MediaWiki 1.22.6 installation

  • Language
  • Existing wiki
  • Welcome to MediaWiki!
  • Connect to database
  • Upgrade existing installation
  • Database settings
  • Name
  • Options
  • Install
  • Complete!


This file provides an overview of the MediaWiki upgrade process. For help with specific problems, check

for information and workarounds to common issues.


Comprehensive documentation on upgrading to the latest version of the software is available at

Consult the release notes

Before doing anything, stop and consult the release notes supplied with the new version of the software. These detail bug fixes, new features and functionality, and any particular points that may need to be noted during the upgrade procedure.

Backup first

It is imperative that, prior to attempting an upgrade of the database schema, you take a complete backup of your wiki database and files and verify it. While the upgrade scripts are somewhat robust, there is no guarantee that things will not fail, leaving the database in an inconsistent state. provides an overview of the backup process. You should also refer to the documentation for your database management system for information on backing up a database, and to your operating system documentation for information on making copies of files.

Perform the file upgrade

Download the files for the new version of the software. These are available as a compressed "tar" archive from the Wikimedia Download Service (

You can also obtain the new files directly from our Git source code repository.

Replace the existing MediaWiki files with the new. You should preserve the LocalSettings.php file and the "extensions" and "images" directories.

Depending upon your configuration, you may also need to preserve additional directories, including a custom upload directory ($wgUploadDirectory), deleted file archives, and any custom skins.

Perform the database upgrade

As of 1.21, it is possible to separate schema changes (i.e. adding, dropping, or changing tables, fields, or indices) from all other database changes (e.g. populating fields). If you need this capability, see "From the command line" below.

From the web

If you browse to the web-based installation script (usually at /mw-config/index.php) from your wiki installation you can follow the script and upgrade your database in place.

From the command line

From the command line, browse to the "maintenance" directory and run the update.php script to check and update the schema. This will insert missing tables, update existing tables, and move data around as needed. In most cases, this is successful and nothing further needs to be done.

If you need to separate out the schema changes so they can be run by someone with more privileges, then you can use the --schema option to produce a text file with the necessary commands. You can use --schema, --noschema, $wgAllowSchemaUpdates as well as proper database permissions to enforce this separation.

Check configuration settings

The names of configuration variables, and their default values and purposes, can change between release branches, e.g. $wgDisableUploads in 1.4 is replaced with $wgEnableUploads in later versions. When upgrading, consult the release notes to check for configuration changes which would alter the expected behavior of MediaWiki.

Check installed extensions

Extensions usually need to be upgraded at the same time as the MediaWiki core.

In MediaWiki 1.14 some extensions were migrated into the core. Please see the HISTORY section "Migrated extensions" and disable these extensions in your LocalSettings.php


It makes sense to test your wiki immediately following any kind of maintenance procedure, and especially after upgrading; check that page views and edits work normally and that special pages continue to function, etc. and correct errors and quirks which reveal themselves.

You should also test any extensions, and upgrade these if necessary.

Upgrading from 1.16 or earlier

If you have a Chinese or Japanese wiki ($wgLanguageCode is set to one of "zh", "ja", or "yue") and you are using MySQL fulltext search, you will probably want to update the search index.

In the "maintenance" directory, run the updateDoubleWidthSearch.php script. This will update the searchindex table for those pages that contain double-byte latin characters.

Upgrading from 1.8 or earlier

MediaWiki 1.9 and later no longer keep default localized message text in the database; 'MediaWiki:'-namespace pages that do not exist in the database are simply transparently filled-in on demand.

The upgrade process will delete any 'MediaWiki:' pages which are left in the default state (last edited by 'MediaWiki default'). This may take a few moments, similar to the old initial setup.

Note that the large number of deletions may cause older edits to expire from the list on Special:Recentchanges, although the deletions themselves will be hidden by default. (Click "show bot edits" to list them.)

See RELEASE-NOTES for more details about new and changed options.

Upgrading from 1.7 or earlier

$wgDefaultUserOptions now contains all the defaults, not only overrides. If you're setting this as a complete array(), you may need to change it to set only specific items as recommended in DefaultSettings.php.

Upgrading from 1.6 or earlier

$wgLocalTZoffset was in hours, it is now using minutes.

Upgrading from 1.5 or earlier

Major changes have been made to the schema from 1.4.x. The updater has not been fully tested for all conditions, and might well break.

On a large site, the schema update might take a long time. It might explode, or leave your database half-done or otherwise badly hurting.

Among other changes, note that Latin-1 encoding (ISO-8859-1) is no longer supported. Latin-1 wikis will need to be upgraded to UTF-8; an experimental command-line upgrade helper script, 'upgrade1_5.php', can do this -- run it prior to 'update.php' or the web upgrader.

