I'm trying to figure out how to let Wordpress update on my server, without needing FTP credentials. In /etc/php/7.0/fpm/pool.d/www.conf I have:

listen.owner = www-data
listen.group = www-data

The problem I think is the way VestaCP is setup with the files:

root@com:/home/rachel/web/site.co.uk/public_shtml# ls -lh
total 243M
drwxrwxr-x 11 rachel rachel 4.0K Feb  3  2016 admin
drwxrwxr-x  2 rachel rachel 4.0K Apr 12 09:14 cgi-bin
drwxrwxr-x  3 rachel rachel 4.0K Jan 28  2016 dir
-rw-rw-r--  1 rachel rachel  418 Sep 25  2013 index.php
-rw-r--r--  1 rachel rachel 2.1K Apr  6 09:15 optimize.cgi
drwxr-x--x  2 rachel rachel 4.0K Apr 12 09:12 public_shtml

the "owner" of them is actually the user's account username. I'm sure this must be possible (otherwise every file has to be owned by www-data, which causes all kinds of other issues)

Am I just being stupid?


As suggested, I've tried:

sudo usermod -aG www-data rachel

Unfortunately I still get the error:

PASS: Your WordPress install can communicate with WordPress.org securely.
PASS: No version control systems were detected.
FAIL: Your installation of WordPress prompts for FTP credentials to perform updates. (Your site is performing updates over FTP due to file ownership. Talk to your hosting company.)
  • I am interested in this as well because what I do on my vps is actually this. sudo sudo usermod -a -G www-data myusername sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /srv sudo find /srv -type f -exec chmod 664 {} \; sudo find /srv -type d -exec chmod 775 {} \; sudo find /srv -name "wp-config*.php" -exec chmod 440 {} \; I never figured out a way to write files with to for example upload a plugin over sftp with a user but then let wordpress update it. I always run my script with the recommended permissions after and make everything owned to www-data otherwise I not got it to work. Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 9:38
  • I think this is not nginx specific and applies to other web-servers as well. Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 9:40
  • There may be a way with sticky permissions or something. Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 9:43

2 Answers 2


Shouldn't u add rachel to the www-data group?

sudo usermod -aG www-data rachel

More details https://stackoverflow.com/a/19620585/1173445

  • thanks for the hint. Unfortunately it didn't work :( I have updated my question above with what I tried Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 9:27

Try to run these commands:

sudo chown www-data:www-data /home/rachel/web/site.co.uk/public_shtml -R

sudo chmod g+w /home/rachel/web/site.co.uk/public_shtml -R
  • Thanks. While that works, the problem is that then stops the FTP user from being able to view/edit the files :( Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 13:23
  • Then put it back "sudo chown rachel:rachel /home/rachel/web/site.co.uk/public_shtml -R" and run only the second line: "sudo chmod g+w /home/rachel/web/site.co.uk/public_shtml -R"
    – ciaika
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 13:27
  • that takes me back to the same problem :) I'm just having a read of this, to see if I can understand how it works - digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/… Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 13:34

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