I downloaded the latest WordPress just an hour ago (though I have installed previous versions on virtual boxes running either Suse or Ubuntu).
The current installation is on Ubuntu. I have created the wordpress DB and user in MySQL, as directed, and unpacked the wordpress archive. I am about to copy the contents of the resulting directory to /var/www, which is the root directory for the web server. But, do I copy the wordpress files there as myself (a mere mortal) or as root? And do I need to create a wordpress user for the system (the hardware in question is mine - I am not using a hosting service). Also, do I need to install an ftp server, for the purpose of supporting WordPress' update capability (I recall on a previous install, on a virtual machine, it asked for informatin about an ftp server, and as I recall I encountered problems with scrips failing because they didn't have write permission. These questions do not appear to be addressed in the documentation I have found so far, and I want to avoid issues related to using and configuring it, and upgrading it, by making sure I get these things right from the start.