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Technically, Wikibase is an extension (actually two extensions) to MediaWiki, so you need to set up MediaWiki first.

  Warning: Please be aware that Wikibase is currently not maintaining compatibility with older versions of MediaWiki! A recent version of Wikibase will most likely not work with an older version of MediaWiki. Vice versa an old version of Wikibase may not work with a recent MediaWiki version. Either use the most recent versions of MediaWiki and Wikibase (master branches) or make sure you download the appropriate branch of Wikibase that matches your version of MediaWiki!


The easiest way to install all dependencies of Wikibase is using Composer. Here you can find installation instructions for Composer.


A basic installation of Wikibase is pretty much straight forward and basically consists of 4 steps:

  1. getting Wikibase
  2. fetching dependencies
  3. modifying LocalSettings.php
  4. running some maintenance scripts.

The following guide will lead you through these steps.

Meet the prerequisitesEdit

Make sure you've set up MediaWiki and installed Composer.

Fresh MediaWiki

Get WikibaseEdit

Download the version of Wikibase that matches your Mediawiki installation into the extensions folder of your MediaWiki installation. There are several ways to download Wikibase.

Using the wrong version of Wikibase for your Mediawiki installation will result in errors. Be aware that the latest version of Wikibase will not work with Mediawiki version 1.30.0 (latest stable version).

Download from GitEdit

  • For getting the latest unstable version of Wikibase, do:
cd extensions
git clone
cd Wikibase
git submodule update --init --recursive # get the dependencies using submodules
  • You should use a version of Wikibase that corresponds with the version of MediaWiki itself. For getting a specific version of Wikibase you have to specify the branch you want to download. For example, to install Wikibase for Mediawiki version 1.31.x use the Wikibase branch REL1_31:
cd extensions
git clone -b REL1_31
mv mediawiki-extensions-Wikibase Wikibase
cd Wikibase
git submodule update --init --recursive # get the dependencies using submodules

Make sure the folder you just downloaded is called Wikibase and located in extensions/

Download archiveEdit

  Warning: Note that you won't get all the submodules needed if you download Wikibase using this method
  • Instead of using Git you can alternatively download an archive with the latest version of Wikibase or choose to download a specific version of Wikibase.
  • Make sure you extract the archive into a new folder called Wikibase inside the extensions folder of your MediaWiki installation.

Fetch all dependenciesEdit

Using the composer-merge-plugin

Include the following into composer.local.json at the root of your mediawiki installation:

  "extra": {
    "merge-plugin": {
      "include": [

and run from the root of your mediawiki installation using just one of these methods:

# if composer is available as a binary
composer install --no-dev
# if you downloaded composer.phar
php composer.phar install --no-dev
# Or use dockerized version (does not require PHP or composer installed)
docker run -it --rm --user $(id -u):$(id -g) -v ~/.composer:/tmp -v $(pwd):/app install --no-dev

Adjust your LocalSettings.phpEdit

Add the following lines to LocalSettings.php of your MediaWiki installation. You have three options, depending on whether you want to enable Wikibase Repository, Wikibase Client or both of them.

Enable Wikibase Repository onlyEdit

$wgEnableWikibaseRepo = true;
$wgEnableWikibaseClient = false;
require_once "$IP/extensions/Wikibase/repo/Wikibase.php";
require_once "$IP/extensions/Wikibase/repo/ExampleSettings.php";

Enable Wikibase Client onlyEdit

$wgEnableWikibaseRepo = false;
$wgEnableWikibaseClient = true;
require_once "$IP/extensions/Wikibase/client/WikibaseClient.php";
require_once "$IP/extensions/Wikibase/client/ExampleSettings.php";

Enable Wikibase Repository and Wikibase ClientEdit

$wgEnableWikibaseRepo = true;
$wgEnableWikibaseClient = true;
require_once "$IP/extensions/Wikibase/repo/Wikibase.php";
require_once "$IP/extensions/Wikibase/repo/ExampleSettings.php";
require_once "$IP/extensions/Wikibase/client/WikibaseClient.php";
require_once "$IP/extensions/Wikibase/client/ExampleSettings.php";

Run the setup scriptsEdit

Finally, you have to run some maintenance scripts.

  • Run the database update script of your MediaWiki installation:
php maintenance/update.php
  • Run the script that populates the sites table:
cd extensions/Wikibase
php lib/maintenance/populateSitesTable.php

Note: By default, this populates the sites table with Wikimedia's project list. See Manual:Sites table#Managing the sites table for options to list non-WMF projects.

For Wikibase Repository onlyEdit

  • Run
cd extensions/Wikibase
php repo/maintenance/rebuildItemsPerSite.php

For Wikibase Client onlyEdit

  • If you want to run a Wikibase Client, you'll also need to run the script that populates the interwiki table:
cd extensions/Wikibase
php client/maintenance/populateInterwiki.php

This will overwrite existing links in your interwiki table with (by default) Wikipedia values. Don't do this if you have existing inter-language link data you need to keep.

