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computing: software: web: MediaWiki: customization: shortening MediaWiki URLs


The most reliable method seems to be the mod_rewrite, which requires access to either httpd.conf or requires particular handling options for .htaccess to be switched on (fortunately, they usually seem to be). Failing that, another method is:

Some additional methods are documented in the #links, below.

Using mod_rewrite

This is probably documented elsewhere, but this is what actually worked on a shared server without root access or a shell.

First, the .htaccess file needs to include:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php/$1 [L,QSA]

Second, modify LocalSettings.php:

$wgScriptPath = ;
wgArticlePath = $wgScriptPath.'/$1';

This assumes MediaWiki is installed in the root of the www pages, e.g. is the wiki's main page; if you have it in a subfolder, e.g., then:

$wgScriptPath = '/wiki';

Then do ?action=purge on any page to test it. Internal links on existing pages will convert to the new URLs any time they are saved or purged.

The above seems to work for everything (including editing) without breaking old-style URLs.

This method is also documented here, with some minor changes:

Wish list:

  • proper handling of page named .htaccess (click on that for a demonstration of the problem)
  • ability to have the wiki installed in a subdirectory while still making it appear to be in the domain's root folder


Please feel free to post comments here or on the Talk page if you try any of these procedures.

6/23/2007: I used your .htaccess and then set $wgArticlePath = "$wgScriptPath/$1";. This way the forwarding works regardless of what directory the wiki is located in. In my case it was /wiki. --Jordan Mendler (jmendlerspam@spamuclaspam.spamedu)

12/02/2007: Method worked fine, using Jordan Mendler's modification to allow for my /wiki subdirectory. You should post this on mediawiki's Manual:Short URL page, as they do not have this solution listed and it seems simpler and possibly less bug-prone then other methods. --Adam Burley (AKA Bilby) (bilbyATdigitalcaveDOTorg)

2007-12-02 MW 1.11 seems to do something which breaks log-ins using the above method. I solved this once, but I'm not sure which specific change made the difference. Here's part of the LocalSettings from a MW 1.11 installation where logins work fine: <php>

    1. The URL base path to the directory containing the wiki;
    2. defaults for all runtime URL paths are based off of this.

$wgScriptPath = ""; $wgScriptExtension = ".php";

  1. standard Woozle MW customizations

$wgScript = "$wgScriptPath/index.php"; $wgArticlePath = "/$1"; $wgUsePathInfo = false; </php>