I'm a bit stuck here. My Mac (running Mavericks) died on me last week, and I spent the weekend getting a new computer and restoring the backup of my old (thank God for backups people. If you haven't made one, go do it.) The new computer runs Yosemite.

I had a pretty great system set up on my old computer that I was REALLY happy with for running local installs of WordPress via a single installation without using WPMU. I have Apache, phpMyAdmin, and MySQL set up here on the new dev environment (I used to use MAMP, and then moved to ServerPress, but I ditched both for this new system - I like it a lot better), but the idiot in me didn't document how I did things.

My issue is interesting (I searched here, and couldn't find the answer) - and I think it's because of how I have the system set up to run these multiple installs without WPMU, but still running from a single installation of WP. I'm using aliases for this - basically I'm aliasing the base WordPress installation to my other directories, leaving the wp-content folder out. (each "site" has it's own wp-content folder- all other WP files are aliased in) I've got some wp-config.php magic going on to keep things tidy.

I don't know if it's because Yosemite is running a different version of Apache than Mavericks was, if it's actually the alias thing that's causing an issue, or my own ignorance of permissions/ownership that's the problem here (I'm assuming the latter), but I'm having an issue with uploading images and WP creating/updating an .htaccess file for me. Funnily enough, I'm having absolutely no issues at all updating/installing new themes and plugins, and/or WordPress itself.

I've manually created the .htaccess file and the /uploads directory (and yes, my permissions are indeed set to 755/644 for directories and files), and when I upload an image via the media uploader, it acts like it's uploading just fine. However, no date-based subfolder is created, and no image is actually put in the uploads directory. (It adds it to the database just fine though - no error messages or anything.)

I have Googled my brain out, and tried everything I come across. I can find no answer for this issue. I have tried all kinds of methods of changing ownership/permissions and nothing works. So I now turn to your smarter-than-mine brains. Would anyone have any ideas for me? (BTW, the "wheel" and "www-data" attempts always return me to "Illegal username/groupname" and won't take.) I'm positive this is an ownership issue, but for the life of me, I can't solve who should be owning what.

If it helps, I have tried solutions from these places: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3740152/how-to-set-chmod-for-a-folder-and-all-of-its-subfolders-and-files-in-linux-ubunt




..as well as several other things I found through google that were similar solutions to the above. If it helps, my apache error logs have a lot of these in it:

[Mon Oct 20 08:04:02.516302 2014] [mpm_prefork:notice] [pid 74560] AH00169: caught SIGTERM, shutting down [Mon Oct 20 08:04:02.708508 2014] [core:notice] [pid 74619] AH00094: Command line: '/usr/sbin/httpd -D FOREGROUND'

and in my apache access logs: - - [20/Oct/2014:08:04:17 -0400] "GET //www/sites/site1/wwwroot/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/image.jpg HTTP/1.1" 404 279 - - [20/Oct/2014:08:04:17 -0400] "GET //www/sites/site1/wwwroot/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/image.jpg HTTP/1.1" 404 282

I have absolutely no idea what that means, though - but they coincide with my attempts to upload images through the back end of WordPress. (PHP error logs show nothing.)

Any help/insight would be greatly appreciated.

  • Your server is crashing-- that is the "caught SIGTERM, shutting down" part of the first error. This is going to be too localized for this site. It will take hands on debugging/tweaking to sort out.
    – s_ha_dum
    Oct 20, 2014 at 15:28
  • Thank you for that! I did sort it out on my own - but this is good to know. I'll have to look into it. (hopefully the fix I discovered takes care of this issue)
    – Shelly
    Oct 20, 2014 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


I fixed it. It actually wasn't anything with the server permissions. It was PICNIC - the magical "wp-config" tweaks I put in - I put in an incorrect path to the uploads folder. Fix, tweak, done.

  • 2
    Please flag your answer as the answer. I just unnecessarily took the time to read your whole post only to see it's allready answered... but nice you found the error
    – Luckyfella
    Sep 18, 2017 at 20:09

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