Installing MediaWiki on a DreamHost server

I was trying to install MediaWiki on this site yesterday. Site hosting is provided by the good folks at DreamHost and I saw that they had MediaWiki available as a “one-click install”. I chose the custom installation option so that I could use the database of my choice as well as install it to a specified directory. All seemed to go well in the initial stages and I got to the configuration part.  However, after entering all the values and clicking Install, something seemed to be happen in the background, but after a while the same configuration screen showed up with all fields set to blank. I checked the database and did see that MediaWiki tables were being created, so something else seemed to be the issue.  I then viewed the INSTALL readme file which was included in the installation archive and saw specific instructions that the config directory should be made writable by the web server . So I decided to install MediaWiki manually. I downloaded the installation archive and decompressed it.  This time before I got to the configuration part, I ran the following command:

chmod a+w config

This step was all that was needed to solve the problem and MediaWiki installed successfully.  I suppose this wasn’t happening correctly or at the right time in the DreamHost installer script. So if you’re facing problems installing MediaWiki on DreamHost – checking whether the config directory is writable can help.

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