Bear with me as I am new to this.I am running 13.10 desktop. I installed Wordpress LOCALLY on my computer. I already have a website that will eventually be replaced and want to create the site myself then load to our hosting servers. I am unable to access the theme that I purchased and installed through my Dashboard. The theme file is located with the other theme files that already come with WP. The new Theme file has the same read/permissions as the rest of the themes. I can access the new file and see all its contents but unable to access through Dashboard and customize. Mysql and PHPMYADMIN are all current. Any idea?

1 Answer 1


This is typically a file ownership problem -- in a normal install, WordPress runs as the webserver user (www-data in the default Ubuntu install of apache). When you create files or copy them into your web directory, they're owned by your normal user account. sudo chown -R www-data your-theme-directory should take care of it.

  • Thank you for your response. I am learning the commands. I know I replace "your-theme-directory" with where the files are located, What about the "www-data" is that replaced with something? Thank you in advance.
    – Kmuse
    Dec 15, 2013 at 22:41
  • Nope! www-data is the actual name you need (again, assuming you're running the default apache you can get out of the box, which it sounds like you are). Chown is short for "change owner"; you're saying that instead of your normal login owning these files, they should belong to the same account as the rest of your WordPress install. More info on the chown command: linfo.org/chown.html
    – sabreuse
    Dec 16, 2013 at 5:03
  • I was able to chown the themes dir using the input you gave me. Now I am UNABLE to get access to any of the theme files. How can I reset?
    – Kmuse
    Dec 16, 2013 at 16:58
  • You can revert by issuing the same command, but using your normal username instead. But this is all getting pretty off-topic for this SE -- your issue, at heart, is that you need to understand the basics of file ownership and permissions a bit better; you'd be having exactly the same problems running any system other than WordPress. You might want to take a look at some of the many tutorials out there, like this: blog.pluralsight.com/linux-file-permissions
    – sabreuse
    Dec 16, 2013 at 19:22

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