Help:Toolforge/My first Pywikibot tool

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Warning Caution: This page may contain inaccuracies. It is currently being edited and redesigned for better readability. For further information, please see T134495.


Pywikibot is a Python library which automates work on MediaWiki sites. Use this guide to create your own tool based on Pywikibot and host it on the Toolforge hosting enviornment.

Request access to Toolforge

Before creating your tool, you need to create a Wikimedia developer account and request access Toolforge:

  1. Create a Wikimedia developer account from the Toolforge admin console. This account is used for most developer activities including editing this wiki, accessing code repositories, and accessing the bug tracking system. Take note of your LDAP username and your UNIX shell username:
  2. Fill out an access request to join the Toolforge project. You will receive a reply on your Wikitech talk page.

Accessing Toolforge for the first time

Once your request to access Toolforge is approved, you can set up ssh access to Toolforge severs:

Generate a new SSH key for your account

  1. From a Linux terminal, you can generate a new ssh key using the ssh-keygen command:
    ssh-keygen -t rsa -C ""

    Select a passphrase for your ssh key and press Enter. The command will create two files in your ~/.ssh directory:

    ~/.ssh/id_rsa : identification (private) key
    ~/.ssh/ : public key
  2. Add your public key to your Wikimedia developer account in the SSH Keys page of the Toolforge admin console. Copy the contents of ~/.ssh/ into the New SSH Key field and click Add SSH key.

Log into Toolforge with ssh

After you add your public key to your Wikimedia developer account, you can use your private key to log into the Toolforge servers. From a Linux command line, use ssh to log in with your UNIX shell username:

ssh -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa <unix shell username>

Create your Pywikibot Tool account

In addition to your own Toolforge account, you also need to create a Tool acoount for your Pywikibot tool.

  1. Navigate to the Create Tool Account page in the Toolforge admin console.
  2. Enter a Unique Tool Name for your tool account.
    Do not prefix your tool name with tools. as this prefix will cause errors.

Note: If you only recently received access to the tools project, you may get an error about appropriate credentials. Log out and back in to fix the issue.

Within a minute or two, Toolforge creates the Tool account and grants you access. If you were logged in through ssh when you created the Tool account, you must log off and log in again

Access your Pywikibot tool

After you create your Pywikibot's tool account, you can log into your tool project with SSH.

$ ssh <unix shell username>

From the command line, switch to your tool account:

become <toolname>

You should see the command prompt change to:


Now, you can install Pywikibot.

Install Pywikibot


Choose a license

Pywikibot comes with an MIT LICENSE file. Make sure to choose a license for your tool early on. Also see, Help:Tool_Labs/Developing#Licensing_your_source_code


Set up a webpage for your tool

You can add webpage for your tool under For example, Once you set up a webpage for your tool, the Tool list will link to it.

To set up webpage for you tool:

  1. Log in with your Tool account.
  2. Create a ~/public_html directory.
  3. Create ~/public_html/index.html.
  4. Start the web service:
$ webservice start

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