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I build a lot of websites with Wordpress, and my initial setup is basically always the same :

  • Latest version of WP
  • Latest versions of about 5 plugins
  • My naked development theme

Instead of downloading/uploading these things separately and do that by hand each time I start a new project, I'd like to create a bash script that would do this :

  • Download the latest version of Wordpress
  • Unzip
  • Download the latest version of plugin X
  • Unzip to WP plugins folder
  • Download my naked theme
  • Unzip to themes folder

Now downloading the latest WP is easy (, downloading my naked theme too, but I'm having trouble getting the latest version of a plugin, as they are not called latest.tar.gz but specifict names with the version (ex:

EDIT : So I'm wonderning now if it's possible to use cURL in my bash script to find the exact URL of the Current version of a plugin. The idea would be to fetch the page, and then find the value of the href that is in the paragraph just after the <h3>Current Version</h3>.

Here's an example, all plugin download pages on WP are like this :

<h3>Current Version</h3>
<p class="unmarked-list">
    <a href="">1.1.2</a>
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3 Answers 3

To always get latest plugin take for example my plugin:

the download link for the latest is:

but if you remove the version from the download link you always get the latest version:

EDIT: Have you considered keeping a folder of the latest wordpress and plugins unpacked? Then as soon as a new plugin or wordpress comes out you simply unpack that over what you have. Then your bash script just packages the whole lot to be used on an install.

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Dammit, that was easy, thanks. Now I'm off bash scripting, I hope I can put something together. I'll post the result here. – mike23 May 13 '11 at 8:22
One question though, in your example is listed under "Development Version", that's not the same as the latest stable version, is it ? – mike23 May 13 '11 at 8:43
Oh I see. This maybe not the latest version... It might be what's currently latest in the trunk. Sorry I might have miss informed you. – Brady May 13 '11 at 9:38
@Brady's edit : Yes right now I have a "starter" WP install, with all my most used plugins installed + a blank theme. That works, but as plugins (and WP) get updates rather often, I was looking for something completely automated. – mike23 May 13 '11 at 16:00
I would go with SVN here. There you can checkout/export the tag with the highest number or just the trunk from every plugin. Same goes for the WordPress Core. – rofflox May 14 '11 at 12:52

I created a bash script to update Wordpress using subversion as they recommend.

# usage: X.X.X

die () {
    echo >&2 "$@"
    exit 1

# check that there is one argument
[ "$#" -eq 1 ] || die "usage: X.X.X"
response=$(curl --write-out %{http_code} --silent --output /dev/null$1/)
# check that the tag repository exists, i.e. returns a HTTP 200 status code
[ "$response" -eq 200 ] || die "Couldn't find Wordpress version, http error: $response"
# Take a backup
mysqldump -u root -p wordpress > wordpress_upgrade_to_$1_bak.sql
# Updating to a New Stable Version
cd /path/to/wordpress/dir/
svn sw$1/ .

I've modified this to do the installation. This second script is untested but it should get you started. You will need to write your own create_wordpress_database_and_user.sql - but you didn't ask for that in the question anyway, so maybe you can ignore it.

# usage: X.X.X /path/to/wordpress/dir

die () {
    echo >&2 "$@"
    exit 1
# check that there are two arguments
[ "$#" -eq 2 ] || die "usage: X.X.X /path/to/wordpress/dir"
response=$(curl --write-out %{http_code} --silent --output /dev/null$1/)
# check that the tag repository exists, i.e. returns a HTTP 200 status code
[ "$response" -eq 200 ] || die "Could not find Wordpress version, http error: $response"
# create directory if needed
if [ ! -d $2 ]; then
    mkdir $2
# Install the database
mysql -u root -p < create_wordpress_database_and_user.sql
# Checking out stable version
cd $2
svn co$1/ .
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I have been using git clone as a sort of poor mans bash.

The WordPress git is updated every 30 minutes so I clone it into my own repo with my own plugins/themes or just pull directly from it.

The whole thing is pretty fast, in fact it is only about 2 lines, and the only thing I have to do manually is create the local DB and edit the config.php. It can be a bit tricky making sure you update WordPress to the latest version if you want to do it every 30minutes, but I typically only use the stable version, and keep the dev version in another environment.

It looks like this:

mkdir wordpress-project
git clone ..url-to-my-wordpress-base 

The other downside is that it is a bit hard to get plugins from the actual WordPress repo through git, it is possible to do it, using the git svn command but I find it's not easy to work with, yet.

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