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First I will just tell you how my wordpress hierarchy looks like:

/var/www has all of the wordpress files, which is different from how it is normally set up as /var/www/wordpress (symlinked to /usr/share/wordpress). So var/www contains all of the files that /usr/share/wordpress would have, and /usr/share/wordpress is symlinked to /var/www, with an extra /var/www/wordpress symlinked to /var/www to prevent possible compatibility issues.

When uploading a file like a favicon or a .zip-ped theme, everything works fine, and when checking if the theme/favicon is uploaded, wordpress shows that it is, and points to a directory that it thinks that it had created, like http:/localhost/wp-content/uploads/2012/..., which it had not, because the uploads folder is empty!

And so there is a broken link on the internet and the theme is displayed but it has just plain text (because it had reverted to a plain theme I think)

Please help! I am sorry for such a long post but this is really quite a troublesome problem.

I have chowned /var/www and /usr/share/wordpress to www-data.

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It looks like you need to tell Wordpress where to find its own directory. Check under Settings > General for "WordPress Address" and "Site Address".

Make sure the WordPress Address matches the domain name you are using to represent your www folder; localhost in this case, or your domain name if you put your server online.

Th other possibility is that you haven't given WordPress execute permissions on your /var/www folder. Check the owner of www, and make sure you allow WordPress to create files and folders.

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like chmod 777 /var/www and chown -R wordpress /var/www? – Marco Scannadinari Oct 25 '12 at 18:07
up vote 0 down vote accepted

SOLVED - Install using the lates.tar.gz package straight from wordpress, rather than the apt-get ubuntu packaged one.

It is probrably due to incorrect permissions.

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