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System requirements

  • Mediawiki system requirements as listed here [[1]] with PostgreSQL or mySQL database.
  • Parallel usage of Semantik MediaWiki with FlowchartWiki is not supported. (Contributions welcome.)

Overview of tested and supported platforms

On these platforms we have installed and tested MediaWiki together with FlowchartWiki. If you use it on other platforms, please let us know so we can update this table.

OS / Database Windows-Apache Windows-IIS Linux
Postgresql untested untested tested OK
mySQL tested OK experimental,
see notes
tested OK

Preparation (Windows)

  • Install Apache, PHP and mySQL or Postgresql Database.
    • WAMP (Windows - Apache - mySQL) is pretty easy to set up.
    • You could use one of the prepacked installers like WinLamp
    • Please see the documentation of these installers for more details

Possible issues on Windows:

  • Depending on your environment, GraphViz and HtmlDoc may need addional .dll's: vcredist_x86.exe, msvcr71.dll, libssl (libeay32.dll, ssleay32.dll)
    • GraphViz 2.28 requires the VC++ 2008 redistributables, where some older versions required the 2005 release. (Thanks to Tommy from Hong Kong)
  • Calls from PHP to external programs may be restricted by the OS (This is primarily an issue with IIS, see below.)
  • On Windows (XP?) with Apache there seem to be problems in calling the htmldoc and graphviz executables when the the DocumentRoot in httpd.conf contains " " (Blanks/Spaces). Please move the DocumentRoot to a directory path without spaces - like "c:\htdocs" and update DocumentRoot accordingly - to "c:/htdocs". (until 1.1.0-RC6, fixed in 1.1.0)
  • From PHP 5.4.5 COM is no longer built into php core, you have to add COM support in php.ini. See [2] (Thanks to Pavel from Moscow, Russia.)
  • Please let us know about your success / problems on Windows platforms.

Windows - IIS: (experimental, you have been warned!)

  • Be prepared to do some serious tweaking with rights for IUSR and IIS_WPG. This MAY include rights to cmd.exe, the c:/program files/graphviz and c:/program files/htmldoc directories, the ./images/flowchartwiki and ./images/pdfbook directories - and possibly more.
  • Granting enough rights, we were successfully running flowchartwiki/graphviz on W2K3 with IIS.
  • We quit digging deeper into making htmldoc work due to these hints: """Enable auditing of 'object failures' in the local security policy, see if anything is in Security event log. Another couple of tools to use are Regmon and Filemon from Sysinternals. Auditing, Regmon, Filemon can narrow down if its a obvious permissions issue. If not, it's something in your local security policy preventing it.""" (Source: [3])
  • also tweaking with the calls to the executables in checkfchw_body.php, checkpdfbook_body.php first and then applying those changes to graphviz.php and pdfbook.php may be necessary.
  • IIS seems to handle URLs differently. Please check Manual:Short_URL and URL_rewrite_in_IIS and adjust your LocalSettings.php accordingly. What worked for us:
 $wgScript           = "/mediawiki/index.php";
 $wgArticlePath      = "$wgScript/$1";
 $wgUsePathInfo      = true;
  • The Special:CheckFchw page seems to have timing issues. It is testing for the existence of the generated .png file. The file may be there, but windows seems to be slow to recognize this. Please crosscheck the ./images/flowchartwiki directory for a FchwTest.png file. This problem may also re-appear in graphviz.php when creating images during normal usage. The program already waits, but maybe windows is even slower...
  • Contributions with detailed instructions and fixes are very much appreciated.

Preparation (Unix/Linux)

  • For a Docker based installation please see
  • usually Apache, PHP and mySQL or Postgresql are installed in the base installation. If not, please add these packages now.
  • for running php-scripts outside of apache, you may need to add a package named php5-cli.

Possible Issues on Linux:

  • Graphviz: (Was reported for CentOS 64bit): apache-user needs access to "/usr/lib64/graphviz/config6" which can be set by granting "chmod 755" on that file. The Error Message in Apache-Log was "Format: "png" not recognized. Use one of:" (Thanks to Gero from Boeblingen, Germany)
  • Graphviz: (Was reported for RHEL5): requires GD-support in Graphviz which is included in the package "graphviz-gd-2.12-8.el5" in addition to installing "graphviz-2.12-8.el5". (Thanks to Mangesh)
    • Test with '/usr/bin/dot -v' and check if the 'render' line contains 'png'. Press Ctrl-c to exit dot.
  • Ubuntu: create a /var/www/bin directory and copy dot and htmldoc into it. Then in /etc/php5/apache/php.ini set "save_mode_exec_dir=/var/www/bin". In LocalSettings.php for $fchw['GraphvizDot'], just use "dot" and "htmldoc" respecitively, do not give any path.

Installation steps

MediaWiki Installation

  • download [[4]]
  • install [[5]] Mediawiki as described in Mediawiki documentation
  • Test your Mediawiki installation


  • If you want to run multiple (separate) wikis, use parallel installations of mediawiki. These installations can share the same database with different $dbprefix settings. FlowchartWiki is not compatible with running multiple (separate) wikis in a single wiki-installation like "Method One" documented on, which switches $dbprefix based on a url-parameter.

