Visual editor

From Organic Design wiki

I'm creating a local page for this as it was quite difficult to install so I want some of my own notes for future reference. The main page for the extension is at MW:Extension:VisualEditor.

Install Parsoid from the Docker image

This is by far the simplest method to install Parsoid, especially if you already have Docker installed on the system. Check the documentation at the Github repo. In this case, Parsoid is configured directly from the docker run command rather than by editing the config.yaml file.

Install Parsoid from the apt package

First download and unpack a snapshot for the extension corresponding to the wiki version as usual, then install nodejs with apt, but if your repo has an older version than 0.8, then remove it and install from NodeSource using the following commands (see this for details).

curl -sL | sudo bash -
apt-get install nodejs

Now install Parsoid from the apt package as follows, or from the Docker image, (see MW:Parsoid/Setup for more detail and for possible updates to the procedure).

apt-key advanced --keyserver --recv-keys 90E9F83F22250DD7
apt-add-repository "deb jessie-mediawiki main"
apt-get update
apt-get install parsoid

Configure Parsoid

If you installed Parsoid from the Docker image, then the configuration will be done directly in the docker run command, but you'll still need to understand how it works since it's just an indirect way of editing the config.yaml file within the docker image.

Edit the parsoid configuration (/etc/mediawiki/parsoid/config.yaml) adding a uri and domain for each wiki in the wikia that will be using the editor, e.g.

- # First wiki
  uri: ''
  domain: 'foo'
- # Second wiki
  uri: 'https://bar.baz/api.php'
  domain: 'bar'

You may also like to lock down the parsoid daemon so it can only be accessed from the local host which you can do by editing /etc/default/parsoid and changing the INTERFACE setting from to


Restart the parsoid daemon:

service parsoid restart

Test the Parsoid service

Test that you can read a page as follows (note the wiki ID matching the domain setting above):

wget -O - http://localhost:8142/foo/v3/page/html/Main_Page

Check the parsoid log in /var/log/parsoid/parsoid.log to ensure that the request executed properly.

Configure your wikis

Include the extension and its settings in the wiki's LocalSettings.php, e.g.

wfLoadExtension( 'VisualEditor' );

// Enable by default for everybody
$wgDefaultUserOptions['visualeditor-enable'] = 1;

// Don't allow users to disable it
$wgHiddenPrefs[] = 'visualeditor-enable';

// OPTIONAL: Enable VisualEditor's experimental code features
#$wgDefaultUserOptions['visualeditor-enable-experimental'] = 1;

// Specify which wiki from the parsoid configuration we're using
$wgVirtualRestConfig['modules']['parsoid'] = array(
	'url' => 'http://localhost:8142',
	'domain' => 'foo',
	'prefix' => 'foo',

// Add organicdesign to the supported skins (vector, monobook etc are included by default)
$wgVisualEditorSupportedSkins[] = 'organicdesign';

// Namespaces to enable VisualEditor in
$wgVisualEditorNamespaces[] = NS_MAIN;

Locked-down wikis (legacy?)

If you're running a private wiki (no public editing allowed) then you'll need to also set the following, but note that this means your cookie data is being sent over HTTP, so make sure you only do this if the parsoid daemon is on the localhost.

$wgSessionsInObjectCache = true;
$wgVisualEditorParsoidForwardCookies = true;

Another way to handle private wikis is to simply make the LocalSettings.php file detect if the request is local and allow access in this case, for example:

$wgGroupPermissions['*']['read'] = $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] == '';

Where is the IP of the localhost (you'll need to check what the REMOTE_ADDR is on your server for local requests).


If you're system is running an SSD and you've gone through the SSD Optimisation checklist then you'll need to edit the start case in the /etc/init.d/parsoid file and have it create the /var/log/parsoid directory owned by parsoid. See the Nginx and MariaDB examples on that page for details.

See also