Installing MediaWiki on your localhost

Submitted by matthew on Sun, 2009-02-15 15:14

I’ve done light exploration of wikis in the past.  These have included:

Recently I downloaded MediaWiki which I’ve loaded up on my localhost.  This little post will review the steps of setting up a local installation on your computer.  MediaWiki is a very powerful opensource software package that was written with internationalization and scalability in mind.  It is licensed under the General Public License and as such is free to download, use, and alter.  The software was originally written by Lee Daniel Crocker.

Downloading MediaWiki and playing with it locally is a great way for nonprofits and individuals to become familiar with this Wiki package and review it’s usefulness.


  1. The first step to setting up MediaWiki on your local environment is to set up a *AMP environment on your computer.  Many Windows users use WAMP and Mac users often use MAMP.  I’m largely a Mac user, so the instructions will be more Mac angled but should work for Windows users too.
  2. Download the latest copy of MediaWiki from


  1. Extract the tar file
  2. Pop extracted directory into MAMP's htdocs folder-- /applications/MAMP/htdocs
  3. Fire up MAMP and click on "Open Start Page"
  4. Click on phpMyAdmin in the menu bar at the top of the page
  5. Click on the "databases" link in the main body of the page
  6. At the bottom of this page is a text box that reads "create new database", type in a name for your new database and choose a "collation". Use utf8_bin
  7. Create a user for the database--click on the sql tab up top and use the following command "grant all on database_name.* to user_name@localhost identified by 'password';" with no quotes and replacing database_name with the database, user_name with any name you care to put in, and password with an password you care to use
  8. In your browser go to http://localhost:8888 and click twice on the directory with MediaWiki in it. You will come to a page that reads “Please set up the wiki first.”mediawiki_setup
  9. MediaWiki will check your environment and indicate if there are any installation issues related with your version of PHP, MySQL, PHP’s memory and so forth.  If your environment will work, you will see in green, “Environment checked. You can install MediaWiki.” and you will be offered a longish configuration page.
  10. Enter:
    1. Your Wiki’s Name
    2. A Contact Email
    3. Your Language
    4. The license you’d like to use for content on your site (this isn’t all that important for a local install)
    5. An Admin name and Password
    6. Choose “No caching” for a local install
    7. Leave the email settings all on the defaults
    8. When you get down to Database config choose:
      1. MySQL (presuming you are running MySQL)
      2. Leave the host as localhost
      3. Enter the database name, username, and password you set up in step 7
      4. Create a superuser account (user the username and password you set up in step 7)
    9. Click Install MediaWiki!
  11. At this point you will, if the installation worked, “Installation Successful!
  12. There is also the instruction to “Move the config/LocalSettings.php file to the parent directory”
    1. Go to your MediaWiki directory in your htdocs directory in your *AMP directory
    2. Go into your config directory
    3. Move LocalSettings.php up one directory so it sits in your MediaWiki parent directory
  13. There will be a link on the MediaWiki page in step 11 that says “follow this link to your wiki”.  Click on it
  14. You now have a working instance of MediaWiki on your computer!


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 2009-10-17 01:38

awesome! thanks for the tute :D The only real difference for the windows version is that the http://localhost:8888 doesn't work you have to use just http://localhost


Submitted by matthew on Sat, 2009-10-17 18:34

I'm glad it was of help to you!

The 8888 is simply the port that is defaulted in MAMP for the Web. If WAMP is defaulting to 80, then no port number is needed in the address.

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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 2010-10-08 13:46

After install mediawiki, send me this message
database mediawikidb exist
Creating tables...Query "CREATE TABLE `user` ( user_id int unsigned NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY AUTO_INCREMENT, user_name varchar(255) binary NOT NULL default '', user_real_name varchar(255) binary NOT NULL default '', user_password tinyblob NOT NULL, user_newpassword tinyblob NOT NULL, user_newpass_time binary(14), user_email tinytext NOT NULL, user_options blob NOT NULL, user_touched binary(14) NOT NULL default '', user_token binary(32) NOT NULL default '', user_email_authenticated binary(14), user_email_token binary(32), user_email_token_expires binary(14), user_registration binary(14), user_editcount int ) ENGINE=InnoDB, DEFAULT CHARSET=utf8 " failed with error code "Table 'user' already exists (localhost)".

Submitted by Stacey (not verified) on Fri, 2011-04-01 01:32

The only real difference for the windows version is that the http://localhost:8888 doesn't work you have to use just http://localhost. Thank you for the information.

Submitted by matthew on Fri, 2011-04-01 10:52

I'm happy this was helpful and I am really pleased that you (Stacey) added the Windows clarification.


Submitted by Katie (not verified) on Mon, 2012-07-23 02:35

I hope I could also install MediaWiki on my blog because from here I know it will be helpful to add traffic to my blogs.

Submitted by matthew on Mon, 2012-01-16 14:41

Hi John,

No - if you want to allow others access, you would want to host it online. The steps are pretty much the same, but you need a server that runs LAMP.


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