My wiki collected a lot of spam over the past few months, so I've blocked it to only registered users. Unfortunately I never turned off user registration. Is it possible to block a lot of user accounts at once, or should I just restart?

  • Do you mean delete the user accounts? Jan 3 '12 at 23:41
  • That would work for me. I think MediaWiki may philosophically be designed to favor blocking over deletion.
    – Chris
    Jan 4 '12 at 21:29

The quickest and least invasive way to prevent a big list of registered users from making modifications is probably to do a bulk password change for the unwelcome users.

Assuming you're running a Unix-like, and that the list of folks you want to keep is relatively low:

eg., for MySQL:

mysql -p -u root -B wikidb -e 'select user_name from user;' | tee user.list
  • Remove the users you want to keep from the user.list file.

  • Use the MediaWiki password command-line tool to change passwords to something random.


cd [wiki-docroot]/maintenance/
while read wikiuser; do 
    echo $wikiuser; 
    php ./changePassword.php $wikiuser BOGUS%PASSblahblah77; 
done <user.list

Generating a different password for each user is left as an exercise for the reader. :-)

  • Interesting way to do it. It's very cool to see how flexible shell scripts can be. EDIT: found it, a list of command line tools is here: mediawiki.org/wiki/Manual:Maintenance_scripts
    – Chris
    Jan 4 '12 at 21:32
  • 1
    Yep, a nice list of command-line tools there. Too bad there isn't a bulk password changer among them. Jan 5 '12 at 3:01

Connect to your mysql server:

mysql -h DBSERVER_HOST -u wikiuser wikidb -p

Enter your password at the prompt. Once in mysql prompt, search for the user

mysql> select user_id,user_name from user;

| user_id | user_name  |
|       9 | spammer    |
|       7 | r2d2       |
|       1 | admin      |

Delete every "user_id" you need with:

mysql> delete from user where user_id in(7,9);

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