Mediawiki on biowikifarm

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Mediawiki setup on this server is different from many other installations.

  1. The code is checked out and upgraded using git Subversion commands. several version specific checkouts exist, e.g.
    1. /usr/share/mediawiki26/
  2. It is a wikifarm, meaning many installations share the same codebase.

The following information is still partly correct, but not verified after changing from subversion to git and using version-specific checkouts.

The code branch

Most parts of the checked out code should not be modified or patched, not even for a short time. Doing so would create local pending changes for subversion, and we do not commit ever. So the file will often be just excluded from the next version upgrade, causing all kind of interesting problems.

In there you also find our "own" extensions, the

  • IdentificationTool
  • TemplateParameterIndex, and
  • MobileKey. The latter exists in three folders:
    • MobileKey (backup only, not active)
    • MobileKeyV1 (conservative version, to be changed only very carefully, reachable as special page!)
    • MobileKeyV1 (to become a "new" version, reachable as special page!)

Pages to reach the Mobile Key are, e.g., and or and

The www-root

The www-root is /var/www. Inside we directly have root folders, plus folders for the virtual host. All folders starting with v mean virtual host (e.g. v-on and v-k2n). Most wikis are in a single-letter folder inside a virtual host folder, e.g. /var/www/k2n/w. Some wiki are setup for the apache root, these "root wikis" are metawiki (this one,, testwiki ( - the ONLY wiki running against /usr/share/mediawikistaging/)

Inside the wiki folders you find mostly symbolic links to the code-checkout. However, LocalSettings.php, the cache and media folder are local to each wiki. This creates the "wikifarm". Note that because of this setup, maintenance scripts need to be run with special parameter, see Mediawiki_maintenance for examples.

Also note, that significant information is shared by all wiki. This information is stored directly in the www-root, in MediaWikiCommonSettings.php, which is linked into each LocalSettings file.


All extensions are already available as code in /usr/share/mediawiki/extensions. However, each extension requires an extra link inside /usr/share/mediawiki/phase3/extensions pointing to the corresponding folder in /usr/share/mediawiki/extensions.

See Mediawiki installation for further information!