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Home » WordPress

WordPress Quick Upgrade for Linux

Submitted by on June 13, 2008 – 6:22 pm 4 Comments

Never ever upgrade WordPress to the latest version as soon as it comes out, unless you want to be the guinea pig dealing with the new bugs and incompatible plugins. Even if the new version of WordPress contains critical security updates, wait a couple of weeks to let others work out fixes for any new bugs and to let the plugin authors ensure compatibility.

You always need to have a test version of your WordPress site. Duplicate your database with a different name and duplicate your WordPress installation in a separate folder on the server. This will be your sandbox for testing new versions of WordPress and plugins. If the new version breaks something, it will not be your production site.

It is always a good idea to first test the upgrade on a copy of your site. To create a copy, follow these simple steps:

mkdir ${TEST_DIR}
rsync -avu ${INSTALL_DIR}/ ${TEST_DIR}/

Now you will need to connect to MySQL and create a copy of your database. This is best done from command line:

mysql -u -p
CREATE DATABASE wordpress_test;

Now you can use the mysqldump command to copy structure and contents from your primary database to the “wordpress_test” database you just created:

mysqldump -u -p<PASSWORD wordpress | mysql -u -p wordpress_test

Use MySQL to grant your database user account necessary permissions to access the new database.

Now you need to modify $TEST_DIR/wp-config.php to change the following line to name of the new database:

define('DB_NAME', 'wordpress_test');    // The name of the database

Below is the basic upgrade procedure for WordPress running on a Linux/Unix server. This process assumes that all custom content of your WordPress installation is limited to the “wp-content” directory. Even so, the first step of any upgrade process is to backup existing files and configurations. In the following example we assume that the path to your WordPress installation is “/srv/www/htdocs/wordpress”, the path to your backup directory is “/var/backups”, and the main URL of your WordPress site is “”. So here we go:

  1. Place your site in maintenance mode, so users can’t login and change any content.
  2. Download and install the WP-DBManager plugin. Activate the plugin.
  3. In the wp-admin interface click on “Database” -> “Backup DB” -> make sure all the settings are correct -> enable GZIP compression -> click “Backup”. This will backup your WordPress database and give you something to fall back on in case your upgrade fails.
  4. Run the following commands to download, unpack and install the new version of WordPress:


tar cvf ${BACKUP_DIR}/site_backup_`date +'%Y-%m-%d'`.tar .
gzip ${BACKUP_DIR}/site_backup_`date +'%Y-%m-%d'`.tar
tar xfz latest.tar.gz
rm -rf ./wp-includes/
rm -rf ./wp-admin/
cd ./wordpress
cp -rpf --reply=yes * ../
cd ..
rm -rf ./wordpress/
rm -f latest.tar.gz

In the browser, go to and upgrade the database. And that’s all there is to upgrading your basic WordPress installation.

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  • Igor says:

    As if to confirm the above warning to never rush with upgrading your WordPress to the latest and greatest release, version 2.6 just came out with a major bug. Basically, once you upgrade from 2.x to 2.6, you will not longer be able to login to the WordPress admin interface. Yeah, that may be inconvenient. There is a quick fix, though. Add the following line to your wp-config.php

    @define(‘ADMIN_COOKIE_PATH’, ‘/wp-admin’);

    This should provide you with a workaround until the WordPress team releases an official fix.

  • Marlon P says:

    Lately I’ve been discovering that I really enjoy designing websites, ads, etc. I would absolutely love to do it for a living some day but I don’t know where to start.

    I currently know MS Frontpage, Publisher and a bit of Dreamweaver but I know that I need to learn a lot more and I just don’t know where to start.

    I am also pregnant and this would allow me to perhaps stay at home and do what I enjoy doing.

    Any web designers that can point me in the right direction? I work FT and if there are good classes online, that would be ideal.

  • Matthew David says:

    I was just wondering what are the licence terms on those types of wordpress themes.
    Under what licence are they distributed? Can they be used for commercial purposes? Basically, my question is – if a theme is free, what am I allowed and not allowed to do with it?

    I would like to know as much as possible


  • Jonny says:


    I want to post directly to my wordpress blog from my desktop, specifically from Command prompt.

    I know there is a protocol called xml-rpc, but that is of no help to me, as I don’t know what on earth it is. Any help would be appreciated.

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