Personal Mediawiki with Raspberry PI and Docker

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Sharing knowledge is was the very first scope of internet at its born. The greatest expression of this is still Wikipedia, letting people share what they know with all the world. But you can get your knowledge portal identical to Wikipedia with the open source Mediawiki on Raspberry PI.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to install Mediawilki on a Raspberry PI computer.

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What Is MediaWiki

MediaWiki is an open source collaboration and documentation platform used to share knowledge between people across Internet. It is the base of the famous Wikipedia website.

Mediawiki logo

Licensed under GNU General Public License (GPL), it is extremely powerful, scalable and feature-rich. MediaWiki uses PHP for its front-end to display information to your browser and a number of databases variety (most common being MySQL).

In this article, I’m going to show you how to create your personal wiki with the cheap and powerful Raspberry PI. To simplify installation and setup, I’ll use Docker and docker-compose to deploy services with a single command line and a few configuration files. Instead of MySQL, our database will be built on custom MariaDB installation (fork of MySQL), which is performing better on Raspberry PI boards.

I will use a Raspberry Pi 3 model A+, but this guide will work also with newer Raspberry PI boards. You can check hardware differences with Raspberry PI comparison between latest models.

What We need

RPI 3 model A+

As usual, I suggest adding from now to your favourite e-commerce shopping cart all the needed hardware, so that at the end you will be able to evaluate overall costs and decide if continue with the project or remove them from the shopping cart. So, hardware will be only:

Check hardware prices with the following links:

Amazon raspberry pi boards box
Amazon Micro SD box
Amazon Raspberry PI Power Supply box

Step-by-Step Procedure

Environment Preparation

Start with a fresh Raspberry PI OS Lite installation. Then make sure your operating system is updated and upgraded:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Our environment will be completed installing Docker and docker-compose (using linked procedure).

Installing Database and MediaWiki

Using docker will result in a huge simplification for the installation procedure. Create a directory that will include our configuration files. Consider that by default, docker-compose will prepend to containers your directory name, even if you can easily edit it later. From terminal:

mkdir mediawiki
cd mediawiki

The following files will be created in this directory:

docker-compose.yml
Dockerfile
mySqlScript.sql

Docker-compose yaml file

Create a docker compose file:

nano docker-compose.yml

and add the following code;

# My MediaWiki
# from peppe8o.com
version: '3'
services:
 mediawiki:
  image: mediawiki
  restart: unless-stopped
  ports:
   - 8080:80
  links:
   - database
  volumes:
   - mediawiki-www:/var/www/html
 #After initial setup, download LocalSettings.php to the same directory as
 #this yaml and uncomment the following line and use compose to restart
 #the mediawiki service
 # - ./LocalSettings.php:/var/www/html/LocalSettings.php
 database:
  build: .
  restart: unless-stopped
  volumes:
   - mediawiki-db:/var/lib/mysql
volumes:
 mediawiki-www:
 mediawiki-db:

Dockerfile

As you can see, our database will be built on custom installation (please refer to create custom MariaDB container on Raspberry PI for more info).

Create a Dockerfile:

nano Dockerfile

And use the following content inside it:

FROM debian
RUN apt update -y && apt install mariadb-server -y
RUN sed -i 's/bind-address/bind-address = 0.0.0.0 #/i' /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/50-server.cnf
RUN mkdir /mysql_scripts
COPY mySqlScript.sql /mysql_scripts/
RUN /etc/init.d/mariadb start && mysql -uroot --password="" -e "source /mysql_scripts/mySqlScript.sql"
CMD /etc/init.d/mariadb start && tail -f /dev/null

MySQL initialization script

Finally, create your database initialization script:

nano mySqlScript.sql

Use the following code, changing “mediauser” and “mediapassword” with your preferred credentials:

CREATE USER mediauser@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'mediapassword';
CREATE DATABASE my_wiki;
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON my_wiki.* TO mediauser@'%';
flush privileges;
quit

Service Creation and Initialization

With previous files ready to be used, you will be able to install and have it up only with following command:

docker-compose up -d

This process will require a while to download the required images and install / configure MariaDB.

Once your Raspberry PI prompts you for installation finished, you can go to your favourite browser to configure your MediaWiki installation. Browse url http://<<yourRaspberryIpAddress>>:8080 (in my case, My local Raspberry PI IP address il 192.168.1.177):

Raspberry PI Mediawiki start first setup

First page notifies you that the settings file has not been found. The following steps will create it. Click on “set up the wiki” link. The next page will ask you for your preferred language;

Raspberry PI Mediawiki language setup

Choose it and click Continue. Next page will warn you that some environmental checks will be performed:

Raspberry PI Mediawiki check warning

Scrolling down, you should see a green row reporting: “The environment has been checked. You can install MediaWiki.”. Scroll to the bottom and click “Continue”. The next page will require database configuration:

Raspberry PI Mediawiki database connection

Scroll down to white fields. Leave MariaDB in database type and use the following for other fields (changing mediauser and mediapassword with your ones configured in MySQL initialization script). Note that you have to change Database Host from default “localhost” to “database:3306”:

Raspberry PI Mediawiki database configuration

Scroll down and click continue. The next screen will make you able to use the same user/password configured for database connection also for web access:

Raspberry PI Mediawiki web user configuration

You can change and make your configuration more secure (but you need to define a new database user) or keep default and click continue. The next page will ask you the name of your mediawiki page and administration account.

Raspberry PI Mediawiki web preferences

Use your favourite ones (remember to use a strong password). To complete installation, scroll down and select “I’m bored already, just install the wiki.” option, then click Continue. Finally, a confirmation for installation completion will be asked to you:

Raspberry PI Mediawiki web installation confirmation

Click Continue to complete. The next screen will confirm that installation is complete:

Raspberry PI Mediawiki web installation complete

Click continue. On the next page, a popup will open giving you a download for a file named “LocalSettings.php”:

Raspberry PI Mediawiki download localsettings

Download it locally and copy it to your MediaWiki folder (docker-compose folder) in your Raspberry PI. From the terminal, shut down MediaWiki service:

 docker-compose down

Edit docker-compose.yml file by uncommenting the following line:

  - ./LocalSettings.php:/var/www/html/LocalSettings.php

This will allow the MediaWiki container to import LocalSettings.php file in Apache directory. Finally, our new folder will contain the following files:

docker-compose.yml
Dockerfile
LocalSettings.php
mySqlScript.sql

Start again with docker-compose;

docker-compose up -d

And go back to your browser, refreshing http://<<yourRaspberryIpAddress>>:8080 page. You will find now your Mediawiki page ready:

Raspberry PI Mediawiki home

Final Operations

Once finished, a good security practice is entering your database container and changing the DB root password.

What’s Next

If you want to discover many other projects for your Raspberry PI, you can take a look at peppe8o Raspberry PI tutorials.

Enjoy!

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