NOTE that upgrade1_5.php does not work properly with recent version of MediaWiki. If upgrading a 1.4.x wiki, you should upgrade to 1.5 first. upgrade1_5.php has been removed from MediaWiki 1.21.

If you absolutely cannot make the UTF-8 upgrade work, you can try doing it by hand: dump your old database, convert the dump file using iconv as described here: and then reimport it. You can also convert filenames using convmv, but note that the old directory hashes will no longer be valid, so you will also have to move them to new destinations.

Message changes:

  • A number of additional UI messages have been changed from HTML to wikitext, and will need to be manually fixed if customized.

Configuration changes from 1.4.x:

$wgDisableUploads has been replaced with $wgEnableUploads.

$wgWhitelistAccount has been replaced by the 'createaccount' permission key in $wgGroupPermissions. To emulate the old effect of setting:

 $wgWhitelistAccount['user'] = 0;


 $wgGroupPermissions['*']['createaccount'] = false;

$wgWhitelistEdit has been replaced by the 'edit' permission key. To emulate the old effect of setting:

 $wgWhitelistEdit = true;


 $wgGroupPermissions['*']['edit'] = false;

If $wgWhitelistRead is set, you must also disable the 'read' permission for it to take affect on anonymous users:

 $wgWhitelistRead = array( "Main Page", "Special:Userlogin" );
 $wgGroupPermissions['*']['read'] = false;

Note that you can disable/enable several other permissions by modifying this configuration array in your LocalSettings.php; see DefaultSettings.php for the complete default permission set.

If using Memcached, you must enabled it differently now:

 $wgUseMemCached = true;

should be replaced with:

 $wgMainCacheType = CACHE_MEMCACHED;

Upgrading from 1.4.2 or earlier

1.4.3 has added new fields to the sitestats table. These fields are optional and help to speed Special:Statistics on large sites. If you choose not to run the database upgrades, everything will continue to work in 1.4.3.

You can apply the update by running maintenance/update.php, or manually run the SQL commands from this file:


Upgrading from 1.4rc1 or earlier betas

The logging table has been altered from 1.4beta4 to 1.4beta5 and again in 1.4.0 final. Copy in the new files and use the web installer to upgrade, or the command-line maintenance/update.php.

If you cannot use the automated installers/updaters, you may update the table by manually running the SQL commands in these files:


Upgrading from 1.3 or earlier

This should generally go smoothly.

If you keep your LocalSettings.php, you may need to change the style paths to match the newly rearranged skin modules. Change these lines:

 $wgStylePath        = "$wgScriptPath/stylesheets";
 $wgStyleDirectory   = "$IP/stylesheets";
 $wgLogo             = "$wgStylePath/images/wiki.png";

to this:

 $wgStylePath        = "$wgScriptPath/skins";
 $wgStyleDirectory   = "$IP/skins";
 $wgLogo             = "$wgStylePath/common/images/wiki.png";

As well as new messages, the processing of some messages has changed. If you have customized them, please compare the new format using Special:Allmessages or the relevant LanguageXX.php files:

  • copyrightwarning
  • dberrortext
  • editingcomment (was named commentedit)
  • editingsection (was named sectionedit)
  • numauthors
  • numedits
  • numtalkauthors
  • numtalkedits
  • numwatchers
  • protectedarticle
  • searchresulttext
  • showhideminor
  • unprotectedarticle

Note that the 1.3 beta releases included a potential vulnerability if PHP is configured with register_globals on and the includes directory is served to the web. For general safety, turn register_globals *off* if you don't _really_ need it for another package.

If your hosting provider turns it on and you can't turn it off yourself, send them a kind note explaining that it can expose their servers and their customers to attacks.

Upgrading from 1.2 or earlier

If you've been using the MediaWiki: namespace for custom page templates, note that things are a little different. The Template: namespace has been added which is more powerful -- templates can include parameters for instance.

If you were using custom MediaWiki: entries for text inclusions, they will *not* automatically be moved to Template: entries at upgrade time. Be sure to go through and check that everything is working properly; you can move them manually or you can try using moveCustomMessages.php in maintenance/archives to do it automatically, but this might break things.

Also, be sure to pick the correct character encoding -- some languages were only available in Latin-1 on 1.2.x and are now available for Unicode as well. If you want to upgrade an existing wiki from Latin-1 to Unicode you'll have to dump the database to SQL, run it through iconv or another conversion tool, and restore it. Sorry.

Upgrading from 1.1 or earlier

This is less thoroughly tested, but should work.

You need to specify the *admin* database username and password to the installer in order for it to successfully upgrade the database structure. You may wish to manually change the GRANTs later.

If you have a very old database (earlier than organized MediaWiki releases in late August 2003) you may need to manually run some of the update SQL scripts in maintenance/archives before the installer is able to pick up with remaining updates.