Install MediaWiki on Ubuntu 17.04 | 17.10 with Apache2, MariaDB, PHP and Let’s Encrypt SSL

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to easily install MediaWiki on Ubuntu 17.04 | 17.10 with Apache2, MariaDB, PHP and Let’s Encrypt support. For those who don’t know MediaWiki is an open source wiki package content management system written in PHP that was originally used on Wikipedia.

MediaWiki is now used by many individuals and companies to develop and manage their wiki pages. It has also been translated into many different languages.

In today’s environments, MediaWiki is frequently being installed with SSL/TLS encryption so that all traffic to and from the website is protected over HTTPS. Also, websites that use HTTPS may rank better with Google and other search engine providers.

This post covers installing the latest version of MediaWiki, which at the time of writing was at version 1.29.1.

To get started with installing MediaWiki, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Install Apache2

MediaWiki requires a webserver to function and the most popular webserver in use today is Apache2. So, go and install Apache2 on Ubuntu by running the commands below:

sudo apt-get install apache2

After installing Apache2, run the commands below to disable directory listing.

sudo sed -i "s/Options Indexes FollowSymLinks/Options FollowSymLinks/" /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

Next, run the commands below to stop, start and enable Apache2 service to always start up with the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop apache2.service
sudo systemctl start apache2.service
sudo systemctl enable apache2.service

Step 2: Install MariaDB

MediaWiki also requires a database server to function.. and MariaDB database server is a great place to start. To install it run the commands below.

sudo apt-get install mariadb-server mariadb-client

After installing, the commands below can be used to stop, start and enable MariaDB service to always start up when the server boots.

sudo systemctl stop mariadb.service
sudo systemctl start mariadb.service
sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service

After that, run the commands below to secure MariaDB server.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

When prompted, answer the questions below by following the guide.

  • Enter current password for root (enter for none): Just press the Enter
  • Set root password? [Y/n]: Y
  • New password: Enter password
  • Re-enter new password: Repeat password
  • Remove anonymous users? [Y/n]: Y
  • Disallow root login remotely? [Y/n]: Y
  • Remove test database and access to it? [Y/n]:  Y
  • Reload privilege tables now? [Y/n]:  Y

Restart MariaDB server

sudo systemctl restart mariadb.service

Step 3: Install PHP and Related Modules

MediaWiki also requires PHP to function. To install PHP and related modules run the commands below

sudo apt-get install php php-common php-mbstring php-xmlrpc php-soap php-gd php-xml php-intl php-mysql php-cli php-mcrypt php-ldap php-zip php-curl

Step 4: Create MediaWiki Database

Now that you’ve installed all the packages that are required, continue below to start configuring the servers. First continue with creating MediaWiki database.

Run the commands below to logon to the database server. When prompted for a password, type the root password you created above.

sudo mysql -u root -p

Then create a database called mediawiki

CREATE DATABASE mediawiki;

Create a database user called mediawikiuser with new password

CREATE USER 'mediawikiuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'new_password_here';

Then grant the user full access to the database.

GRANT ALL ON mediawiki.* TO 'mediawikiuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'user_password_here' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Finally, save your changes and exit.

FLUSH PRIVILEGES;
EXIT;

Step 5: Download MediaWiki Latest Release

Next, run the commands below to download MediaWiki latest release. The commands below to download MediaWiki archive package.

cd /tmp && wget https://releases.wikimedia.org/mediawiki/1.29/mediawiki-1.29.0.tar.gz

Then run the commands below to extract the download file to Apache2 default root.

sudo tar -zxvf mediawiki*.tar.gz
sudo mkdir -p /var/www/html/mediawiki
sudo mv mediawiki-1.29.0/* /var/www/html/mediawiki

Change and modify the directory permission.

sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/mediawiki/
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/mediawiki/

Step 6: Configure Apache2

Finally, configure Apahce2 site configuration file for MediaWiki. This file will control how users access MediaWiki content. Run the commands below to create a new configuration file called mediawiki.conf

sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/mediawiki.conf

Then copy and paste the content below into the file and save it. Replace the highlighted line with your own domain name and directory root location.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/mediawiki/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

</VirtualHost>

Save the file and exit.

