Getting WordPress to work on Debian based systems.

I followed the numerous tutorials on getting WordPress working on a Debian based Linux box. I’m doing this on Raspbian on a Raspberry Pi, but I expect the same gotcha to apply to all distros. The problem is the Cant Create Directory message when updating or installing themes and plugins. 

Debian likes to install things in unusual locations, in the case of wordpress it’s /usr/share/wordpress, but – Here’s the gotcha – There’s a symlink to /usr/share/wordpress/wp-content in /usr/lib/wordpress. To allow wordpress to apply updates to its self, you need to make sure BOTH are owned by www-data in group www-data and have suitable write permissions.

I’ll probably go into the full ins and outs of setting up WordPress on Raspbian in a future post, but there are tons of other tutorials out there, I just wanted to get this snippet into the public domain before anyone else tears out as much hair as I did.



After several nights of experimentation I’m coming to the conclusion that the best way of running wordpress on Debian is NOT to use apt-get to install it, but to grab the latest version directly from wordpress and install it as it expects to be installed. Debian’s weird setup seems to make it all a bit flaky.

2 Replies to “Getting WordPress to work on Debian based systems.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.