Make WordPress Core

Opened 4 years ago

Last modified 4 years ago

#49403 reopened defect (bug)

WordPress prompts for FTP credentials to perform updates

Reported by: shadowlmd's profile shadowlmd Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version: 5.3.2
Component: Filesystem API Keywords:
Focuses: Cc:


For some reason WordPress believes it does not have write permissions when in fact it does.

My configuration: Lighttpd running as www-data with PHP as fcgi.

Directory permissions are set to 770:user:www-data. During first time installation WordPress successfully creates wp-config.php, so there are no issues with permissions.

I have to add define(‘FS_METHOD’,’direct’); to wp-config.php to workaround this bug. But I cannot do this for all people I am providing hosting to. I keep getting asked why WP cannot update itself even when permissions are set to 777. It is also leaves people with non-updating WP installations and puts my server under risk of being turned into malware bot.

So, can you guys please fix the way WP detects if it has write access?

Change History (9)

#1 @SergeyBiryukov
4 years ago

  • Component changed from General to Filesystem API

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #core by noisysocks. View the logs.

4 years ago

#3 @noisysocks
4 years ago

  • Keywords reporter-feedback added
  • Severity changed from major to normal

Hey @shadowlmd! get_filesystem_method detects which method to use by attempting to write a file and checking its owner. If you run PHP code that's similar to the PHP code that creates a file in get_filesystem_method, does it work? What is the owner of the file that is created?

#4 @shadowlmd
4 years ago

@noisysocks, where exactly does it try to create a file? Web server (and therefore any php script) is allowed to write in WP installation directory. File ownership will be www-data:www-data on created files. Example is wp-config.php created during first time set up:

user@home:~/www/$ ls -l wp-config.php
-rw-rw-rw- 1 www-data www-data 3270 Feb 8 13:12 wp-config.php

Anyway, I see where the problem comes from. Here's the code:

                        $wp_file_owner   = false;
                                $temp_file_owner = false;
                                if ( function_exists( 'fileowner' ) ) {
                                        $wp_file_owner   = @fileowner( __FILE__ );
                                        $temp_file_owner = @fileowner( $temp_file_name );
                                if ( $wp_file_owner !== false && $wp_file_owner === $temp_file_owner ) {
                                        // WordPress is creating files as the same owner as the WordPress files,
                                        // this means it's safe to modify & create new files via PHP.
                                        $method                                  = 'direct';
                                        $GLOBALS['_wp_filesystem_direct_method'] = 'file_owner';
                                } elseif ( $allow_relaxed_file_ownership ) {
                                        // The $context directory is writable, and $allow_relaxed_file_ownership is set, this means we can modify files
                                        // safely in this directory. This mode doesn't create new files, only alter existing ones.
                                        $method                                  = 'direct';
                                        $GLOBALS['_wp_filesystem_direct_method'] = 'relaxed_ownership';

Test $wp_file_owner === $temp_file_owner will obviously fail because created file will be owned by www-data and FILE will be owned by user. This is a common configuration and definitely not a reason to fallback to FTP.

Last edited 4 years ago by shadowlmd (previous) (diff)

#5 @shadowlmd
4 years ago

  • Keywords reporter-feedback removed

#6 @shadowlmd
4 years ago

@noisysocks, any update?

#8 @noisysocks
4 years ago

  • Milestone Awaiting Review deleted
  • Resolution set to wontfix
  • Status changed from new to closed

Hey @shadowlmd. is pertinent and explains what's going on here, particularly:

In short, WordPress requires FTP access in all cases except when the following conditions are met:

  • The files are writable
  • The files are owned by the current process owner
  • New files creates are owned by the current process owner

Group writable is not enough, due to #3 above, that's the crucial part, WordPress needs to be able to create files which it believes are going to be accessible by the account owner via FTP.

You'll have to set up your hosting environment so that WordPress files and new files created by the web server are owned by the same user if you would like to use non-FTP upgrades.

As this is expected behaviour I'm closing this ticket out.

#9 @shadowlmd
4 years ago

  • Resolution wontfix deleted
  • Status changed from closed to reopened

@noisysocks, the problem here is that WP checks index.php file owner and compares it with newly created file owner. This is NOT CORRECT. Everything is set up CORRECTLY even if for some reason you personally believe something should be done differently. This is a common hosting setup. NOTHING prevents WP from creating, deleting and overwriting files in its installation directory and subdirectories. WP should check if it CAN do required operations with files instead of checking for ownership or any other magic it should not really care about. It MAY print a warning if it doesn't like something about setup instead of refusing to update itself putting whole server at risk.

Last edited 4 years ago by shadowlmd (previous) (diff)
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