In rebuilding an old, and rarely used server that runs MediaWiki I reconsidered how to install all of the dependencies that MediaWiki sits on top of. My goal was to choose lightweight components. The only thing that would run on this web server would be MediaWiki, and the wiki would be lightly used. I concluded the following components were likely more suitable choices than the defaults MediaWiki and/or Ubuntu’s package system used.
The second goal was, based on my preference for Ubuntu as a
distribution, build MediaWiki on top of Ubuntu using just Ubuntu
packages, no source installation. The principal value in this is that
over time the components in use can be simply upgraded using the stock
Ubuntu package mechanisms (i.e.
The following is the sequence I used to install MediaWiki. This installation guide is based on Ubuntu Oneiric (11.10).
(note, sudo is generally required, but dropped from the commands below)
apt-get install lighttpd apt-get install php5-cgi php5
next, edit /etc/php5/cgi/php.ini to enable php5 in lighttpd and uncomment the line:
Then enable the fastcgi configuration in lighttpd:
lighttpd-enable-mod fastcgi lighttpd-enable-mod fastcgi-php service lighttpd force-reload
apt-get install php5-sqlite service lighttpd restart
Install optional extras that MediaWiki will take advantage of:
apt-get install imagemagick php5-gd php5-cli service lighttpd restart
Note: The MediaWiki package in Ubuntu (Oneiric) has ‘mysql-server’ listed as a ’recommends’ dependency. This has the implication that unless explicitly forced to not include the dependency, it will be included as part of the package install. This is accomplished with the --no-install-recommends.
apt-get --no-install-recommends install mediawiki apt-get install mediawiki-math
Add the following to lighttpd’s configuration:
alias.url += ( "/wiki" => "/var/lib/mediawiki/" )
restart lighttpd to effect the configuration change:
service lighttpd restart
Create a data directory for MediaWiki to store the SQLite database in:
mkdir /var/lib/mediawiki-data chown www-data.www-data /var/lib/mediawiki-data
Browse to the wiki root: http://hostname/wiki and complete configuration through the web browser.
Following browser configuration, copy the generated configuration to the permanent location, as specified on the final browser page:
cp /var/lib/mediawiki/config/LocalSettings.php /etc/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php chown www-data /etc/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php chmod 600 /etc/mediawiki/LocalSettings.php rm -rf /var/lib/mediawiki/config