WordPress 2.7 introduced a feature to perform automatic updating of plugins and WordPress itself. It annoys me endlessly that the automatic update refuses to work and require me to input a FTP username and password which I don’t have. This blog runs on a server that does not have FTP installed. I use SSH for that. The method is to change ownership of your WordPress directory to www-data (for Apache).

Run the following command in your WordPress directory (sudo required):

[code lang=“bash”]sudo chown -Rf www-data *[/code]

That did the trick for me by changing the ownership every folder and it’s files recursively to ‘www-data’. It is slightly risky and you may not like the idea of giving so much privileges to the WordPress directory. But before I can think of any way to attack the server, I guess this method is more or less safe. Unless there is a malicious plugin that you install. Always install proven plugins. That said, use it at your own risk.

Changing the ownership give Apache access to your WordPress directory allowing WordPress to overwrite its own files and automatic update works. Well not really automatic actually. Semi-automatic since you actually have to trigger something to continue the update.

Thanks jer for the hint. 😉

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