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MediaWiki is a PHP-powered web application used by the Gentoo wiki and the various Wikimedia Project websites (including Wikipedia).



  • Install PHP. Enable the xmlreader USE flag, because MediaWiki requires it:
root #echo "dev-lang/php xmlreader" >> /etc/portage/package.use
  • Install a web server and set it up for use of PHP:
  • Install MySQL (MariaDB is a suitable alternative and the default virtual/mysql provider on Gentoo). Create a database for MediaWiki:
root #mysql -u root -p
mysql> CREATE DATABASE IF NOT EXISTS `mediawiki` DEFAULT CHARACTER SET `utf8` COLLATE `utf8_unicode_ci`;
mysql> CREATE USER 'mediawiki'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'changeme';
mysql> GRANT SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, CREATE, DROP, INDEX, ALTER ON `mediawiki`.* TO 'mediawiki'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'changeme';
mysql> \q
  • If the database (MariaDB or MySQL) server is on a different server than MediaWiki, set these USE flags:
FILE /etc/portage/package.use
www-apps/mediawiki mysql
dev-db/mariadb -backup -pam -perl -server
virtual/mysql -server


USE flags for www-apps/mediawiki The MediaWiki wiki web application (as used on

imagemagick Enable optional support for the ImageMagick or GraphicsMagick image converter
mysql Add mySQL Database support
postgres Add support for the postgresql database
sqlite Add support for sqlite - embedded sql database
vhosts Add support for installing web-based applications into a virtual-hosting environment

Install www-apps/mediawiki:

root #emerge --ask www-apps/mediawiki


  • Copy mediawiki files from /usr/share/webapps/mediawiki/{version}/htdocs to /var/www/localhost/htdocs/mediawiki
  • Point a browser at and follow the instructions.
    • If there is no GUI on the computer running mediawiki, then log in from another machine using http://<server>/mediawiki instead, where <server> is the name or IP address of the server (see /etc/hosts).
  • Page "Welcome to MediaWiki!":
    • "Database name" is "mediawiki"
    • "Database username" is "mediawiki"
    • "Database password" is "changeme" (or what else is setup)
  • Page "Connect to database":
    • Database character set" should be "UTF-8"
  • Page "Name"
    • "Name of wiki" has to be set
    • Setup admin user and password
  • Page "Complete!"
    • Download the LocalSettings.php configuration and move it to /var/www/localhost/htdocs/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php.
  • Point a browser at (or the address used above) to see the newly installed and configured wiki.

Advanced configuration

add this somewhere (does not matter exactly where):

FILE /var/www/localhost/htdocs/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php
$wgArticlePath = "/wiki/$1"; 
$wgUsePathInfo = true;

and add this between <Directory> tags:

FILE /etc/apache2/vhosts.d/default_vhost.include
RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^/?wiki(/.*)?$ %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}/mediawiki/index.php [L]
  • By default the landing page in MediaWiki is unlocked for anyone to edit. Login as admin. By the top right of the page is an arrow that points down, click it and the 3rd option down is "protect" to lock down the page.
  • Set an avatar for the wiki. Add to the bottom of /var/www/localhost/htdocs/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php:
FILE /var/www/localhost/htdocs/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php
$wgLogo = "/mediawiki/wiki.png";

External resources