

Download mediawiki directly (the current version as of this writing, may have changed since) in some directory of your choice. Here I put it in /root.

cd /root

Also it works with:

curl -O

(Optional, but recommended) Download the GPG signature for the tarball and verify the tarball's integrity:

curl -O
gpg --verify mediawiki-1.25.1.tar.gz.sig mediawiki-1.25.1.tar.gz

Install. Use a symlink for easy upgrades.

cd /var/www
tar -zxf /root/mediawiki-1.25.1.tar.gz
ln -s mediawiki-1.25.1/ mediawiki

(alternative) Install MediaWiki as an RPM from EPEL[edit | edit source]

As an alternative to the above recommended install, EPEL maintains a pre-built package (.rpm file). The repository is located here: Fedora Project Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL). This package may be one or more versions behind the current stable MediaWiki branch. However, many RHEL and CentOS users find EPEL is a good source for packages not included in the base system.

First, configure your Red Hat (CentOS) installation to recognize the EPEL package repository, following these instructions: add the EPEL repository as a source for your package manager.

List the available EPEL mediawiki packages:

yum list 'mediawiki*'

or, if you want descriptions of each package

yum info 'mediawiki*'

Then install those that you choose with a command like

yum install packagenames go here, blank separated

Configure[edit | edit source]

Webserver (Apache) post-install configuration[edit | edit source]

Setting up Apache can be done in numerous ways according to your preferences. In this example I simply change Apache to look at /var/www by default, so the link to the wiki will be http://server/mediawiki. This is convenient for running more than one site on the server. If you only need mediawiki running on the server, change instances of /var/www below to /var/www/mediawiki (Also it works with: /var/www/mediawiki-1.25.1). Open /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf and search for and change these three lines:

DocumentRoot "/var/www"
<Directory "/var/www">     <-- this is the SECOND "<Directory" entry, not the 'root' one
DirectoryIndex index.html index.html.var index.php

Changing the /var/www to /var/www/mediawiki assumes you did the following:

cd /var/www
ln -s mediawiki-1.25.1/ mediawiki
chown -R apache:apache /var/www/mediawiki-1.25.1 

Also it works with:

chown -R apache:apache /var/www/mediawiki

Restart Apache

service httpd restart

Firewall configuration[edit | edit source]

You also want to open ports in your firewall using


Enable both the https and http services (follow the instructions of the configuration interface).

Security (selinux) configuration[edit | edit source]

On a default Red Hat (or CentOS) install, the selinux package will be installed and enabled. You can check this using this command:


If the command displays "enforcing" then you must either disbale selinux (not recommended), or set the correct selinux context for the MediaWiki files, running these commands as root:

 restorecon -FR /var/www/mediawiki-1.25.1/
 restorecon -FR /var/www/mediawiki

You can check for the correct context with

 ls -lZ /var/www/

The media directories and links should have this context:


(alternative) Disabling security (selinux)[edit | edit source]

If you are determined to disable selinux (instead of configuring it properly as detailed above), go to /etc/selinux and modify conf making it either "permissive" or "disabled." I also had to create a link to /usr/share/mediawiki-1.25.1/load.php in my /var/www/mediawiki directory and change the ownership on the /usr/share/mediawiki-1.25.1 directory to apache.apache.

Final comments[edit | edit source]

And you're good to go. Point a browser at http://servername/mediawiki and follow the instructions.

References[edit | edit source]