How to run MediaWiki with SQLite on a macOS laptop

Today I got curious about how MediaWiki records page history, so I started digging around and in the process figured out how to run it against a SQLite database on my macOS laptop!

Requirements: PHP

To run MediaWiki you need PHP and the SQLite drivers. I was surprised to find out I had PHP already (if not I would have tried installing through Homebrew). It turns out it comes pre-installed on your Mac!

~ % php --version
PHP 7.3.11 (cli) (built: Jun  5 2020 23:50:40) ( NTS )
Copyright (c) 1997-2018 The PHP Group
Zend Engine v3.3.11, Copyright (c) 1998-2018 Zend Technologies

To see version information, do this:

% cd /tmp
% echo '<? phpinfo(); ?>' > index.php
% php -S localhost:8000
PHP 7.3.11 Development Server started at Sat Mar  6 20:50:32 2021
Listening on http://localhost:8000
Document root is /private/tmp
Press Ctrl-C to quit.

php -S localhost:8000 runs PHP's built-in development server, saving you from having to configure Apache.

Then visit http://localhost:8000 to view the PHP info page.

I searched that page for sqlite and found that it had the pdo_sqlite driver installed already. So that should be everything I need to run MediaWiki.

Downloading MediaWiki

I downloaded the latest version of MediaWiki from their downloads page, unzipped it, ran php -S localhost:8000 and got this error message:


Turns out the latest MediaWiki requires PHP 7.3.19, but the version bundled with my laptop was 7.3.11.

I didn't want to mess around with upgrading PHP, so I used the compatibility page to figure out the most recent MediaWiki version that would work with PHP 7.3.11. I decided to try MediaWiki 1.31, which can be downloaded from;O=D

Here's what worked for me:

% mkdir ~/wiki
% cd ~/wiki
% wget
% unzip
% cd mediawiki-1.31.12
% php -S localhost:8000
PHP 7.3.11 Development Server started at Sat Mar  6 20:58:21 2021
Listening on http://localhost:8000
Document root is /Users/simon/wiki/mediawiki-1.31.12

Now visiting http://localhost:8000 gave me the interactive setup tool.

I clicked through their wizard, selected SQLite for the database option and told it where I wanted the database to live:


At the end of the wizard it gave me a LocalSettings.php file to drop into my root ~/wiki/mediawiki-1.31.12 directory... and I was done! Didn't even need to restart the PHP process (because PHP).

I created a page and then ran Datasette against the SQLite databases it was using like this:

% datasette ~/wiki/data/*.sqlite

Created 2021-03-06T21:02:38-08:00, updated 2021-03-06T21:12:51-08:00 · History · Edit