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MediaWiki is a free and open source wiki software written in PHP, originally developed for Wikipedia.


Note: To install MediaWiki on XAMPP see mw:Manual:Installing MediaWiki on XAMPP.

To run MediaWiki you need three things:

Optionally install imagemagick or php-gd for thumbnail rendering and php-intl to handle Unicode normalization.


The steps to achieve a working MediaWiki configuration involve editing the PHP settings and adding the MediaWiki configuration snippets.


First, adjust the open_basedir in /etc/php/php.ini to include the mediawiki data directory (/var/lib/mediawiki by default):

open_basedir = /srv/http/:/home/:/tmp/:/usr/share/pear/:/usr/share/webapps/:/var/lib/mediawiki/

Then, also in /etc/php/php.ini, uncomment the following lines: (in the Dynamic Extensions section)
  • If you would like to use SQLite as database, also uncomment
  • If you would like to use MariaDB as database, also uncomment

Second, tweak the session handling or you might get a fatal error (PHP Fatal error: session_start(): Failed to initialize storage module[...]) by finding the session.save_path path. A good choice can be /var/lib/php/sessions or /tmp/.

session.save_path = "/var/lib/php/sessions"

You will need to create the directory if it doesn't exist and then restrict its permissions:

# mkdir -p /var/lib/php/sessions/
# chown http:http /var/lib/php/sessions
# chmod go-rwx /var/lib/php/sessions

Web server


Copy /etc/webapps/mediawiki/apache.example.conf to /etc/httpd/conf/extra/mediawiki.conf and edit it as needed.

Add the following line to /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

Include conf/extra/mediawiki.conf

Restart the httpd.service daemon.

Note: The default file from /etc/webapps/mediawiki/apache.example.conf will overwrite the PHP open_basedir setting, possibly conflicting with other pages. This behavior can be changed by moving line starting with php_admin_value between the <Directory> tags. Further, if you are running multiple applications that depend on the same server, this value could also be added to the open_basedir value in /etc/php/php.ini instead of /etc/httpd/conf/extra/mediawiki.conf


To get MediaWiki working with Nginx, create the following file:

location / {
   index index.php;
   try_files $uri $uri/ @mediawiki;
location @mediawiki {
   rewrite ^/(.*)$ /index.php;
location ~ \.php5?$ {
   include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
   fastcgi_pass unix:/var/run/php-fpm/php-fpm.sock;
   fastcgi_index index.php5;
   fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;
   try_files $uri @mediawiki;
location ~* \.(js|css|png|jpg|jpeg|gif|ico)$ {
   try_files $uri /index.php;
   expires max;
   log_not_found off;
# Restrictions based on the .htaccess files
location ^~ ^/(cache|includes|maintenance|languages|serialized|tests|images/deleted)/ {
   deny all;
location ^~ ^/(bin|docs|extensions|includes|maintenance|mw-config|resources|serialized|tests)/ {
location ^~ /images/ {
   try_files $uri /index.php;
location ~ /\. {
   access_log off;
   log_not_found off; 
   deny all;

Ensure that php-fpm is installed and started.

Include a server directive, similar to this

server {
  listen 80;
  server_name mediawiki;
  root /usr/share/webapps/mediawiki;
  index index.php;
  charset utf-8;
# For correct file uploads
  client_max_body_size    100m; # Equal or more than upload_max_filesize in /etc/php/php.ini
  client_body_timeout     60;
  include mediawiki.conf;


Finally, restart nginx.service and php-fpm.service daemons.


You should have Lighttpd installed and configured. "mod_alias" and "mod_rewrite" in server.modules array of lighttpd is required. Append to the lighttpd configuration file the following lines

alias.url += ("/mediawiki" => "/usr/share/webapps/mediawiki/")
url.rewrite-once += (
                "^/mediawiki/wiki/upload/(.+)" => "/mediawiki/wiki/upload/$1",
                "^/mediawiki/wiki/$" => "/mediawiki/index.php",
                "^/mediawiki/wiki/([^?]*)(?:\?(.*))?" => "/mediawiki/index.php?title=$1&$2"

Restart the lighttpd.service daemon.


If the database server is already set up, MediaWiki can automatically create the database (provided that the database root password is supplied) during the next step. Otherwise the database needs to be created manually, see upstream instructions.


Open the wiki url (usually http://your_server/mediawiki/) in a browser and do the initial configuration. Follow upstream instructions.

The generated LocalSettings.php file is offered for download, save it to /usr/share/webapps/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php. This file defines the specific settings of your wiki. Whenever you upgrade the mediawiki package, it is not replaced.

Tips and tricks

Mathematics (texvc)

Usually installing texvc and enabling it in the config is enough:

$wgUseTeX = true;

If you get problems, try to increase limits for shell commands:

$wgMaxShellMemory = 8000000;
$wgMaxShellFileSize = 1000000;
$wgMaxShellTime = 300;


Check that php, apache and mysql uses UTF-8. Otherwise you may face strange bugs because of encoding mismatch.


The VisualEditor MediaWiki extension provides a rich-text editor for MediaWiki. Follow mw:Extension:VisualEditor to install it.

You will also need the Parsoid Node.js backend, which is available from the AUR as parsoid-gitAUR.

Adjust the path to MediaWiki in /usr/share/webapps/parsoid/api/localsettings.js:

parsoidConfig.setInterwiki( 'localhost', 'http://localhost/mediawiki/api.php' );

After that enable and start parsoid.service.

Alternatively, one may also use the parsoidAUR package, and configure the service via the yaml file, where the following lines should be present:


uri: `'http://localhost/mediawiki/api.php'`
domain: 'localhost'

The matching part in the mediawiki settings:


$wgVirtualRestConfig['modules']['parsoid'] = array(
	// URL to the Parsoid instance
	// Use port 8142 if you use the Debian package
	'url' => 'http://localhost:8000',
	// Parsoid "domain", see below (optional)
	'domain' => 'localhost',
	// Parsoid "prefix", see below (optional)
	'prefix' => 'localhost'

After configuration, the parsoid service may be started (restarted) and (if not done yet) enabled.