Containerized MediaWiki install including VisualEditor, Parsoid, RESTBase & other services.
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Latest commit 2e4f836 Dec 20, 2017


Containerized MediaWiki install including VisualEditor, Parsoid, RESTBase, Mathoid & other services.


  • KVM or similar VM with at least 512mb RAM. These can be had from a variety of vendors for around $5/month. This comparison from ServerBear lists some popular options. Any labs instance will work as well.
  • Distribution: One of
    • Debian 8.0 Jessie or newer, or
    • Ubuntu 15.04 or newer, or
    • arbitrary systemd-based distro with git and docker >= 1.6 installed.
  • Root shell.
  • Port 80 available (TODO: automatically switch to alternative ports).


On Debian and Ubuntu, the fastest installation method is this one-liner:

curl | sudo bash

Alternatively, you can check out this repository, and run sudo ./mediawiki-containers install in the checkout.

The installer mode will prompt you for

  • the domain to use, and
  • whether to enable automatic nightly updates.

It will set up a systemd unit, so that your MediaWiki install automatically starts on boot. Here is a screencast of an installer run.

Issue tracking

We use Phabricator to track issues. See the list of current issues.


Running sudo ./mediawiki-containers start in a checkout of this repository will start four containers:

After startup, a brand new MediaWiki install will be reachable at http://localhost/.

Architecture notes

All data is stored outside the containers in a host directory:

ls /srv/mediawiki-containers/data
mediawiki  mysql  node-services

This greatly simplifies backups and upgrades. Update scripts are run on each startup, which means that updating to a newer version of the entire setup is as easy as a restart:

sudo service mediawiki-containers restart

Building on this upgrade-by-default approach, the installer can optionally set up fully automatic nightly upgrades by setting up a one-line cron job.

Status & next steps

This is alpha quality software. The basic functionality of MediaWiki, services and VisualEditor is there, but some details about the configuration will likely change before this can be used in production.


  • Hook up VisualEditor out of the box.
  • Update to MediaWiki 1.26 1.27-wmf9.
  • Set up systemd / init scripts to start up the docker-compose setup on boot.
    • Possibly, also provide a systemd-only startup script that doesn't require docker-compose.
  • Forward /api/rest_v1/ to RESTBase.

Next steps / wishlist:

  • Configure RESTBase updates. Enable Wikitext / HTML switching in VE.
  • Improve security:
    • Run each container under a different, unprivileged user.
    • Secure the install / update process with signatures.
  • Add popular extensions, and streamline the support for custom extensions.
  • Add services like mathoid, graphoid.
  • Use the HHVM PHP runtime instead of Zend, possibly using ideas from
  • Support developer use cases:
    • Optionally mount code volumes from the host system.
    • Improve configuration customization support.
  • Support for more distributions.

Tell us about your ideas at