for starters, I am using WordPress on a live server in which I can only login using sftp with an ssh key.

I want to install and upgrade to the latest version of WordPress (currently at 3.4.2, but want to move to 3.5.1), but every time I try to hit "update now", it requires me to enter my ftp login credentials to install the latest update. This does not happen with plug-ins, as they update without any issues, but only with core WP updates. As a secondary FYI, my website resides under a "www" folder inside of a vhost that I have setup to run multiple sites within my Ubuntu installation. My folder hierarchy is as follows:

var/www/vhosts/mywebsite.com/html <---where core WordPress site files reside. The "www" folder is owned by "webadmin" and in the "www-data" group, and from there, vhosts is owned by "root" and in the group "root". My website folder underneath the "Vhosts" folder is owned by "root" and in the group "root. And then from then on out, within the "html" folder, everything is owned by "www-data" and in the group "www-data"

This may be too detailed, but I am trying to provide as much information as possible in-case it is a conflicting issue with my file permissions.

How might I go upon fixing this issue and getting my WordPress installation updated? Thanks in advance! :)


1 Answer 1


WordPress primary choice is to do upgrade using direct file IO. So if it's asking you for FTP credentials it means that it has no access to these files.

The easiest way to fix this will be changing file permissions so WordPress could modify them. Of course if you changed those permissions to improve security it's not a solution. (Well, you still can modify these permissions, run upgrade, and then set them back).

If you provide correct FTP credentials when asked and the upgrade still doesn't succeed, it means that WordPress is unable to connect using given credentials. Use this link to read more on using FTP to upgrade (http://codex.wordpress.org/Editing_wp-config.php#WordPress_Upgrade_Constants).

  • 1
    Thank you GhostToast. Through reading and doing a little more research, I was able to solve my own issue. Anyone else having the same issue, download this plugin: wordpress.org/plugins/ssh-sftp-updater-support it will fix the issue, and allow you to auth through SSH when prompted to update. Thanks again GhostToast for putting me on the right track to solve my problem! :) Jun 21, 2013 at 19:07

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