How to Install Mediawiki

MediaWiki is an open-source Wiki web application that is used by Wikipedia. It is written in PHP and requires a Database backend to function. It has been publicly released on the Open Source community.

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MediaWiki is a free and open-source wiki engine software that powers many websites, including the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia. It was developed by the Wikimedia Foundation and released under the GNU General Public License.

MediaWiki provides a platform for collaborative editing and publishing of content on the web, allowing users to create and edit pages using a simple markup language, and offering features such as version control, page history, and discussion forums.

The software is highly customizable and extensible, allowing developers to create plugins and extensions to add new features and functionality to the platform. It has been used for a wide range of projects, including documentation, knowledge management, and collaborative writing.

Instructions to Install MediaWiki on Ubuntu

Step 1 – Update your local Repositories

To update the local repositories on an Ubuntu system, you can use the following command:

apt update -y

This command will connect to the configured package repositories and update the local package index to reflect any changes or updates that have been made since the last update. It’s a good idea to run this command regularly to ensure your system has the latest software and security updates.

If any updates are available, you can then install them using the following command:

sudo apt upgrade

This command will download and install any available updates for your installed packages. You can also use the apt-get command instead of apt if you prefer, as they are essentially equivalent.

Step 2 – Install Pre-Reqs

Install MediaWiki Application Pre-Requisites

The command you provided will install several packages on an Ubuntu system:

  • apache2: This is the Apache web server, which is one of the most popular web servers in use today.
  • php: This is the PHP scripting language, which is often used to develop dynamic web applications.
  • texlive: This comprehensive TeX system includes many utilities and packages for typesetting documents.
  • php-mbstring: This is a PHP extension that provides multibyte string functions.
  • php-xml: This is a PHP extension that provides XML parsing and manipulation functions.
  • php-apcu: This is a PHP extension that provides a high-performance object cache.
  • php-horde-cache: This PHP package provides a caching framework for PHP applications.
sudo apt-get install Apache2 PHP texlive php-mbstring php-xml php-apcu php-horde-cache -y

Step 3 – Download MediaWiki and Unzip

Next, download the MediaWiki zipped application and move to /var/www

Check the Mediawiki website for the latest versions.

sudo gunzip mediawiki-1.30.0.tar.gz
sudo tar -xvf mediawiki-1.30.0.tar.gz
sudo mv mediawiki-1.30.0/* /var/www/html/wiki/

Step 4 – Install and Configure MariaDB

Install MariaDB

sudo apt-get install mariadb-client mariadb-server

Log into the MariaDB database, create a Database and grant privileges

sudo mysql -u root
Create database ps_wiki;

This will grant the permissions needed and create a DB username called WIKI and Password password. Remember this as you will need it later.

Step 5 – Restart Apache to apply all configuration

sudo service apache2 restart

Step 6 – Navigate to the Web interface installation

Launch the wiki in your favourite web browser.  This will usually be the server IP followed by index.php

For Example,

Click “Setup your first wiki”

Look for any warning messages

Step 7 – Setup Database in Web Interface

You will need the username and password created earlier

Under MySQL Settings

Database host = localhost
Database name = my_wiki
Database table prefix = LEAVE BLANK
Database Username: wiki
Database Password: password

Step 8 – Database settings

Leave at default
Storage Engine = InnoDB
Database character set = Binary

Step 9 – Wiki Name

Enter details as you require:

Name of Wiki: YOUR WIKI NAME
Project namespace: Leave set as “Same as the wiki name”

Step 10 – Options

User Rights – chose what type of wiki you want. I recommend either:

Open wiki means ANYONE can write to it

Account Creation required means your users must log in

Leave all other settings as default

Step 11 – Install

Click the install button and wait for the media wiki to install.

This can take over 5 minutes, depending on the hardware.

Once the installations are completed, you will be prompted to download the localsettings.php  the installer has just created. Download and then FTP these files to the UBUNTU server. Must be copied to /var/www/html/.

