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Welcome to the MediaWiki Support desk, where you can ask MediaWiki questions!

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  1. To help us answer your questions, please indicate which versions you are using, as found on your wiki's Special:Version page:
    • MediaWiki version
    • PHP version
    • Database type and version
  2. Please include the web address (URL) to your wiki if possible. It's often easier for us to identify the source of the problem if we can see the error directly.
  3. To start a new thread, click "Start a new topic".

"Citation needed" template missing

3 (talkcontribs)

I've just installed a fresh copy of MediaWiki, and have created a few pages. However, when I try to invoke the "Citation needed" template, either with {{Cn}} or {{Citation needed}}, it renders on the page as Template:Cn or Template:Citation needed respectively.

Is there a specific extension that needs to be enabled? Do the citation templates have to be added to an installation manually? I apologise if this is a basic issue, but I haven't been able to find any information online besides the MediaWiki article on usage of the template, not it's installation...

Jonathan3 (talkcontribs)
Bawolff (talkcontribs)
Reply to ""Citation needed" template missing"

Unable to generate Thumbnails : escapeshellarg() has been disabled for security reasons

Ironhide1975 (talkcontribs)

Okay so everything was working just fine and when I tried to upload images I received this error.

: escapeshellarg() has been disabled for security reasons

I did some research and set $wgUseImageMagick = false;

This allows the file to be uploaded but when I go to view the image on the page I get the following error.

Error creating thumbnail: File missing

What gives?

Jonathan3 (talkcontribs)
Bawolff (talkcontribs)

The mediawiki debug log might have additional info on wht gd didnt create the thumbnail. See How to debug.

Strongly reccomend getting a different host that doesnt dusable escapeshellarg.

If all else fails, try also setting $wgUseImageResize = false;

Ironhide1975 (talkcontribs)


Thank you for the info however here is the problems I'm running into. (And I've also read everything I could find on the internet concerning this.)

1) There is no disabled functions in my php file.

2) I sent a request to my provider to re-enable escapeshellarg

3) I am not a PHP programmer by heart (more of a Classic ASP guy) so I don't know what option 3 does.


I did reach out to a new hosting provider to see if I can migrate the site over as it's getting pretty big in itself.

Jonathan3 (talkcontribs)

The whole thumbnail thing is a mystery. I had a problem with PDF thumbnails which nobody could get to the bottom of. When I moved server it just started to work.

Bawolff (talkcontribs)

> There is no disabled functions in my php file.

You're probably looking at the wrong php.ini file. (Create a page containing just <?php phpinfo(); name it something ending in .php, upload to your webserver, and view it in the browser. It will tell you where the php.ini files are located).

Reply to "Unable to generate Thumbnails : escapeshellarg() has been disabled for security reasons"

My wiki page has randomly started to run really sluggish in the last few days...

B1Bayon (talkcontribs)

Wiki page of 8 months, have recently in the last few days started to run really slow

Nothing has changed in the back-end for months, no new extensions, no configurations, no new setups

The wiki has at least 5000 articles, but the system has randomly only just started to run slow the last few days, and I got notification from my web hosting that my site was using too much resources and they recommended that I upgrade my service, or I need to optimize my wiki... I don't understand what has changed and how this occurred? Does anyone have any guidance on this. is where the wiki sits.

Jonathan3 (talkcontribs)

Likely it's just the server being slow and not your website's fault... get a $5 Digital Ocean droplet (or Linode or whatever) and you'll never look back!

B1Bayon (talkcontribs)

I'll take a look at what Digital Ocean is..

B1Bayon (talkcontribs)

@Jonathan3 Hi, I don't quite understand what im supposed to do with the droplet as you suggest? Is this supposed to replace my webhosting?

Jonathan3 (talkcontribs)

It would do. It's an "unmanaged VPS". The droplet thing is a silly word they use for that because it ties in with "Ocean". The way I understand it is that a virtual private server is actually shared with others but in a different way, and a way that lets you do most of what you could do if you had a dedicated server (root access etc).

Maybe another solution would be to try out a new shared hosting server to see whether it's faster than the current one.

There are lots of pages here and on the internet on how to speed up MediaWiki, so maybe those would help too.

Bawolff (talkcontribs)

Its weird if it suddenly changed.

  • check webserver access log for changes in access patterns. Maybe a bot is loading your website a lot. Maybe it got linked somewhere popular
  • if $wgMainCacheType is set to something, make sure whatever you set it to still works
  • [advanced] use Profiling to see what is taking resources.

Last of all, although its unlikely, also check to ensure your website hasnt been hacked or anything like that.

B1Bayon (talkcontribs)

Thanks guys, it looked like a few bots were scanning it SemrushBot, MJ12bot and one other

Jonathan3 (talkcontribs)

SemrushBot rings a bell. A couple of times when my wiki went down it was the same thing. I added Crawl-delay: 20 to robots.txt and that seems to have helped (I don't know for sure).

Sorry for blaming your host unnecessarily! My wiki was about as slow as yours is now at about 15 seconds when tested on "Pingdom". I'd tried all sorts but the answer was moving server - it went down to well under a second.

B1Bayon (talkcontribs)

haha no worries, it seemed that i was spammed with 3 different bots, I've added the crawl-delay and will monitor and see how it goes.

Reply to "My wiki page has randomly started to run really sluggish in the last few days..."
Karlpajak (talkcontribs)

How do you view all the templates in All Pages?

Jonathan3 (talkcontribs)
Karlpajak (talkcontribs)

I see it! Never would have found it. Thanks for pointing out the other page types on the All Pages page. I don't know what the other pages there are for, but I'll dig in to the topics and figure it out.

