Mediawiki 1.19.1 Installation Problems

I wanted to install a wiki on a Kloxo VPS (CentOS release 5 ). As Mediawiki is the most popular of them all, and despite some criticism that it is the most difficult to install and configure, I want to give it a try.

As there are two (2) versions of Mediawiki available for download, versions 1.19.1 and 1.18.4, I selected the higher version, that is, 1.19.1.

As usual, I tried installing it on my local XAMPP server and there were no problems at all during the installation which made me confident that I could install it on the proposed VPS. I was wrong.

After uploading and extracting Mediawiki 1.19.1 unto my VPS. I run the installation script. After several steps in the installation process, I am getting this.

Mediawiki 1.19.1

Mediawiki 1.19.1 Installation Error

I got stuck on this installation error for several days. The Mediawiki website does not provide any information about this error. I don't even know what the error is as there are no texts at all.

After too much net searching and not finding the right solution, I tried downloading version 1.18.4 just to have some comparison. Honestly, I don't actually know the differences between the two (2) versions and I don't have the intention to delve into it. All I want is a working wiki site.

To cut the long story short, I came unto the installation process of version 1.18.4. I got errors but it provides me more useful information.

Mediawiki 1.18.4

Mediawiki 1.18.4 Installation Error

Now, I know that the error is missing PCRE UTF-8 support. Using SSH, I check the PCRE version.


[[email protected] ~]# pcretest -C
PCRE version 6.6 06-Feb-2006
Compiled with
UTF-8 support
No Unicode properties support
Newline character is LF
Internal link size = 2
POSIX malloc threshold = 10
Default match limit = 10000000
Default recursion depth limit = 10000000
Match recursion uses stack

From above test, it clearly indicates that PCRE has UTF-8 support but no unicode properties support. The next step I did was to install PCRE and hopefully correct the problem.

[[email protected] ~]# yum install pcre

then restarted the web server.

[[email protected] ~]# /etc/init.d/httpd restart

After restarting the web server, I checked PCRE again.


[[email protected] ~]# pcretest -C
PCRE version 8.02 2010-03-19
Compiled with
UTF-8 support
Unicode properties support
Newline sequence is LF
\R matches all Unicode newlines
Internal link size = 2
POSIX malloc threshold = 10
Default match limit = 10000000
Default recursion depth limit = 10000000
Match recursion uses stack

Unicode properties support is now available. I tried installing Mediawiki 1.19.1 again. I was happy, I only get warnings which means, installation process can continue.

Mediawiki 1.19.1

Mediawiki 1.19.1 Installation After Installing PCRE.

Problem solved!

Now I believe what I previously read that Mediawiki is not use friendly at all, during installation or configuration. Now, I have several reasons. First, I have search the Mediawiki website about the prerequisites of Mediawiki but it does not actually say anything about PCRE UTF-8 unicode support.

Secondly, Mediawiki installation particularly version 1.19.1 does not warn of any lacking requirements of the server. Thirdly, it does not provide solutions to problems.

Mediawiki fanatics may argue with me, but honestly this is my experience with the script and I have my evidence. Installing Mediawiki is not recommended for a newbie.

About the Author

Ver Pangonilo

A Filipino Engineer, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) – Australia and Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) – Philippines with extensive experience in concept select, front-end engineering, HV & LV detail design, construction and commissioning of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Area electrical installations in water and waste water pipeline and pumping facilities, offshore platforms, hydrocarbon process plants and pipelines including related facilities. Hazardous area classification and design certification (UEENEEM015B, UEENEEM016B, UEENEEM017B).

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