Step 7: Enable the MediaWiki site

After configuring the VirtualHost above, enable it by running the commands below

sudo a2ensite mediawiki.conf

Step 8 : Restart Apache2

To load all the settings above, restart Apache2 by running the commands below.

sudo systemctl restart apache2.service

STEP 9: OBTAIN AND CONFIGURE LET’S ENCRYPT SSL CERTIFICATES

Now that the MediaWiki configuration is done, continue below to get Let’s Encrypt installed and configured. Let’s Encrypt now provides a Apache2 module to automate this process. To get the client/module installed on Ubuntu, run the commands below

sudo apt-get install python-certbot-apache

After that run the commands below to obtain your free Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS certificate for your site.

sudo certbot --apache -m admin@example.com -d example.com -d www.example.com

After running the above commands, you should get prompted to accept the licensing terms. If everything is checked, the client should automatically install the free SSL/TLS certificate and configure the Apache2 site to use the certs.

Please read the Terms of Service at
https://letsencrypt.org/documents/LE-SA-v1.2-November-15-2017.pdf. You must
agree in order to register with the ACME server at
https://acme-v01.api.letsencrypt.org/directory
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(A)gree/(C)ancel: A

Choose Yes ( Y ) to share your email address

Would you be willing to share your email address with the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, a founding partner of the Let's Encrypt project and the non-profit
organization that develops Certbot? We'd like to send you email about EFF and
our work to encrypt the web, protect its users and defend digital rights.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Y)es/(N)o: Y

This is how easy is it to obtain your free SSL/TLS certificate for your Nginx powered website.

Please choose whether or not to redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS, removing HTTP access.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1: No redirect - Make no further changes to the webserver configuration.
2: Redirect - Make all requests redirect to secure HTTPS access. Choose this for
new sites, or if you're confident your site works on HTTPS. You can undo this
change by editing your web server's configuration.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Select the appropriate number [1-2] then [enter] (press 'c' to cancel): 2

Pick option 2 to redirect all traffic over HTTPS. This is important!

After that, the SSL client should install the cert and configure your website to redirect all traffic over HTTPS.

Congratulations! You have successfully enabled https://example.com and
https://www.example.com

You should test your configuration at:
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=example.com
https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/analyze.html?d=www.example.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IMPORTANT NOTES:
 - Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem
   Your key file has been saved at:
   /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.pem
   Your cert will expire on 2018-02-24. To obtain a new or tweaked
   version of this certificate in the future, simply run certbot again
   with the "certonly" option. To non-interactively renew *all* of
   your certificates, run "certbot renew"
 - If you like Certbot, please consider supporting our work by:

   Donating to ISRG / Let's Encrypt:   https://letsencrypt.org/donate
   Donating to EFF:                    https://eff.org/donate-le

The highlighted code block should be added to your Apache2 MediaWiki site configuration file automatically by Let’s Encrypt certbot. Your MediaWiki site is ready to be used over HTTPS.

<VirtualHost *:80>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/mediawiki/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} =example.com [OR]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} =www.example.com
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]
</VirtualHost>

A new configuration file for the domain should also be created named /etc/apache2/sites-available/mediawiki-le-ssl.conf. This is Apache2 SSL module configuration file and should contain the certificate definitions defined in it.

<IfModule mod_ssl.c>
<VirtualHost *:443>
     ServerAdmin admin@example.com
     DocumentRoot /var/www/html/mediawiki/
     ServerName example.com
     ServerAlias www.example.com

     ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
     CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

SSLCertificateFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/fullchain.pem
SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/letsencrypt/live/example.com/privkey.pem
Include /etc/letsencrypt/options-ssl-apache.conf
</VirtualHost>
</IfModule>

After that browse to the server hostname or IP address and you should see MediaWiki site setup wizard.

https://example.com

mediawiki ubuntu install

Type the database name, user and password and continue.

mediawiki ubuntu installation

Continue with the wizard by accepting the default settings. At the end of the setup, the wizard will prompt you to save the LocalSettings.php file. save it.

Then move the file to root directory of MediaWiki website. After that, you’re done!

mediawiki install ubuntu

~Enjoy~

To setup a process to automatically renew the certificates, add a cron job to execute the renewal process.

sudo crontab -e

Then add the line below and save.

0 1 * * * /usr/bin/certbot renew & > /dev/null

The cron job will attempt to renew 30 days before expiring

You may also like the post below:

Switch Joomla from HTTP to HTTPS on Ubuntu with Let’s Encrypt and Apache2

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