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How to Create Your Own Wiki with MediaWiki

Developing a wiki is nice to provide free knowledge via internet. That’s what Wikipedia has been doing for years, to provide internet users free knowledge of any subject. Many communities also try to do what Wikipedia did by creating their own wiki. Not to compete it, for sure. Instead, they want to complete Wikipedia by providing something that Wikipedia doesn’t have.

You (and your community) can also create your own wiki. Don’t be discouraged if you have no programming skill. You can take advantage of free wiki software available on internet. One of free wiki software that you can use is MediaWiki. In case you haven’t known, MediaWiki is a free wiki software that is originally created for use on Wikipedia. In other word, Wikipedia is built using this software.

This article is intended you help you in installing MediaWiki. Before stepping further with the installation steps, be sure you have HTTP server, database server and PHP installed on your machine because they are required. In this article we are going to use Apache as the HTTP server and MySQL as the database server. They are running on Ubuntu 16.04 machine (local machine/localhost).

Install Apache, MySQL and PHP

As mentioned, you need to install HTTP server, database server and PHP in order before being able to install MediaWiki. Run the following commands to install them.

sudo apt-get install apache2
sudo apt-get install mysql-server
sudo apt-get install php libapache2-mod-php php-mcrypt php-mysql

Install the required PHP extensions

MediaWiki requires two PHP extensions to run, mbstring and xml. You need to install these extensions first before being able to continue the installation steps. Just type the following commands on the terminal

sudo apt-get install php7.0-mbstring
sudo apt-get install php-xml

Restart your Apache to apply the changes.

sudo service apache2 restart

Start installing MediaWiki

  • Simply click here to download the the tar.gz file of MediaWiki.
  • Once downloaded, move it to the root directory of Apache (/var/www/html) and extract it in the directory.
  • You will see a new folder with the name like “mediawiki-x.x.x”. To ease your job, rename this folder with a shorter name. For example I rename the folder to “wiki”.
  • Launch your web browser and type “http://localhost/wiki” in the address bar and click the “set up the wiki” link.

  • Choose your preferred language and click Continue.

  • You will be welcomed by MediaWiki. Just scroll down and click the Continue button.

  • In the next step you will be asked to connect the database. There is nothing need to be changed here. Just scroll down and enter your database password and click Continue.

  • Just click Continue again in the next step.

  • On the next step you will be asked to give your wiki a name and create the administration account to login (username and password). Just fill out all the columns and click Continue.

  • You will be brought to the Options page. Here you can choose whether you want to make your wiki a public wiki or private wiki. You can also set the license of your wiki. Just adjust the options based on your need. Once you done, scroll down and click Continue.

  • Click Continue to start installing MediaWiki.

  • Click Continue again to finish the installation process.

  • To finish your installation process you need to download the “LocalSettings.php” file and put it in the base of your wiki installation (the same directory as index.php). Just click the available link to download.

Done!. You have just successfully created your wiki. If you meet any trouble during the use of your wiki you can read the user’s guide here.

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