For Wikibase Repository and Wikibase ClientEdit

cd extensions/Wikibase
php repo/maintenance/rebuildItemsPerSite.php
php client/maintenance/populateInterwiki.php

(Again, running populateInterwiki.php will overwrite existing links in your interwiki table with (by default) Wikipedia values.)

Verify your installationEdit

Wikibase RepositoryEdit

To verify your Wikibase Repository installation, in your MediaWiki go to Special:NewItem and you should be able to create your first Item. Enter a label and optional description and aliases and hit Create. You should be redirected to the item page.

Special:NewItem special page
Your first item

Wikibase ClientEdit

If you've enabled Wikibase Client and everything is correct, you should see an "Add links" link in the languagelinks section in the sidebar of the main page.

First Item page

Enable SitelinksEdit

Sitelinks are special links that contain a site and a title, and go from individual Items to pages on other wikis. In Wikidata these go to other Wikimedia sites such as Wikipedia, Wikisource and Wikivoyage. Among other things, Sitelinks are used to allow referencing a property of the Item on the linked page in the client wiki, a feature that is called Direct access.

1. Configure your sitelink groupsEdit

First, you need to think about how to group the client-wikis you want to see in your sitelinks area on the Items in your repo-wiki.

Define custom groupsEdit

In your repo-wiki, replace the content of $wgWBRepoSettings['siteLinkGroups'] in LocalSettings.php with the groups you would like to see there.

For example, consider the following line being added to LocalSettings.php:

$wgWBRepoSettings['siteLinkGroups'] = [ 'wikipedia', 'mywikigroup', 'anothergroup' ];

This will allow three groups in the SiteLinks box on the Item's page:

  • the standard defined wikipedia for the global Wikipedia sites
  • two custom wikis groups – here named mywikigroup and anothergroup just for example

The names defined here will be relevant to the site_group field in the sites table as specified below.

Deactivate the sitelinks featureEdit

If you do not want your installation to make use of sitelinks at all, then you can deactivate that feature by setting the configuration to an empty array:

$wgWBRepoSettings['siteLinkGroups'] = [];

2. Localize your own groupsEdit

To show the correct heading for your own groups, you have to create the page MediaWiki:Wikibase-sitelinks-mywikigroup[1] with the desired heading as text.
You can create subpages to set the heading in different languages, e.g. MediaWiki:Wikibase-sitelinks-mywikigroup/de to create the German heading.

3. Add the Wikis to the sites tableEdit

To be able to add sitelinks to Items in your repo-wiki, you need add the client-wikis to the sites table. Take care that the group name used there must be one of the group names you added above. Following the example above, for instance, there would be one or more sites with mywikigroup and anothergroup as text in the site_group field.
Please also note that you need to set both the file path and the page path, and they do need to include the $1 placeholder. For further details on how to add sites to the table, please see these specific instructions.

After any modification made to Mediawiki's sites table, you should rebuild Wikibase's wb_items_per_site table. To do that, run the following command from your repo-wiki root directory: php extensions/Wikibase/repo/maintenance/rebuildItemsPerSite.php

4. Verify that you can add sitelinksEdit

  1. Go to Special:SetSiteLink in your repo-wiki and try to link an existing Item (field "ID") to one of the above configured sites (field "Site ID") by providing an existing page on that wiki (field "Sitelink"). It should either work or give you a useful error message.
  2. On the page you added above, check that Direct access works by referencing a property of the Item in a parser function

For developersEdit


An easy way to set up a developer environment for Wikibase is to use one of the wikibase_repo or wikidata role in MediaWiki-Vagrant#wikidata. They are set up as plain instances including all dependent components, and provides a quick way to get ready for hacking on Wikibase code. The wikibase_repo role provides a simple environment where there is a single repo instance accessible as (HHVM) or at (PHP5). The wikidata role provides a complex environment where there are both repo and client instances. The English client instance is accessible at (HHVM) and the repo instance is at (HHVM). For the wikibase_repo role the sources of the Wikibase extension can be found under /mediawiki/extensions/Wikibase and sources of dependent components are under /mediawiki/extensions/Wikibase/vendor, while for the wikidata role the sources are under /mediawiki/extensions/WikidataBuildResources/extensions.


This repository contains an example docker compose file and docker images. Following these instructions, you'll be able to install a stand-alone instance of Wikibase – the collaborative structured data engine behind Wikidata – as well as fully functional SPARQL endpoint and query service, complete with a data visualization frontend and query helper (similar to the Wikidata Query Service).


There are very few languages I can set labels for in a new itemEdit

Make sure you installed Extension:UniversalLanguageSelector

There are no sites I can link pages to in an itemEdit

One or more of the following may help:

php lib/maintenance/populateSitesTable.php
php repo/maintenance/rebuildItemsPerSite.php