I have installed WordPress on my Ubuntu Server 20.04 VM (host machine runs Linux Mint 19). I've able to view wp-admin and the sample website without issue. I'm using Firefox to access wp-admin, the browser is up to date, and the browser clears the cache/history each time I close it.

When I click Themes in wp-admin, the page opens just fine. But when I click Add New, a progress bar keeps spinning, and then I get the following message:

An unexpected error occurred. Something may be wrong with WordPress.org or this server’s configuration.

I found another StackExchange post that suggests adding some lines to the wp-config.php file, so that I could debug my issue. I've added these lines, saved the file, ran sudo service apache2 restart for good measure, closed the browser, then reopened it. I didn't get any log info posted in the browser, and I don't see any log files saved in the wp-content directory.

I also found another StackExchange post that suggested I install the Core Control plugin. But when I go to Add Plugins in wp-admin, I get the same error message.

So I can't add a new WordPress theme, and I can't debug the issue using WordPress tools either.

Please know I'm a beginning engineer, with light experience with html/css, python, and bash. I'd appreciate any help I'm able to get. Thanks!

  • I don't think this is so much a WP issue as it is may be a server config issue... if you added the lines of code to wp-config.php then you should get error logs. But if you're not it could be any number of things, including how the permissions for your VM are configured. I don't know if server configuration for WP is on or off topic though. May 19, 2022 at 2:57

1 Answer 1


I may have posted my question too soon!

I found another web page that suggested adding api.wordpress.org to /etc/hosts.

I did that, and now I can at add themes and plugins! And since WordPress isn't giving me any errors now, I can't replicate the issues with the debugger.

So it looks like I've answered my own question. Hopefully others can find my post useful.

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