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i've installed a LAMP server on my ubunutu 11.04. i've installed wordpress and hooked it right with the MySQL db. i've changed the permissions of the www-data group to read and write files.

every thing is seems to work and i can manage the site through the admin panel, but i can't install plugins cause the system is asking me the FTP details, and i can't seem to go through it.

can any body help? please...

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WolfieZero's fix should be the accepted answer. – Matt M. Mar 17 '14 at 7:10
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I usually do this when that happens :

chown -R nobody:nobody /path/to/wordpress
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Does this decrease security? I read that Apache shouldn't own anything, but that may just be someone's opinion. – JFA Jun 18 '14 at 19:53

The solution I found that worked on my Mac running the built-in Apache2 was to add this to 'wp-config.php'


Keep this to a localhost or dev setup and don't use it for production.

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This is the best solution. Make sure you don't add it to production as it can cause security issues: codex.wordpress.org/Editing_wp-config.php – Justin Mar 10 '14 at 21:20
This is the best answer (for local config of WP) – Øyvind Hauge Sep 3 '15 at 12:52
works in Ubuntu 15.10 too.. – arshad Nov 28 '15 at 7:30
this works in Debian 8 – Vinícius Fagundes Jan 1 at 22:17
Works in Lubuntu 15.10. Thank you! – Gangesh Mar 22 at 6:22

This is a permissions issue. wp-content/plugins must be writable by the web server user.

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This isn't a WordPress problem. You need to refer to the documentation for the LAMP server to check the setup options.

For localhost, you can bypass plugin installation from WordPress and simply copy your plugins into /wp-content/plugins. After you copy them in, go to your WordPress administration and they will show up in your plugins ready to be activated.

Make sure you unzip the plugins and keep them in their folders.

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If you're using mod_php, switch to mod_suphp instead. This has worked for me in the past.

I don't know what package it will be listed as in Ubuntu, but generally it's there somewhere. Works in Fedora.

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You need two things to do

  1. Add WolfieZero has said

    define('FS_METHOD','direct'); in wp-config.php file

At this point you will have following, which one step forward

Unpacking the package…Could not create directory.

2 Then set permission to 777 to wp-content/plugins

After this it will show message like following

Downloading install package from https://downloads.wordpress.org/theme/exclusive.1.0.32.zip…

 Unpacking the package…
 Installing the theme…
 Successfully installed the theme Exclusive 1.0.32.

CHOWN should also work and it is better way of doing it that Server is in owner group.

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Ubuntu Users

Just add define('FS_METHOD','direct'); to wp-config.php and it will work on localhost. Just make sure you don't add it to production version. See: codex.wordpress.org/Editing_wp-config.php

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This isn't specific to Ubuntu.. – Tim Malone Jun 17 at 6:32

I don't know if you are answered...but what i have encountered especially when i was working on linux and i just thought maybe other users, especially who are working on linux might find this useful. I was facing the same problem...but i had to use the SSH2 option.

How to install SSH2

apt-get install openssh-server libssh2-php

After that, i had to restart my apache2 server.

Then when i tried to upload my theme i had to use SSH not FTP when asked for credentials.


 Hostname: localhost

 FTP/SSH Username: admin

 FTP/SSH Password: password

And it worked.


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I usualy use :

sudo chown -R _www:_www /path/to/wordpress/

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