Support » Fixing WordPress » Server/ownership problems, host not much help

  • Resolved jamminjames


    I’m having issues with WP related to ownership of folders on the server. Unfortunately, my host isn’t much help. Also, the WP documentation is lacking on this, it seems.

    I have found snippets of info researching on the web. Can anyone tell help me straighten this out? My install is not working correctly. I’m not able to update plugins, for example, as it says it ‘cannot find’ the wp-content folder, although it is there, as I can see thru my ftp client. Also, weird things like categories not showing are happening.

    I can access the Apache server via puTTy, but I cannot change some folder ownership/groups, at least before the website’s root. They have me set up as the owner of all the folders after the website root, but not the ftp folder, which is above the website root. As I understand it, that should be the same owner as the rest of my install.

    As I understand it, my installation’s root folder and all subfolders should be owned by the same entity as the server owner, correct? I found that the server owner is www-data. So all my website’s folder should be chown’d to that, correct? I am not able to change ownership to that.

    If the folder ownership were changed to that, and the ‘group’ for all folders changed to me, would that be the best setup?

    Thanks for any help.

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  • Ok, we seem to have resolved the problem.

    First, find out what entity is running the server (in our case it was www-data, sometimes it’s apache or something else), make sure you, as the owner of the ftp account you link up to the server with (let’s say ‘ftpowner’), are included as a member of the www-data group. Then the WordPress folders need to be owned by you, as a member of the server-owner group.

    So, the Linux command, once you’re logged into the server, run from the root of folder of your website (often ‘public_html’) would be:

    sudo chown -R ftpowner:www-data public_html

    You have to be logged in as root owner of the server, or be included with ‘sudo’ status, meaning you can login with the security privileges of the superuser (su).

    Lots more good info here:

    I couldn’t find this stuff spelled out clearly anywhere in the WP documentation, maybe they just don’t want to get into Linux stuff.

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