Support » Localhost Installs » After blog addition, new themes give white screen

  • I am an experienced Linux admin, but a complete WordPress noob.

    I had a working wordpress installation. (perhaps a bit kludged with symlinks in places because I don’t know how to set things up). The customer requested an additional site on the same server. So I figured out how to run the script (/usr/share/doc/wordpress/examples/setup-mysql) to add another blog/site.

    This appeared to work. However, when the customer went to add a new theme to the site, they found that they couldn’t do so. They got an error about the themes directory not being found.

    Much poking around later, I discovered that /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content was owned by ‘root:www-data’ and (I think) everything under it chmod’ed 770. (I don’t know if this is normal and good).

    Some experimentation showed that when using FTP (from the WordPress ‘Manage Themes’ page) to upload the new theme, the files were attempting to be written as the FTP upload user. I added that user to the www-data group, and now the themes can be uploaded and are unpacked just fine.

    Problem is, any of the new themes which have been uploaded since the new blog/site was added, render as a white screen (with the exception of the Weaver II theme which renders a beige screen). The old themes, installed before I added this new blog, work fine.

    Even if I delete an old theme, then re-download-and-install it, it works fine. No new themes work tho.

    I’m guessing this must be comething to do with the database; but I am completely clueless about that.

    What may I try next to troubleshoot this? I don’t know if anything else is broken other than themes; that’s all which has been brought to my attention at the moment.

    I am running WordPress 2.9.2 on Ubuntu Lucid.
    I have no plugins running, and have made no modifications by hand to any of the WordPress code.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Krishna



    I am running WordPress 2.9.2 on Ubuntu Lucid.

    The very old WordPress version may be conflicting with the latest themes and other settings. Consider upgrading to the latest version of WordPress and fixing the problem.

    maybe the theme has bugs, use define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true); in wp-config.php

    Thanks alexvorn2.
    Since I’m running an Ubuntu box I read the Debian-specific WordPress doco and added your suggested directive to /etc/wordpress/config-<sitename>.php

    After turning on debugging in the way you suggested; I get the following error when I try to preview the theme.

    Fatal error: Uncaught exception ‘Exception’ with message ‘template hasn’t been set yet with ::keep()’ in /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content/themes/annotum-base/functions/Anno_Keeper.php:19 Stack trace: #0 /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content/themes/annotum-base/functions/template.php(649): Anno_Keeper::retrieve(‘template’) #1 /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content/themes/annotum-base/header/header-default.php(16): anno_open_html() #2 /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content/themes/annotum-base/carrington-core/utility.php(325): include(‘/usr/share/word…’) #3 /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content/themes/annotum-base/carrington-core/templates.php(39): cfct_template_file(‘header’, ‘/usr/share/word…’) #4 /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content/themes/annotum-base/header.php(16): cfct_header() #5 /usr/share/wordpress/wp-includes/theme.php(996): require_once(‘/usr/share/word…’) #6 /usr/share/wordpress/wp-includes/theme.php(974): load_template(‘/usr/share/word…’) #7 /usr/share/wordpress/wp-includes/general-template.php(34): locate_template(Array, true) #8 /us in /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content/themes/annotum-base/functions/Anno_Keeper.php on line 19

    Unfortunately, a google search for template hasn't been set yet with ::keep() does not yield any useful hints. At least none in simple enough language for my limited wordpress skills to understand.

    Any suggestions for what to try next?

    AFAIK this *was* all working before, so I don’t think the WordPress version is at fault. (Are there any WordPress 3.4.2 packages backported to Ubuntu Lucid? I would rather not be my own package maintainer and installing software without a maintained package is a poor idea unless you avidly follow that software’s development.)

    Interestingly, a different theme gives a different error when previewed:

    Fatal error: Class ‘Walker_Nav_Menu’ not found in /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content/themes/debut/functions.php on line 313

    Other themes give no error at all; just a white screen.



    Forum Moderator

    Are there any WordPress 3.4.2 packages backported to Ubuntu Lucid?

    No. The standard current version of WP should work on any *nix server. I would suggest that you start by updating to the latest version of WordPress – 3.4.2.

    I would update to the newest version, if there was a package for it. Ideally, a package produced by someone who puts it in a repository and will update it if a security patch comes out.

    I don’t want to install from a tarball. Installing from a tarball means that it’s up to me to:
    a) remember that I have wordpress installed on one of 200 servers
    b) watch for security updates to wordpress
    c) download, install, test, hope nothing breaks with the change from the last version. Ideally I should have a test site to do this on; but of course the customer will never pay for that.

    If I use a software package supported by the distribution, I can patch 16 hosts simultaneously, and several other packages at the same time, and it only takes 5 minutes.

    I appreciate where people are coming from as developers; but this is my life as an administrator. 🙁

    I’m not trying to be a snot; I’m just pointing out that I have some very different economic constraints than a lot of other people are operating under.

    I see that there’s a package for WordPress 3.0.5:

    I need to go back and talk to the client and see if they’re willing to continue paying for me to learn WordPress; or whether they want to take a different route.

    I really do appreciate y’all’s help; I’m usually on your side of the support issues.



    Forum Moderator

    I would update to the newest version, if there was a package for it.

    See the big red Download link at the top right of this page. That’s it. There is no other “package” or distro for you to download.

    I can patch 16 hosts simultaneously, and several other packages at the same time, and it only takes 5 minutes.

    Perhaps you need to look at WordPress Multisite?

    Thanks esmi.

    In the end after some discussion with the customer, they decided to go with a simple Dreamweaver-designed website rather than a WordPress blog. This will be a lot easier to operate given the available skill levels at the moment. I am not an experienced WordPress admin, nor is anyone on the customer’s side; nor is that likely to change. I am encouraging them to find an experienced WordPress developer/admin if they really want to go forward with WordPress. Someone who will manage patching WordPress (since it doesn’t seem easy to do with Debian/Ubuntu packages) as well as developing the site for it.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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