Running MediaWiki with Alpine 3.7 containers.
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MediaWiki, Parsoid, and PostgreSQL with Docker

This is an attempt to use Alpine 3.7 as the base image for Mediawiki 1.30 with PHP v7.1.16 (with FPM) and Nginx. There is another container for Parsoid (v0.8.0) that runs with NodeJS (v8.9.3). As the database backend (specified in docker-compose.yml), it is PostgreSQL v10 (Alpine).

The Images

Clone this repository. Then run docker build to create the alpine-mwiki image.

docker build -f Dockerfiles/Dockerfile-mwiki -t alpine-mwiki .

During this build, the code will (briefly):

  1. Install the base system packages (also with Nginx, Git, etc), installing PHP v7 and all the PHP packages required to run MediaWiki.
  2. Install Composer to manager dependencies.
  3. Clone the MediaWiki branch REL1_30 and install it.
  4. Expose ports 80 for Nginx and 9001 for supervisord web UI.
  5. Copy configuration files for supervisord, Nginx, and PHP7-FPM.
  6. Add user www for PHP7-FPM with UID of 1000 and GID of 1000.
  7. Set ENTRYPOINT with supervisord.

To build alpine-parsoid, here is the command:

docker build -f Dockerfiles/Dockerfile-parsoid -t alpine-parsoid .

During this build, the code will (briefly):

  1. Install base packages.
  2. Install nodejs and nodejs-npm.
  3. Install Parsoid from source (Mediawiki's Gerrit).
  4. Running Parsoid with user parsoid and expose port 8000.

Attention! This alpine-parsoid container is hardcoded to use the MediaWiki endpoint URL This is my local VM for development. See configs/parsoid-config.yaml and alter it before proceeding.

The Containers

To retain sanity, I go with docker-compose.yml. Take a good look at it before spinning up the containers (there are three of them). Might want to change password, etc.

Then, issue this command:

# Output log to terminal.
docker-compose up

# Run as daemon.
docker-compose up -d

During the MediaWiki installation "Connect to database", the field for "Databae hosts" has to be set to pg instead of localhost.

Mount Volume with BindFS

At the end of web installation of the MediaWiki, user is prompted to download the file LocalSettings.php. That file must go into the MediaWiki root installation directory (the /var/www/mediawiki inside the container). This root installation folder is mounted as a volume by Docker with the -v flag during run (see docker-compose.yml). Issue docker volume ls and docker volume inspect <volume name> to probe for volume's location.

However, data written into that folder is owned by user www of the container with the UID of 1000. This was configured during the image build process (see Dockerfiles/Dockerfile-mwiki).

Here we use the bindfs to mount this volume into ./data_wiki directory. BindFS allows for (something here).

# Create directory.
mkdir data_wiki

# Mount with bindfs.
sudo bindfs /var/lib/docker/volumes/alpinemediawiki_wikidata/_data data_wiki

It is slightly different with postgres:10-alpine. By default, postgres runs as root, hence there is a slight modification to our command here.

# Create directory first.
mkdir data_pg

# Bind, mirror to fera since it is owned by root inside the container.
sudo bindfs --mirror=fera /var/lib/docker/volumes/alpinemediawiki_wikidb/_data data_pg

This will map the Docker volume correctly with user fera (depends on the $USER you have on host machine, mine is fera). By issuing ls -l data_pg, the file permission is assigned to fera instead of root.

Then, place the LocalSettings.php inside the data_wiki directory, then set permission with chmod 775.

VisualEditor and Parsoid

This is my minimal LocalSettings.php for VisualEditor

$wgVirtualRestConfig['modules']['parsoid'] = array(
  'url' => '',


  1. I tried using MariaDB at first. I could not get the MediaWiki to talk to MariaDB instance after trying couple of times. Miraculously, I tried once with PostgreSQL and it worked without fiddling too much.
  2. Also, I am using postgres:10-alpine (official). It is extremely small at 39.5 MB for the Docker image. MariaDB (Debian) is at 396 MB.
  3. Please run the Nginx and PHP-FPM with daemonize turned off. Else, it won't work. This has something to do with the fact that supervisord is daemonizing them.
  4. BindFS is pretty cool. It makes debugging a lot less painful. It is kind of hacky, but it is a better alternative.
  5. I changed from downloading *.tar.gz to git clone. Fine grain control is always better.
  6. The VisualEditor extension isn't packaged by default. If you look into the Dockerfiles/Dockerfile-mwiki, you see there I git clone it.
  7. When specifying ENV, please don't include whitespace. For example, PARSOID_USER=parsoid instead of PARSOID_USER = parsoid.
  8. As mentioned above, the Parsoid's config.yaml is hardcoded. Proceed with caution.
  9. Expect problems when running Parsoid for private MediaWiki. See here, then scroll down.
  10. The logo wiki.png is mounted as Read-Only. See my docker-compose.yml. Replace the .png file with an image of your own, then update docker-compose.yml if necessary.


  • Change download method from wget to git clone.
  • Attempt at creating baseline docker-compose.yml.
  • Mount logo as ReadOnly in docker-compose.yml.
  • Create Alpine 3.7 image for Parsoid There's already a node:9-alpine. Go from there Just kidding. Used alpine:3.7 instead due to UID conflict.
  • How to perform backup and/or migration?
  • Test behavior with UFW on host.
  • Test running on HTTPS port 443 on host with Caddy for automated Let's Encrypt.


  1. I learned the BindFS trick here on GitHub.
  2. When adding & assigning user in Alpine, I referred to this thread on GitHub.
  3. I was inspired by this Docker Mediawiki setup. However, I was more interested in making separate containers instead of running everything in a single container.