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Replicator is a CLI application for replicating a Wikibase entity base such as Wikidata.

Replicator can import entities from the Wikidata API and from Wikibase dumps in various formats. It features abort/resume, graceful error handling, progress reporting, dynamic fetching of dependencies, API batching and standalone installation (no own MediaWiki or Wikibase required). Furthermore it uses the same deserialization code as Wikibase itself, so is always 100% compatible.

Information is by default written to the QueryR EntityStore and Queryr TermStore, as Replicator was created to populate the QueryR REST API. With some simple PHP additions you can write to the sources of your choosing.

2022 note: this tool is somewhat out of date. If you wish to bulk import into Wikibase, you can get in touch with The Wikibase Consultancy. We also provide Wikibase development services and Wikibase hosting.



Installation with Vagrant (inside a virtual machine)

Get a copy of the code and make sure you have Vagrant installed.

Copy config/db-sqlite-example.json to config/db.json.

cp config/db-sqlite-example.json config/db.json

Then, inside the root directory of the project, execute

vagrant up
vagrant ssh

Once you're ssh'd into the VM, you can find Replicator fully installed in /vagrant.

cd /vagrant

If you get database authentication errors, check that config/db.json contains the right credentials. You can switch to an in memory SQLite database for testing Replicator:

	"driver": "pdo_sqlite",
	"memory": true

Local installation

Make sure you have all system dependencies:

  • PHP 7
  • php7.0-mysql
  • php7.0-sqlite (only needed for running the tests)

For an always fully up to date list, see build/vagrant/

Clone the git repository and move into its directory.

Enter the details of your database in config/db.json. An example of how this is done can be found in config/db-example.json. The parameters are fed directly to Doctrine DBAL. A list of available parameters can be found in the DBAL docs.

Get Composer and execute:

composer install
php replicator install

If you just downloaded the composer.phar executable, the install command works as follows:

php composer.phar install

Certain functions from the PHP Process Control library (PCNTL) are used. They are disabled by default on some linux distributions. You might need to remove some functions from the disable_functions section in your php.ini file. In particular the pcntl_signal_dispatch function.


git pull
composer update


This will remove Replicator from the system, without deleting the application files themselves.

php replicator uninstall


List of commands:

php replicator

Importing extracted JSON dumps

Importing a JSON dump:

php replicator import:json tests/data/simple/five-entities.json -v

Import command help:

php replicator help import:json

The command can be aborted with ctrl+c. It will exit gracefully and provide you with the page position marker needed to resume the import.

php replicator import:json tests/data/simple/five-entities.json -v --continue 66943

Importing compressed JSON dumps

Importing a gzipped JSON dump:

php replicator import:gz tests/data/simple/five-entities.json.gz -v

Import command help:

php replicator help import:gz

The command can be aborted with ctrl+c. It will exit gracefully and provide you with the page position marker needed to resume the import.

php replicator import:gz tests/data/simple/five-entities.json.gz -v --continue=76071

Bzip2 support is also available via the import:bz2 command. However beware that at the time of writing this documentation (November 2015), the Wikidata bz2 dumps have an issue that prevents PHP (and thus this library) from reading them entirely.

Importing from the API

Importing entities via the web API:

php replicator import:api Q1 Q2 Q1337 -v

Including referenced entities:

php replicator import:api Q1 Q2 Q1337 -v -r

Import command help:

php replicator help import:api

It is possible to specify ID ranges:

php replicator import:api Q1-Q1000

Multiple ranges and single IDs can be specified:

php replicator import:api Q1 Q100-Q102 P43-P45 Q64

Importing XML dumps

Importing an XML dump:

php replicator import:xml tests/data/big/5341-revs-3-props.xml -v

Import command help:

php replicator help import:xml

The command can be aborted with ctrl+c. It will exit gracefully and provide you with the page title needed to resume the import.

php replicator import:xml tests/data/big/5341-revs-3-props.xml --continue Q15826105 -v


All logs are written into var/log. Each import run writes a detailed log to a dedicated file, which gets named based on the time the import started. Error events get written to errors.log, which is a general error file, appended to by each import run.

Running the tests

For tests only

composer test

For style checks only

composer cs

For a full CI run

composer ci

Release notes

Version 0.2 (2017-03-06)

  • Upgraded Wikibase DataModel from 4.x to 6.x (needed to work with recent data from Wikidata)
  • Added Vagrant support
  • The query store is no longer installed by default (install with composer require jeroen/query-engine)
  • PHP 7.0 or later is now required (for local installation)

Version 0.1 (2016-01-25)


CLI tool for importing entities from Wikidata / Wikibase







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