MediaWiki Installed on a Nginx Server

Here is my quick guide to use MediaWiki on a Nginx server using php-fpm.

There are many ways of doing this. I like pretty url’s, so this configuration will remove the index.php from the url. This is great, but it will not redirect links to index.php to the new none index.php links. You also need to configure MediaWiki to use short urls. Also, the below configuration dose assume your using Unix socket connections to php-fpm.

So here we go, inside your http { block, add the following.


    server {
        listen 80;
        root /var/www/;
        include mediawiki.conf;


# MediaWiki Config
location ~ .htaccess {
        deny all;

location ~* /sitemaps/ {
        autoindex  on;

# Remote index.php from URI
rewrite ^/index.php/(.*) /$1  permanent;

location / {
        if (!-e $request_filename) {
                rewrite ^/([^?]*)(?:?(.*))? /index.php?title=$1&$2 last;
        if ($uri ~* ".(ico|css|js|gif|jpe?g|png)(?[0-9]+)?$") {
                expires max;

location ~* .php$ {
        if (!-e $request_filename) {
                return 404;

        include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;

        fastcgi_pass  unix:/var/run/php-fpm.socket;
        fastcgi_index index.php;

        fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_FILENAME  $document_root$fastcgi_script_name;

If you only have a single wiki on your server, there’s really no reason to create a new mediawiki.conf file, but instead just add it to the server block.

Converting a MediaWiki database from MySQL to SQLite

So the plane here is to convert a fully working MediaWiki install running on MySQL to run on SQLite instead.  To do this you will need to install a 2nd MediaWIKI install on a test or development system.  Once you are done you can move your new MediaWiki install to where every you would like.

Backup up your Old MediaWiki Installation

To start, from within your working MediaWiki install, first back up your data.

php maintenance/dumpBackup.php --full --uploads > wiki-backup.xml

This will create a file named wiki-backup.xml in your MediaWiki’s root directory, copy that file to a safe place.  We aren’t going to touch the MySQL database until were done, but it’s always a good idea to have backups safe and sound in case you need them.

The backup script run above dose not backup your MediaWiki’s uploaded images and other files.  These files are stored in your ‘images’ folder in the root of MediaWiki’s directory.  You need to back those up also.

tar -czf wiki-images.tgz images/

You should now have everything you need from your old MediaWiki install. Next you will need to install MediaWiki in a new location on your sever (or a development server).

Installing your new SQLite MediaWiki site

You should download and install the newest version of MediaWiki.  I always you the development trunk since this is what’s used on Wikipedia.

During the install process you will be asked what database you would like to use, you much choose ‘SQLite’ since this is the point of reinstalling MediaWiki.  Bring your new install all the way so you have a new install running on your server.  MediaWiki will create a default home page for you and you should be able to modify that page.  If you are unable to get MediaWiki installed or if you have a problem modifying the Main Page after the install, please see the MediaWiki mailing lists or the FAQ for assistance.

Restoring your Data on your new SQLite site

After you have your new SQLite version of MediaWiki installed and working, you need to restore your data.  The database part of this is pretty strate forward.

Start by copying the xml file you created in the first step to your new MediaWiki install.  Then run the following:

php maintenance/importDump.php wiki-backup.xml

Depending on the amount of pages you have, this may take quite some time to process. Once this is done all your pages should be on your new install (expect the Main Page, you will need to copy that manually).
To restore you images and other uploaded files, first you need to extract the tarball you made earlier to temporary location.

mkdir temporary
cp wiki-images.tgz temporary
cd temporary/
tar -xzf wiki-images.tgz

This will create a bunch of folders in the temporary directory, you need to copy everything in those folders into a single folder. The name of the folder doesn’t matter, I’m using tempimages, but you may use what you would like.

cd ../
mkdir tempimages
cp temporary/images/*/*/* tempimages

Now that you have everything in a single folder, import the content of that folder into your new MediaWiki install.

php maintenance/importImages.php tempimages/

And that should do it, you should now have a fully working MediaWiki install using SQLite.