Support » Fixing WordPress » “The update could not be unpacked”

  • I’m trying to do automatic upgrade. Any idea what might cause this?

    Downloading update from
    Unpacking the core update
    Verifying the unpacked files
    The update could not be unpacked
    Installation Failed

    Thanks in advance

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Is your host on the Core Update Host Compatibility list?

    If not you may need to follow these instructions Upgrading WordPress.

    Nope, I own the server and have root access. Automatic update for plugins seems to work fine. Am I out of luck with core updates?

    Could be a permission issue not being able to unzip the ‘distribution’.

    You don’t have the WordPress Automatic Upgrade Plugin installed do you? If so deactivate and delete that.

    Nope, no plugins activated either. I’m thinking it’s a permission problem too, but I have no idea how to check. I wish the error message was more verbose.

    Did you ever figure this one out?

    I have the same exact problem. I’m using SSH and it works fine for plugins updates but not for the system update.

    Here’s another “me too” post for the core update.

    I’m also using SSH to do updates, and the plugin updates works fine.

    I *thought* it might be the timeout value, but I went into the source and changed it from 300 to 900 but it failed after about 5 minutes still.

    The files were unpacked into the ./core/wordpress/ directory fine, then they start disappearing one by one as I saw processes like the following being run…

    bash -c ls -lad /var/www/wordpress/wp-content/upgrade/core/wordpress/wp-includes/js/tinymce/themes/advanced/source_editor.htm; echo “__COMMAND_FINISHED__”;

    Then when all the files were deleted, the failure message happened.

    One other item on above …. when it’s running, the parent shell is…

    weave      31357 31352  1 22:28 ?        00:00:00 sshd: weave@notty

    Is the @notty indicative of no shell output going back up the pipe?

    In the source it tests if the files exist.

    if ( !$wp_filesystem->exists($from . '/wordpress/wp-settings.php') || !$wp_filesystem->exists($from . '/wordpress/wp-admin/admin.php') ||
                    !$wp_filesystem->exists($from . '/wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php') ) {
                    $wp_filesystem->delete($from, true);
                    return new WP_Error('insane_distro', __('The update could not be unpacked') );

    The exists function runs that “ls -lad” command which I assume tries to check the output of the command, and if there is no STDOUT output getting back to the script, then maybe it just thinks the files are not there, and fails?

    Any improvement for server-owners using ssh?
    I should say i’m at the list with the “me too!” core update issue. :-/
    Trying without any plugin enabled and permissions set.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    Something else, i’m upgrading from 2.7.1 -> 2.8




    Another “me too” even though it’s an old thread. Has this been resolved?

    I’m upgrading 2.7.1 -> 2.8.5 on a Linux virtual machine (for dev/testing before deployment), using SSH for upgrading with all plugins disabled, it works for plugins but not for core.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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