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Personal Mediawiki with Raspberry PI and Docker

Raspberry PI Mediawiki featured image

What Is MediaWiki

MediaWiki is an open source collaboration and documentation platform used to share knowledge between people across Internet. It is at base of 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 favorite e-commerce shopping cart all 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 following links:

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

Step-by-Step Procedure

Environment Preparation

Start from 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 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

Following files will be created in this directory:


Docker-compose yaml file

Create a docker compose file:

nano docker-compose.yml

and add following code;

# My MediaWiki
# from
version: '3'
  image: mediawiki
  restart: unless-stopped
   - 8080:80
   - database
   - 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
  build: .
  restart: unless-stopped
   - mediawiki-db:/var/lib/mysql

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 following content inside it:

FROM debian
RUN apt update && apt install mariadb-server -y
RUN sed -i 's/bind-address/bind-address = #/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="" -P 3306 -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 following code, changing “mediauser” and “mediapassword” with your preferred credentials:

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

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:


IMPORTANT NOTE: during the build process, if you get “invalid signature” errors, please refer to my Create a Custom MariaDB Container with Raspberry PI and Docker for the fix.

This process will require a while to download 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

Raspberry PI Mediawiki start first setup

First page notifies you that settings file have not been found. Following steps will create it. Click on “set up the wiki” link. 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 bottom and click “Continue”. Next page will requiredatabase configuration:

Raspberry PI Mediawiki database connection

Scroll down to white fields. Leave MariaDB in database type and use 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. Next screen will make you able to use same user/password configured for database connection also for web access:

Raspberry PI Mediawiki web user configuration

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

Raspberry PI Mediawiki web preferences

Use your favorite 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. Next screen will confirm that installation is complete:

Raspberry PI Mediawiki web installation complete

Click continue. With 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 to your mediawiki folder (docker-compose folder) in your Raspberry PI. From terminal, shut down mediawiki service:

docker-compose down

Edit docker-compose.yml file, uncommenting following line. Pay attention that the initial “-” of this line must be aligned with the “-” of ” – mediawiki-www:/var/www/html” line (they must have same indentation).

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

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


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 DB root password.


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  1. NICE!
    I had to make 1 adjustment:
    Thanks for the really easy to follow tutorial

    COMPOSE_HTTP_TIMEOUT=200 sudo docker-compose up -d

    because of an error:
    ERROR: for mediawiki_mediawiki_1 UnixHTTPConnectionPool(host=’localhost’, port=None): Read timed out. (read timeout=60)

    -> COMPOSE_HTTP_TIMEOUT=200 sudo docker-compose up -d
    ERROR: No such container: c4678ed7f14288eb301415a28283d63e45f5e92a3e36af20dcf1cda491cb04c2
    -> FIX:
    sudo docker stop c4678ed7f14288eb301415a28283d63e45f5e92a3e36af20dcf1cda491cb04c2
    pi@raspberrypi:~/mediawiki $ sudo docker rm -f c4678ed7f14288eb301415a28283d63e45f5e92a3e36af20dcf1cda491cb04c2
    pi@raspberrypi:~/mediawiki $ sudo docker-compose up -d
    mediawiki_database_1 is up-to-date

  2. Final adjustment.
    The downoaded LocalSettings.php:
    – not only remove the hash but also make sure to line out the “-” at the same location as the other earlier line 😉
    – mediawiki-www:/var/www/html
    – ./LocalSettings.php:/var/www/html/LocalSettings.php
    Otherwise the last – will be not at the right position (Yml)


  3. Very nice project. Unfortunately after an update, it suddenly stopped working and refuses any connection… Any suggestions?

    1. Got it working again. Two issues had to be resolved, because we are pulling the latest versions of mariadb
      1. mariadb doesn’t like to be called mysql anymore.
      2. I had to explicitly allow connections via tcp.
      Hence I changed the Dockerfile to:

      FROM debian
      RUN apt update && apt install mariadb-server -y
      EXPOSE 3306
      RUN sed -i ‘s/bind-address/bind-address = #/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 -u root –password=”” -P 3306 -e “source /mysql_scripts/mySqlScript.sql”
      CMD /etc/init.d/mariadb start && tail -f /dev/null

      That almost did the trick. I manually went to /mw-config/index.php and updated my wiki. After that, everything was online again.

  4. I tried building this project from scratch, but it crashes at the very last step of the Dockerfile…

    Building database
    Step 1/7 : FROM debian
    —> e9cf93b473f4
    Step 2/7 : RUN apt update && apt install mariadb-server -y
    —> Using cache
    —> e59f6858c661
    Step 3/7 : RUN sed -i ‘s/bind-address/bind-address = #/i’ /etc/mysql/mariadb.conf.d/50-server.cnf
    —> Using cache
    —> 1a3e72c65d80
    Step 4/7 : RUN mkdir /mysql_scripts
    —> Using cache
    —> 8504f050de47
    Step 5/7 : COPY mySqlScript.sql /mysql_scripts/
    —> Using cache
    —> 5d464d21127e
    Step 6/7 : RUN /etc/init.d/mysql start && mysql -u root –password=”” -e “source /mysql_scripts/mySqlScript.sql”
    —> Running in 251dda90a496
    /bin/sh: 1: /etc/init.d/mysql: not found
    ERROR: Service ‘database’ failed to build: The command ‘/bin/sh -c /etc/init.d/mysql start && mysql -u root –password=”” -e “source /mysql_scripts/mySqlScript.sql”‘ returned a non-zero code: 127

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