Cannot delete any files (otherwise I'm fine)

November 8, 2017 449 views
Apache WordPress Ubuntu 16.04

HI there,

I've searched the forums, but haven't found an answer to this problem. I'm running WordPress on Ubuntu 16/LAMP. A few months ago, I removed my root user and set a new user to handle everything, added in an SSH key, everything's great.

However, last week, I had to wipe my computer and reinstall the OS (I'm on Mac Sierra) due to something really stupid I did that was 90% unadvisable :) The reinstall fixed the issue, and I went back in and reset my private ssh key to 600 permissions (because I knew that would be an issue).

So everything's moving along fine, I can log into my spot easily, it takes my key perfectly fine. But all I can do is upload files via SSH/SFTP. I can't delete, rename, move, change permissions - nothing else. Just upload. (same issue via Terminal commands as well as using Filezilla to do the transfers - I get a "Permission denied" message). I find this exceedingly weird.

I cannot log in as root anymore, either, because I locked the root user out when I made my new username. (It seemed like a good idea at the time, because using default login names is never a good idea for security purposes, but now I'm not so sure, because I think if I could log in as root, I could fix this.)

I'm 100% sure this has something to do with the fact that I wiped my computer and reinstalled. But other than changing the file permissions on my private ssh key, was there something else I needed to do? Or did I bork everything in a way that can't be fixed?

1 Answer

I think I got it :) It was a permissions issue. In Terminal, I was just forgetting to use "sudo" (you can thank the lack of coffee for that brainfart).

To make it work in my FTP program, I needed to set ownership to my username, not www-data. i.e. user:www-data instead of www-data:www-data.

Still need to be sure it works with the uploads folder (and updates for plugins, etc.) but at least I know what the issue is :)

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