FTP programs like WinSCP.

Here is a video of the entire process

Mediawiki Q&A

Q1: What is MediaWiki, and what is it commonly used for?
A: MediaWiki is a free and open-source wiki software that powers websites like Wikipedia. It allows users to collaboratively create and edit content in a structured and organized manner. MediaWiki is commonly used for knowledge bases, documentation, and collaborative platforms where multiple users can contribute and manage content.

Q2: How do I install MediaWiki on my web server?
A: To install MediaWiki on your web server, follow these steps:

  1. Download the latest version of MediaWiki from the official website.
  2. Upload the downloaded files to your web server using FTP or any file manager provided by your hosting provider.
  3. Create a new MySQL database and user for MediaWiki.
  4. Navigate to your domain in a web browser and follow the on-screen installation instructions provided by MediaWiki.
  5. Complete the setup by providing the database details and setting up an admin account.

Q3: How can I customize the appearance of my MediaWiki site?
A: MediaWiki allows you to customize the site’s appearance through its skinning system. You can choose from various pre-built skins or create your own. To change the skin, log in as an administrator, go to “Special:Preferences,” and select the desired skin under the “Appearance” tab. For custom skinning, refer to MediaWiki’s documentation on creating and installing custom skins.

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Q4: Can I restrict editing access to certain pages in MediaWiki?
A: Yes, MediaWiki provides robust access control features. You can restrict editing access to specific pages or namespaces by adjusting user permissions. Administrators can assign user groups and set different levels of access rights, such as read-only, edit, or administrative privileges. Navigate to “Special:UserRights” to manage user permissions.

Q5: How do I enable file uploads in MediaWiki?
A: By default, MediaWiki allows file uploads. To enable this feature, log in as an administrator and go to “Special:Upload” to upload files. However, you may want to adjust the file upload settings to control the file types and sizes allowed. Access the “LocalSettings.php” file and modify the relevant configurations. Remember to also set appropriate permissions on the server for the upload directory.

Q6: Is it possible to integrate MediaWiki with other applications?
A: Yes, MediaWiki supports integration with various applications and services. For example, you can integrate MediaWiki with an authentication system like LDAP or OAuth to manage user logins. Additionally, there are extensions available to embed content from external sources like YouTube or Google Maps. Explore MediaWiki’s official extensions repository for a wide range of integration options.

Q7: How can I backup and restore my MediaWiki site?
A: To backup your MediaWiki site, follow these steps:

  1. Create a backup of your MediaWiki files and directories.
  2. Export your MediaWiki database using a tool like phpMyAdmin or the MySQL command line.

To restore your site:

  1. Upload the backup files to the server.
  2. Create a new MySQL database and user (if not already done).
  3. Import the backed-up database into the newly created database.

Q8: Where can I find additional help and support for MediaWiki?
A: For additional help and support, you can refer to the official MediaWiki documentation available at The website includes user guides, developer resources, and a community forum where you can ask questions and seek assistance from experienced users and developers.

Remember to continuously update and expand your Q&A section as new questions arise or changes occur in the MediaWiki ecosystem. This will ensure that your website remains a valuable resource for users seeking information on MediaWiki.


Richard Bailey, a seasoned tech enthusiast, combines a passion for innovation with a knack for simplifying complex concepts. With over a decade in the industry, he's pioneered transformative solutions, blending creativity with technical prowess. An avid writer, Richard's articles resonate with readers, offering insightful perspectives that bridge the gap between technology and everyday life. His commitment to excellence and tireless pursuit of knowledge continues to inspire and shape the tech landscape.

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1 Response

  1. esentia says:

    Very helpful blog post on installing MediaWiki! The step-by-step instructions are clear and concise, making the installation process much easier. I appreciate the inclusion of tips and troubleshooting advice throughout the guide. This will be invaluable for anyone looking to set up their own MediaWiki site. Thank you for sharing.

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