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Upgrading to mainstream Wordpress from an Ubuntu install

Sorry for the flurry of posts today, I need to get all this stuff out before I forget about the site again for six months.

Originally when I switched over to this host I had decided that I was just going to stick with the apt-provided version of wordpress and just deal with the issues, but it turns out that their modularization is too leaky, and their code churn rate is too high for that to be a viable strategy, what with the low turnover rate of the Ubuntu package. Once I’d fallen too many released behind, all of the AJAX stuff started to break. I couldn’t even reply to comments from the console or post any pictures.

So if you’re looking for how to do this, here is what worked for me in early 2011 (this post will no doubt date rapidly):

  1. As root, type # echo wordpress hold | dpkg --set-selections (note that this step is apt cargo cult magic which may fail in the future; I’ll update this if so).
  2. Edit /etc/wordpress/wp-config.php, commenting out the line which says define('WP_CORE_UPDATE', false);.
  3. Download the latest wordpress tarball from
  4. Unpack it somewhere.
  5. Backup /usr/share/wordpress (I used # tar czf backup.tgz /usr/share/wordpress but you may (by which I mean should) want to do something more bulletproof.
  6. Do # cp -R /path/to/wp/wordpress/ /usr/share/
  7. Look at the output and cleanup as appropriate. I ended up having to nuke /usr/share/workpress/wp-include/js/ and then recopy it from the unpacked tarball.
  8. Go back to your dashboard, as you’ll likely have to trigger a database update or something similar.
  9. Make sure your site or sites are still working.

Feel free to comment if you have any questions but I am hardly an expert on the Wordpress side. Good luck.

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