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MediaWiki extensions manual
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Release status: unstable
Implementation Special page, Search
Description Performs a slow, inefficient wiki search on the full page text.
Author(s) JohanTheGhost
Latest version 1.0.1 (2007-05-02)
MediaWiki 1.7+
Database changes No
License GNU General Public License 2.0 or later
Download see here
Added rights
uses patrol right
Translate the RigorousSearch extension if it is available at
Check usage and version matrix.

The RigorousSearch extension implements a full-page search facility, by the tedious method of individually searching the source of each page as stored in the "page" / "text" tables -- not the FULLTEXT index kept in the "searchindex" table for MySQL searches.

This is very slow, and almost totally useless -- except that it allows searching of the complete page source, not just the user-visible version of the text stored in "searchindex". So, for example, if you want to search for hyperlinks to a particular web site, this will work, whereas a MediaWiki search would not ("searchindex" includes link text, but not the link URL). You can also use it to search for particular markup tags.

A useful application is to search for novice users making "http://..." links into the wiki instead of using regular wikilinks, which causes pages to appear orphaned when they're not.

Note: Extension:LinkSearch can also search for particular http://... links, and is much faster (but it wasn't around when RigorousSearch was originally written). Extension:LinkSearch was also made obsolete by Special:LinkSearch, added to core in MW 1.14.0.


The extension creates a new special page, Special:RigorousSearch. Because it uses a lot of resources, access is restricted to users with "patrol" user rights (which by default means sysops). (You can change this easily enough; search for "patrol" in the code.)

You can invoke this feature in multiple ways:

  • Go to [[Special:RigorousSearch]], and fill in the search form.
  • Link to [[Special:RigorousSearch/mypattern]] to do an immediate search for "mypattern". Due to URL processing, this won't work for patterns containing special characters, including multiple slashes (as in "http://...").
  • Link to [http://x/w/index.php?title=Special:RigorousSearch&pattern=mypattern]. This also does an immediate search for "mypattern", but you can use "%2F" escapes for slashes, etc.

Note that this is really slow. You should only use it when necessary, and you probably shouldn't use it on large wikis at all.


  1. Download the extension code:
    • Version 1.0: known to work with PHP 5 and MW 1.7; may work on PHP 4.
  2. Save the code in your wiki's extensions directory as extensions/SpecialRigorousSearch.php.

Changes to LocalSettings.phpEdit