New York University Faculty of Arts and Science College of Arts and Science Graduate School of Arts and Science

Installing MediaWiki at NYU CIMS

Policy: All users are responsible for the content of their site. If a user allows for community based content to be posted, the person running this site is responsible for monitoring ALL data and securing their site (this includes any upload scripts, wikis, blogs, bulletin boards, etc.) We recommend that all uploaded content be posted only after review and that submission of data be restricted to valid users. If inappropriate material is found or reported on your site any users who are responsible for this account are subject to disciplinary action including losing web privileges.

This document covers MediaWiki version 1.15, and is based partially on Michael Schidlowsky's writeup.

  1. Download MediaWiki (look for the Download link) to your public_html directory.  At the time of this writing, the downloaded filename is mediawiki-1.15.4.tar.gz.
  2. Extract the file in your public_html directory.  On Linux, you can run tar xfzv mediawiki-1.15.4.tar.gz in your public_html directory to extract the files.
  3. At this point, you will have the following directory: /home/USERNAME/public_html/mediawiki-1.15.4  You can move the directory based on what you want the URL to look like. For example, if you want your wiki to live in http://cims.nyu.edu/~USERNAME/mywiki, simply rename the mediawiki-1.15.4 to mywiki.  You can run the command mv mediawiki-1.15.4 mywiki to accomplish this.
  4. Set permissions on the wiki (make sure to run these on access):
    chmod -R 755 mywiki/ && chmod a+w mywiki/config
    chmod A+user:wwwcims:list_directory:allow ~
    chmod A+user:wwwcims:list_directory:allow ~/public_html
  5. Create a MySQL Database for MediaWiki. See the instructions on setting up a database on warehouse.cims.nyu.edu for this purpose.
  6. Navigate your browser to the Wiki's URL. In our case, the URL is http://cims.nyu.edu/~USERNAME/mywiki.
  7. At this point, you should see a screen asking you to set up the wiki, with a link to do so.  Click on the link.
  8. Fill out the form on the setup page, including your database name and password.  The MySQL hostname is warehouse.cims.nyu.edu, the MySQL username is your CIMS login, and the password is your database password, not your CIMS password.
  9. Click "Install MediaWiki!" when finished.
  10. The rest of the installation process should now be guided by the MediaWiki software on the web, including any troubleshooting.
  11. At the end of the process, MediaWiki will create a LocalSettings.php file.  Since your database password is stored in in plain-text that file, it is prudent to contact helpdesk and ask us to lock it down properly so no one can see the password.  If you do not lock this file down, your database password may be compromised.  Please send the full path to the LocalSettings.php file to helpdesk so we can lock it down.
  12. For more information on how to customize, configure, and use MediaWiki, please visit MediaWiki.org, the official website for MediaWiki.