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This list of frequently asked questions about Wikibase is a living document. Community members are welcome to contribute. See the corresponding FAQ entry for more information.


What is the difference between Wikibase and Wikidata?[edit]

Wikibase is a suite of knowledge-base software for managing linked open data, originally written for and still used by the Wikidata project.

Wikidata is the largest instance of Wikibase, a free knowledge base that anyone can edit. Its data is used by Wikipedia, by its sister projects and by anyone else who wants to make use of a large amount of open general-purpose data.

Is there a list of Wikibase instances?[edit]

Although there’s no single canonical list, on our Showcase page we highlight several notable instances. For more comprehensive information you can check out the voluntary Wikibase registry and this list of federated query endpoints.

Software and functionality[edit]

How can I install Wikibase on my own system?[edit]

There are currently three options for installing Wikibase.

Where can I find more info about the query service?[edit]

Here’s Wikidata’s query service manual and some SPARQL examples.

How does federation work?[edit]

Check out our federation page.

How can I get data into Wikibase?[edit]

Check out our import tools page.

Does Wikibase ship with a web API (like api.php) for remote access?[edit]

Wikibase extends the standard MediaWiki action API with modules such as action=wbsetsitelink and query modules such as action=query&prop=pageterms. You access these modules via api.php like the rest of the API and you can use d:Special:ApiSandbox to explore the API. Some Wikimedia wikis run only the Wikibase client, while runs the full software.

Where can I find the source code?[edit]

Check out our developer resources. An updated programmer's guide and coding conventions are in the works!

How do permissions work in Wikibase?[edit]

See Wikibase/Permissions for a detailed explanation and a helpful table.

Who maintains Wikibase?[edit]

The Wikibase extension is primarily maintained by the engineering teams of Wikimedia Deutschland.

Wikibase/Suite and Wikibase/Docker provide a software suite including not only the Wikibase extension to MediaWiki but also accompanying software like Elasticsearch, QuickStatements and the Wikidata Query Service. Other than Wikibase and the WDQS front end, Wikimedia Deutschland doesn't maintain any of these components.

Why hasn't a particular bugfix been applied to Wikibase?[edit]

Wikimedia Deutschland is dedicated to providing critical security fixes to all the Wikibase Suite components as they become available. But due to limited resources, Wikimedia Deutschland can't commit to adding any given new functionality or applying fixes to non-critical bugs in the software we don't maintain. Requests of that kind are best directed to the maintainers of each software component.

How should I report security issues in Wikibase?[edit]

Follow the instructions on the Reporting security bugs page.

Technical issues[edit]

We cover many technical topics in our maintenance guide, the GitHub repository for our Docker images and our manual install documentation. Below you'll find help on some specific issues reported by users of Wikibase.


View open issues in our issue tracker:

Query service[edit]

Why doesn't the query service update?[edit]


Wikibase's WDQS updater will refuse to ingest updates older than 30 days.

But when you start Wikibase's WDQS updater for the first time, the timestamp of the most recent edit is set to 30 days. So if you start a new instance of Wikibase with the query service and its updater, and you then stop the updater without making an edit, you guarantee that the updater will never again ingest an update.

Avoiding the problem

To avoid this problem, simply make a trivial edit after starting your query service & updater for the first time; also avoid gaps in updates longer than 30 days.

Fixing the problem

But if you find yourself in this situation already, you can fix it by stopping the updater and restarting it with the following flag: --start YYYYMMDDHHMMSS (that's four-digit year, two-digit month and day, and hours, minutes and seconds on a 24-hour clock)

The complete invocation should look something like this:

docker exec cluster_name_wdqs_1 bash -c '/wdqs/ -h http://${WDQS_HOST}:${WDQS_PORT} -- --wikibaseUrl ${WIKIBASE_SCHEME}://${WIKIBASE_HOST} --conceptUri ${WIKIBASE_SCHEME}://${WIKIBASE_HOST} --entityNamespaces ${WDQS_ENTITY_NAMESPACES} --init --start 20210315120000'

See this Phabricator ticket and this Blazegraph thread for more detail.

A less manual solution is underway; see this Phabricator ticket for more.

What measures can I take to protect my Wikibase instance against spam?[edit]

In particular:

Further help[edit]

How can I ask more detailed questions about Wikibase?[edit]

Join the mailing list or seek help on the community Telegram channel.

Where can I report issues or problems with Wikibase?[edit]

You’re welcome to raise an issue on our Phabricator instance, where you can log in with your Wikimedia unified account or a Wikitech developer account.

For issues with the Docker install, tag your issue with Wikibase release strategy for optimal visibility.

Before you do, you may want to review the bug report guidelines.

How can I get third-party technical support for my Wikibase instance?[edit]

Take a look at the third-party consultants list. (This is a public wiki page; inclusion of a given provider doesn’t constitute an official endorsement by the Wikibase team.)

How can I get more questions and answers added to this FAQ?[edit]

If you have a question and answer that you think other Wikibase users might benefit from seeing here, please add it -- just as you would edit any wiki page. (You may see further edits from one or more technical writers who will be keeping the page tidy and its categories and style consistent, but don't let that deter you!)

To begin a discussion about a question (and answer) that's not yet ready for print, visit the talk page.

If you have a question that is still seeking an answer, see the previous entries in this very Further help section.