How to Install MediaWiki on Ubuntu Linux with Apache

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to easily install MediaWiki on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Apache2, MariaDB, and PHP 7.1 support. For those who don’t know MediaWiki is an open-source wiki package content management system written in PHP that was originally used on Wikipedia.

MediaWiki is now used by many individuals and companies to develop and manage their wiki pages. It has also been translated into many different languages.

This post covers installing the latest version of MediaWiki, which at the time of writing was version 1.29.1.

To get started with installing MediaWiki, follow the steps below:

Install Apache2 HTTP Server

MediaWiki needs a web server. and the most popular web server in use today is Apache2. So, go and install Apache2 on Ubuntu by running the commands below:

sudo apt install apache2

After installing Apache2, run the commands below to disable the directory listing.

sudo sed -i "s/Options Indexes FollowSymLinks/Options FollowSymLinks/" /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Next, run the commands below to stop, start and enable the Apache2 service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
sudo systemctl start apache2.service
sudo systemctl enable apache2.service

Install MariaDB Database Server

MediaWiki also needs a database server. and MariaDB database server is a great place to start. To install it run the commands below.

sudo apt install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable the MariaDB service to always start up when the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

After that, run the commands below to secure the MariaDB server.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Restart MariaDB server

sudo systemctl restart mariadb.service

Install PHP 7.1 and Related Modules

PHP 7.1 may not be available in Ubuntu default repositories… to install it, you will have to get it from third-party repositories.

Run the commands below to add the below third party repository to upgrade to PHP 7.1

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php

Then update and upgrade to PHP 7.1

sudo apt update

Finally, run the commands below to install PHP 7.1 and related modules.

sudo apt install php7.1 libapache2-mod-php7.1 php7.1-common php7.1-mbstring php7.1-xmlrpc php7.1-soap php7.1-gd php7.1-xml php7.1-intl php7.1-mysql php7.1-cli php7.1-mcrypt php7.1-zip php7.1-curl

After installing PHP 7.1, run the commands below to open the PHP-FPM default file.

sudo nano /etc/php/7.1/apache2/php.ini

Then make the change to the following lines below in the file and save.

file_uploads = On
allow_url_fopen = On
memory_limit = 256M
upload_max_filesize = 100M
max_execution_time = 360
date.timezone = America/Chicago

Create MediaWiki Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required, continue below to start configuring the servers. First, create a blank MediaWiki database.

Run the commands below to log on to the database server.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called MediaWiki

CREATE DATABASE mediawiki;

Create a database user called mediawikiuser with a new password

CREATE USER 'mediawikiuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON mediawiki.* TO 'mediawikiuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Download MediaWiki Latest Release

Next, run the commands below to download MediaWiki latest release. The commands below are to download the MediaWiki archive package.

cd /tmp && wget https://releases.wikimedia.org/mediawiki/1.29/mediawiki-1.29.0.tar.gz

Then run the commands below to extract the download file to the Apache2 default root.

sudo tar -zxvf mediawiki*.tar.gz
sudo mkdir -p /var/www/html/mediawiki
sudo mv mediawiki-1.29.0/* /var/www/html/mediawiki

Change and modify the directory permission.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/mediawiki/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/mediawiki/

Configure Apache2

Finally, configure the Apahce2 site configuration file for MediaWiki. This file will control how users access MediaWiki content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called mediawiki.conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/mediawiki.conf

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your domain name and directory root location.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/mediawiki
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

     <Directory /var/www/html/mediawiki/>
        Options +FollowSymlinks
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
     </Directory>
     
     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

</VirtualHost>

Save the file and exit.

Enable the MediaWiki site

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below

sudo a2ensite mediawiki.conf
sudo a2enmod rewrite

To load all the settings above, restart Apache2 by running the commands below.

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

Then browse to the server hostname or IP address and you should see the MediaWiki site setup wizard.

http://example.com
mediawiki ubuntu install

Type the database name, user, and password and continue.

mediawiki ubuntu installation

Continue with the wizard by accepting the default settings. At the end of the setup, the wizard will prompt you to save the LocalSettings.php file. save it.

Then move the file to the root directory of the MediaWiki website. After that, you’re done!

mediawiki install ubuntu

~Enjoy~

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