Terribly Embarrassing Admin Moment

I am still quite new to WordPress. I was finally able to get time to clean out my basement, cobble together an old PC and get my favorite flavor of Linux installed. Of course, there was an unnecessary struggle there, but I won’t get into details. Low and behold, I am up and running. About a week or so after the initial install, I received an update notice for WordPress. Ok, easy enough, I can just click on the upgrade button, right? Wrong, and after messing around with this for over three days, it is finally updated.

First, I do not trust FTP so I immediately ruled that out as a method to upgrade. I immediately went the SSH2 route. I needed an article to assist me though and did a few minutes of searching. Finally, I came across an article by Justin Ellingwood on Digital Ocean titled, “How To Configure Secure Updates and Installations in WordPress on Ubuntu”. (https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/how-to-configure-secure-updates-and-installations-in-wordpress-on-ubuntu) The article is for Ubuntu so I knew right away I would have to adapt to make it work on my box.

In the article, Justin mentions creating a new user, ‘wp-user’.

sudo add-user wp-user

What I failed to realize was that it could have been anything. What I later came to realize was that my already established user account, the one I used to login to the box, would have sufficed as that is what worked for me in the end. Looking back, I wish the article would have done something like the next code snippet, given a warning, made a note, or just screamed, “If you already have a user account, please skip to the next section.

sudo adduser <new user>

I defintely did learn quite a bit along the way, though, so not all was lost. I learned that the apache daemon running on my server should be owned by my user account and not the httpd process. I made the appropriate change, restarted httpd, and prayed the site would still display. It did, so that worked out well.

I also got a refresher in Linux permissions and setting owners. The one thing I still do not think is working as I intended, though, is using the SSH keys. I ended up getting SSH working, but with username and password. I mucked around the wp-config.php file and changed a few constants but could never figure out a combination to get the key-based authentication working. The instructions are even provided in the WordPress Codex. (https://codex.wordpress.org/Editing_wp-config.php#WordPress_Upgrade_Constants)

So yeah, this was quite a learning experience for me. One I hope to never have to suffer through again.

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