Wikimedia Labs

Wikimedia Labs provides cloud computing infrastructure. The virtual machines are powered by the OpenStack software, administered through special pages on the Wikitech wiki. The environment includes a live replica of databases of all public Wikimedia Foundation wikis.

The project is aimed at helping volunteers get involved in Wikimedia operations and software development. 

Initial focus of this project was on two parts: Toolforge and Beta Cluster. For more about these, see Wikitech



The Wikipedia website infrastructure and software was built and originally completely operated by community volunteers. As the site has grown, over time the infrastructure and software development became more dominated by Wikimedia Foundation staff. While the Foundation's increased involvement has had a positive effect, we would like to reverse this trend and encourage more volunteerism.

When Wikimedia Labs started in 2011, initial focus was on two key projects:

  • Beta Cluster, a small wiki farm running the latest alpha version of the MediaWiki software.
  • Tool Labs, a platform for volunteers to easily run web services, bots and other applications.

The Beta Cluster runs in a virtualized environment that closely resembles Wikimedia's production cluster. It can be used by anyone to contribute changes to backend infrastructure or software, demo the changes, have the code reviewed, and ultimately pushed to production.

In Tool Labs, users have the comfort of not needing to become system administrators of any (virtual) servers or hardware, instead the platform is entirely provided for. It can be used for small projects that are Wikimedia-related but distinct from the software used in production. For example, a project might present information from the MediaWiki API of a Wikimedia wiki in a new way.

Open access


Anyone can create a Labs account by creating an account on wikitech.

Having a Labs account grants you access to Wikitech, Wikimedia Labs cloud, Gerrit (our code review system), and a few other developer-related tools.



The architecture is described on Wikitech. The software for controlling this environment is implemented as a MediaWiki extension, Extension:OpenStackManager.



For the roadmap, please see Wikimedia Labs's goals for 2014-15. Past roadmaps: 2012-13, 2013-14. See also Tool Labs Roadmap which describes the migration from Toolserver to Tool Labs in 2013/14.

Open tasks


We'd love help with all of the below!

Development and sysadmin tasks

  • Enable IPv6






Introduction to the toolserver and to Wikimedia Labs by Ryan Lane and Daniel Kinzler at the San Francisco Hackathon January 2012.