Thanks again!

- Karl

Bawolff (talkcontribs)
Reply to "Seeing Templates in All Pages"
Karlpajak (talkcontribs)

How do you make the font size smaller in the Sidebox so it takes up less space. I'm trying to limit the size the sidebox takes up to the right of the text.

Jonathan3 (talkcontribs)

You could use

<div style="font-size:90%">...</div>
Bawolff (talkcontribs)

If you mean the sidebar, depends on what skin.

in Vector, something like the following in MediaWiki:Vector.css

#mw-panel { width: 9em !important; font-size: 90%; }
#content { margin-left: 10em !important; }

This is a bit untested, and might break when changing versions. Use at your own risk.

Reply to "Font size of Sidebox"

Instant commons not working with file cache

Buster2223 (talkcontribs)

I have a wiki with a few thousand articles. When I started using the file cache to improve performance, the images from Instant Commons began breaking. I looked into how this could be happening and read that somewhere along the line Instant Commons stopped storing local copies of images on the wikis that use them. Am I understanding this correctly? I thought the original idea was to share images with attribution info without putting undue load on WMF's servers.

Long story short I need a workaround that will make the file cache work with InstantCommons. I'd really rather not have to install Varnish because it would be just one more thing that could fail, but I can if that's the only way.

I suspect I would not even need to mess with this caching business if InstantCommons had not changed the rules in the middle of the game. My pages with all text or local images load very quickly.

Bawolff (talkcontribs)

> somewhere along the line Instant Commons stopped storing local copies of images on the wikis that use them. Am I understanding this correctly? I thought the original idea was to share images with attribution info without putting undue load on WMF's servers.

Storing them locally caused significant latency on the client wiki, at the same time, the server load to WMF for hotlinking was pretty minimal, so we changed the defaults. You can still use the old way by configuring it in $wgForeignFileRepos. Note, this change happened a little while ago, and it depends on what version MediaWiki you have, so the behaviour would only change if you updated your version of MediaWiki.

I'm not sure why FileCache would be interfering with this. I would expect filecache to work with either version of instant commons. What exactly happens? Does MediaWiki just think the image doesn't exist?

Reply to "Instant commons not working with file cache"

How to make wiki like Wiktionary, commons, wikidata etc?

Maniues (talkcontribs)

Wikimedia Commons, Wikisource, Wiktionary, Wikidata and others are based on MediaWiki. How can I make site like Commons and others?

Bawolff (talkcontribs)

Can you be more specific as to what is preventing you?

Maniues (talkcontribs)

@Bawolff I want to make a local website that is "copy" of Wikimedia Commons. I want to setup MediaWiki not to "Wikipedia mode" but to "File hoster" mode.

The same applies to Wiktionary and to keep datas like wikidata

Jonathan3 (talkcontribs)

Sounds like a big undertaking! What's it for?

Maniues (talkcontribs)

@Jonathan3 No, I think. I would like to have a source code of Wikimedia Commons. I'm interested in MediaWiki and I want to setup a small dictionary or hosting with my gallery.

I am not excluding future projects, but I would like to know how WMF configured MediaWiki to act as image hosting, dictionary or data center

Bawolff (talkcontribs)

Wikimedia commons is mostly just using normal MediaWiki's upload stuff + $wgForeignFileRepos so other wikis can use its images. There are some specialized extensions related to it, you can see a list at commons:Special:Version, however they are not really core to the experience. It also has some performance related modifications, but they wouldn't be very relevant to you I presume.

Wiktionary is pretty much just a generic MediaWiki site.

Wikidata uses Extension:Wikibase.

The config for all Wikimedia wikis (excluding things like the DB password, of course) is available at [git version: ] (manual:$wgConf may help in understanding it). Config files are very large, and can be hard to follow.

Some lower level server config is also available at . There is also some documentation that is specific to Wikimedia's set up at

Reply to "How to make wiki like Wiktionary, commons, wikidata etc?"

Searching for clickable radio buttons

CX Zoom (talkcontribs)

Hello, I just came across <span class="mw-ui-button"> . I was trying to find a similar radio button. I is there any? Thanks! ~~~~

Jonathan3 (talkcontribs)

Where was it and what do you intend to achieve? Thanks.

CX Zoom (talkcontribs)

I came across it at en:Template:Clickable button, and I wished to have something similar, but it looks like a radio button. (If it isn't possible, it's okay, I've found alternative methods to do what I wanted to.)

Jonathan3 (talkcontribs)

Do you just want a nice button like that? You can use code based on the template. I don't think it's a radio button: it's just an HTML span with CSS styling.

Reply to "Searching for clickable radio buttons"
Thatnewman (talkcontribs)

How do I install all the websites links on my ''Wikipedia sister projects''

only Mediawiki and Wiktionary that is working.

Reply to "Wikipedia sister projects"
Gota de agua (talkcontribs)

hello, good evening, how is it done to resolve the following composer error:


   Could not delete /home/lapluma/

   er /:

I am trying to make composer work on a shared host and I am executing its commands by ssh but when running the update script php composer.phar update --no-dev it gives me the error above, does anyone Do you know the solution for this? I have tried to manually delete the composer folder and its contents and it keeps marking the same thing.

Bawolff (talkcontribs)

Are the directories owned by the same user as is running composer?

Gota de agua (talkcontribs)

yes, all the root of the directory where the mediawiki is is the same, beyond the php.ini directory, etc. those are property of the hosting

Reply to "using composer"