Updating Wordpress on LEMP 16.04 failed - problem with permissions?

August 21, 2016 4k views
WordPress LEMP

I’m new to VPS and Wordpress, and I’m trying to learn more about while I set up my website.

I tried to update to WP 4.6 through my Wordpress backend via the one-click process, but it failed and I got this error.

Downloading update from https://downloads.wordpress.org/release/wordpress-4.6-no-content.zip…

Unpacking the update…

The update cannot be installed because we will be unable to copy some files. This is usually due to inconsistent file permissions.: wp-admin/includes/update-core.php

Installation Failed

I followed the following tutorials for the initial setup:


Do I need to do something else with permissions that these tutorials didn’t cover? Should I try to upgrade through SSH instead of the WP backend?

1 Answer


This usually has to do with the user that PHP processes run as. Not sure what yours is but if you put this in a small php page you can see:

<?php phpinfo(); ?>

Which you most likely have already done from this guide you listed: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-install-linux-nginx-mysql-php-lemp-stack-in-ubuntu-16-04

As a quick rule I make the document root and all files/subdirectories owned by the php process executing user. I made the directories 755 and the files 644:

cd document_root
find . -type d -exec chmod 755 {} \;
find . -type f -exec chmod 644 {} \;

There may be some other web server (apache / nginx) related configuration issues, but this should give you a good start.

by Justin Ellingwood
The LEMP software stack is a group of software that can be used to serve dynamic web pages and web applications. This is an acronym that describes a Linux operating system, with an Nginx web server. The backend data is stored in the MySQL database and the dynamic processing...
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