MW 1.22 and SMW 1.9beta install/upgrade


Disclaimer: I ain't any of sysadmin, MW, or SMW expert. This is why I didn't dare creating a new page. On the other hand it seems to work on my test server and production wikis.

After mid-november 2013, you should learn how to use composer, a PHP dependency manager.


  • PHP 5.3.2+
  • MySQL 5.0.2+
  • CURL (you should have that)
  • MediaWiki 1.22 (nov 2013)

Install composer

If you run several wikis, it's probably best to install composer on system level:

 cd /some/src
 curl -sS | php
 mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

Prepare for updating SMW

  • Go to your MediaWiki installation (NOT the extension directory)
cd /your-mediawiki-install
  • If you already got SMW installed, kill it
rm -r extensions/SemanticMediaWiki 
rm -r extensions/Validator
rm -r extensions/DataValues

Changes to Localsettings.php

(1) kill all the lines that load SMW and required extensions. You really have to start clean, for example kill

require_once( "$IP/extensions/DataValues/DataValues.php" );
require_once( "$IP/extensions/Validator/Validator.php" );

(2) Keep the following:

$smwgNamespaceIndex = 108; // In case other custom extensions were use before. Not necessary for fresh mediawiki installs
enableSemantics(''); // adjust to yours
  • Make damn sure that $smwgNamespaceIndex = 108; is the very first line of code that deals with SMW. E.g. if PHP sees the line enableSemantics(...) first, it will start numbering SMW extensions at 104 or something and you won't see your properties, forms, etc. defined in your existing wiki. You then may panic and do weird stuff that won't help your wiki very much.

(3) Comment out all other MediaWiki extensions

(Re)install SMW

  • Now get and install SemanticMediaWiki 1.9beta, plus its dependencies with composer
composer require mediawiki/semantic-media-wiki "dev-master"
  • In your MediaWiki installations you now will have:
A vendor directory
Additions to the extensions directory
  • There is no need to edit LocalSetting.php. All extensions will auto-load, i.e. MW 1.22 provides direct support for composer !! However, you later can edit LocalSettings.php to change settings.

(Re)configure SMW

php maintenance/update.php

Kill older SMW extensions

Kill the following old versions (As of dec 12 2013, other extensions like SemanticForms have to be installed manually)
rm -r extensions/Maps/
rm -r extensions/SemanticMaps/
rm -r extensions/SemanticResultFormats

Install (some) SMW extensions using the composer

composer require mediawiki/maps "dev-master"
composer require mediawiki/semantic-maps "dev-master"
composer require mediawiki/semantic-result-formats "dev-master"
  • Again, do not add any includes. These files are loaded (I believe) trough vendor/autoload.php

Add other SMW extension through GIT

cd extensions
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone

Of course, you then have to edit LocalSettings.php to include these files, for example it could look like this:

$smwgNamespaceIndex = 108;
enableSemantics(''); // adjust to yours
$smwgShowFactbox = SMW_FACTBOX_NONEMPTY;
// $smwgShowFactbox = SMW_FACTBOX_HIDDEN;

# If one or more of your fields can contain internal links entered by users (e.g., "This is a [[cat]]")
$smwgLinksInValues = true;
# Semantic Drilldown. Needs yet another namespace
$sdgNamespaceIndex = 118;
# Semantic Forms Inputs

# AdminLinks

Finally, consider refreshing the whole database. You likely messed up something, somwhere:

php SMW_refreshData.php -f -d 50 -v
17:44, 12 December 2013

Looks good to me. I will give it a shot. Just to emphasize: One really needs to use MW 1.22+ since using Composer is frankly imho not an option for earlier versions of MediaWiki. The Extension Installer extension sadly moves all the code into a subdirectory "extensions" of its own directory which will definitively create even more confusion on top of this already very big habitual change. I works but the next upgrade always dreads. :|

11:50, 13 December 2013

I completely messed up things with MW 1.21.x and the "ExtensionInstaller" extension. Apparently or luckily this approach works as expected, too. This should also work for MW 1.19.x and 1.20.x

18:26, 13 December 2013

I need to remember documenting this too

16:34, 18 December 2013

Hello Daniel, I used the text in your post to start writing a more complete installation instruction for SMW 1.9 with Composer. It is not ready yet. Regards.

11:39, 20 December 2013

Yeah, these instructions inspired me to create the new page on installing and updating SWM. It is pretty difficult to do since you have to decide with reality to take into account here, e.g. Windows or Linux, shell access / no shell access, the user level etc., etc. So and educated guess what to cater for will always have to be done. You are using a Windows server for your SMW?

20:04, 29 December 2013

Hello. Yes, we are using Windows Server 2008 to run our Wiki's. The coming weeks I want to update MW & SMW and all other extensions. I am almost finished checking what needs to be done so that it works in one go and "nothing" goes wrong :). It is true that there are a lot of ways how to tackle an update but either Windows or Linux when you are using composer it works the same on both, well almost.

17:15, 6 January 2014

Heiya, interesting to know this. In case there are any Windows Server specific steps to make we could probably create an extra page for this. Hope everything works out fine. Cheers

17:35, 6 January 2014