GraphViz and Flowchartwiki Extension Installation

  • Download and install Graphviz to your system [[6]] (The MediaWiki GraphViz Extension is not required.)
  • Download and extract Flowchartwiki package to mediawiki/extensions
  • rename the directory from flowchartwiki-x.y.z to flowchartwiki

Database configuration

  • if you use a Database Prefix ($wgDbPrefix), please adjust the database scripts accordingly. (see notes in the .sql scripts).
  • Postgres
    • import ./extensions/flowchartwiki/maintenance/schema_pg.sql to your Postgres database
 psql db wikiname < schema_pg.sql
  • mySQL
    • import ./extensions/flowchartwiki/maintenance/schema_mysql.sql to your mySQL Database
 mysql --user=<dbuser> --password=<password> <dbName> < ./extensions/flowchartwiki/maintenance/schema_mysql.sql

Directory setup and Wiki Configuration

  • create directory flowchartwiki in images subdirectory a set permisions on flowchartwiki directory, (Please note: The name of this directory was changed from fchw to flowchartwiki in version 1.1.0.)
 chmod 777 ./images/flowchartwiki
  • add these lines to mediawiki/LocalSettings.php
    • note: Set <path-to-graphviz-Dot> to the path on your system:
      • Unix/Linux: could be "/usr/bin/dot"
      • Windows: could be "C:\\Program Files\\Graphviz 2.20\\bin\\dot.exe"" (use double \\)
 # Disable cache - otherwise graphs are not updated properly
 $wgCachePages       = false;
 $wgCacheEpoch = max( $wgCacheEpoch, gmdate( 'YmdHis' ) );
 # Include libraries
 $fchw['GraphvizDot'] = "<path-to-graphviz-Dot>";

Optional installation

PDF Book - Export your Process Documentation as a .pdf Document

  • Download HTMLDoc: Open Source: [7] Commercial: [8]
    • Unix/Linux: Prebuild packages should be available for your distribution.
    • Windows: Please use Google to locate a compiled open-source package or purchase a commercial license from the vendor.
  • Install HTMLDoc
  • Download the FlowchartWiki PdfBook Extension (See Download) (This Extension has been modified to work with FlowchartWiki).
  • extract PdfBook mediawiki extension to ./extensions directory
  • rename directory pdfbook-x.y.z to pdfbook
  • create directory pdfbook in images subdirectory and set permisions on pdfbook directory,
 chmod 777 ./images/pdfbook
  • add these lines to mediawiki/LocalSettings.php and set the correct path to the htmldoc executable
 $PdfBookShowTab = true;
 $PdfBookHtmlDoc = "c:\\program files\\htmldoc\\htmldoc.exe";

Additional settings

If you want to allow to view pages only for registered users, add these lines to mediawiki/LocalSettings.php

 # Allow only authorized persons
 $wgGroupPermissions['*']['read'] = false;
 $wgGroupPermissions['*']['createaccount'] = false;
 $wgShowExceptionDetails = true;

Parallel usage with Semantic MediaWiki

The standard installation of FlowchartWiki will NOT work together with Semantic MediaWiki, as the style used for tagging the links is the same as in SMW.

Daniel L. submitted a workaround that uses a different tagging. He is using "--" for FlowchartWiki instead of "::" (which is used by SMW). If you want to use FlowchartWiki in parallel with SMW, you may want to give his modification a try.

Linktypes.php: approx. line 58:

 < if (strpos($LinkText, "--") > 0) {
 < $Relation = substr($LinkText, 1, strpos($LinkText, "--")-1);
 < $LinkTmp = substr($LinkText, strpos($LinkText, "--")+2, -1);
 < $output .= "[$LinkTmp|$Relation--$LinkTmp]";
 > if (strpos($LinkText, "::") > 0) {
 > $Relation = substr($LinkText, 1, strpos($LinkText, "::")-1);
 > $LinkTmp = substr($LinkText, strpos($LinkText, "::")+2, -1);
 > $output .= "[$LinkTmp|$Relation::$LinkTmp]";

Linktypes.php approx. line 164:

 < if (strpos($Link, "--") > 0) {
 < $Relation = substr($Link, 0, strpos($Link, "--"));
 < $To_title = substr($Link, strpos($Link, "--")+2);
 > if (strpos($Link, "::") > 0) {
 > $Relation = substr($Link, 0, strpos($Link, "::"));
 > $To_title = substr($Link, strpos($Link, "::")+2);

Testing your installation

Special Pages
Two "special pages" will help you to test and troubleshoot your installation. (New in Version 1.1.0)

  • Check FlowChartWiki extension (Special:CheckFchw)
  • Check PDFBOOK extension (Special:CheckPdfBook)

These pages check, if everything is installed correctly, including executables, paths, permissions and will try to create a graph or .pdf document.

Set up a "Test Process"
(After entering the process, this is the diagram you should see on the WikiPage Test1.)

  • Step1: Create category Category:Test with content (Cut & Paste)
<CategoryBrowser />
  • Step 2: Create Page Test1 with content (Cut & Paste)
<CategoryBrowser />
<Dependencies />
  • Step 3: Create Page Test2 with content (Cut & Paste)
<CategoryBrowser />
<Dependencies />
  • Step 4: Tests:
    • Open the Category Page Category:Test
      You should see a diagram with two process steps (Test1 and Test2) which is clickable and will link to the Pages Test1 and Test2.
      The Diagrams will not be colored or using shapes because the customizing for the colors and shapes is not yet available, so default values are used. (If you want it pretty, see the Customizing documentation).
    • Click on the diagram on the Pages Category:Test and Test1, Test2 to test the navigation.
    • you may want to have a look into ./images/flowchartwiki where the files for the images are cached.
    • Testing PdfBook export: Open the category page and click the "Export to PDF" tab. You should get an automatic download of a .pdf File. The .pdf Document contains all pages from the category, graphs included.


Type of page 'Installation': Rect_Yellow
Where do I link to:
  Customizing (NextStep)
Who links here:
  Download (NextStep)

Type::Rect_Yellow Level::1000