I have installed wordpress on my ubuntu 10.10 desktop edition and I am trying to install plugin from the browser (I know I can drop it to the wp-content/plugin but I want to do it via the web browser using FTP) I get this screen when I am trying to set auto update or install a plugin from web browser.

alt text

I provide the hostname and Username and password the ones that I use to login to wordpress. I get the error

Username/password Incorrect and cannot connect to

I think i'll have to grant a user with ftp password but I dont know how. I have already installed vsftp but when I try "ftp" I get -

$ ftp
Connected to
220 (vsFTPd 2.3.0)
Name ( root
331 Please specify the password.
530 Login incorrect.
Login failed.

Wordpress is running locally on my Ubuntu Desktop.

8 Answers 8


Well your Wordpress login and your FTP login are two different things. I have see that you use vsFTPd, so one easy thing that you can do it this :

Edit the vsFTPd configuration file :

gksu gedit /etc/vsftpd.conf

Add this at the end :


Restart your vsFTPd server :

sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd restart

Now you should be able to connect to your FTP using your Ubuntu login.

  • and how can I grant a user (wordpress user) access to FTP who can use FTP over the network Nov 22, 2010 at 7:55
  • I would also not login as root, but create a dummy user, make him part of your www-data group and use it to push updates/install
    – csgeek
    Nov 22, 2010 at 15:14
  • I had this same issue and just wanted to add for any others that are going through this that you need to use '' and not 'localhost'. Or at least I did. Also had to use FTP not FTPS.
    – Jay
    Jan 8, 2011 at 8:31
  • -1 Even though it's listed as best answer, it lacks the information that write_enable is commented out by default. If you do not uncomment, your solution still doesn't work.
    – Jakke
    Aug 22, 2014 at 3:12

Just add this line to wp-config.php

define('FS_METHOD', 'direct');

Then It will be OK.

  • Are there any disadvantages with this method? Seems like the best/easiest one to me but I could be wrong.
    – JoniVR
    Jun 15, 2019 at 20:30

For me changing the ownership of the wordpress folder solved the issue.

sudo chown -R www-data wordpress
  • 3
    This worked right away for me!
    – Max Kulik
    Oct 23, 2019 at 2:23
  • It doesn't help here :/
    – ifrit
    Apr 1, 2020 at 16:18

If you are using the default file the problem I had was not seeing enable write access. That resolved my problems.

  • The same issue here, write_enable is commented out by default. Thanks for the tip. It's nowhere mentioned here, but I also changed the home directory for the wordpress ftp user to /var/www/html (or whatever the path to the site is). I'm not sure if this is actually needed.
    – Jakke
    Aug 22, 2014 at 3:11

I had the same issue.

When I created my Ubuntu server I installed a wordpress site and everytime I wanted to update a plugin I needed ftp access which was really annoying. I knew I could just add the ftp details in the config for wordpress but I was Like NAH! So It turned out that wordpress can't write files to the wp-content directory because apache doesn't have permission to edit the directory so this is how I fixed it.

Copy group file to groups in the same directory

sudo cp /etc/group /etc/groups

Then give Recursive Permission to apache

sudo chown -R www-data:root /var/www

Thats it.

Another way of doing it is by editing apache envvars

sudo nano /etc/apache2/envvars

Edit the lines where it says

export APACHE_RUN_USER=www-data
export APACHE_RUN_GROUP=www-data

And replace www-data with your username for ubuntu


now restart apache

sudo service apache2 restart

and then make sure your account has permissions to the directory

sudo chown -R USERNAME:USERNAME /var/www

If this doesnt work for you then simply reply.


To configure vsftpd, open vsftpd.conf in /etc and copy paste the following into your vsftpd.conf

ftpd_banner=Welcome to my FTP server.

You should create a new directory inside /srv in the name ftp or what ever name you prefer.If you prefer another name then you should change the line anon_root=/srv/ftp to anon_root=/srv/toyourfoldername Now place all your files inside the folder /srv/ftp

To test your settings in localhost type:
If you have any problems let me know.

To start/stop/restart vsftpd:

sudo service vsftpd start
sudo service vsftpd stop
sudo service vsftpd restart
  • 1
    +1 for sudo service vsftpd ....
    – solgar
    Dec 18, 2015 at 19:02

This worked for me:

Add this file to wp-config.php:

if(is_admin()) {
    add_filter('filesystem_method', create_function('$a', 'return "direct";' ));
    define( 'FS_CHMOD_DIR', 0751 );

for more http://www.jamison.org/2010/12/04/how-to-configure-wordpress-for-automatic-ftps-updates-using-vsftp-in-ubuntu/


I had the same problem before and here how I resolved it.

1) You have to check what group owned that specific wordpress folder. i.e www-data. Then make sure the group owned recursively. You can can do

sudo chown -R www-data.www-data /var/www/wordpress

2) the ftpuser that you plan to use need to belong to www-data group. You can check by following.

groups ftpuser

If it is not in that group, just add it. here how i did it.

sudo usermod -a -G www-data ftpuser

The last thing is to set the default folder of the ftpuser to your wordpress folder.

usermod -d /var/www/wordpress ftpuser

that's it...

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