Joomla FTP Issues

Gah, what a nightmare, glad it’s over: the nightmare being Joomla’s FTP layer. I’ve been having trouble with it for quite some time now, but tonight I’ve been able to work around it and heres how I did it.

Right, first off, the ftp layer has worked on a few hosts previously so I know that at least sometimes it does work, but this was not one of those times. Unity Coders (my website o/) moved from being hosted by devilshost, to a friend from ubuntu-uk named kirrus‘ server. I’ve been very happy with the service, minus the issue with FTP (but thats not his fault, in fact he’s done more than I could have ever asked to help me get it fixed).

On his surgestion, I posted to the Joomla Forums. Someone suggested that I should disable the FTP layer and just use the standard PHP stuff (this is not an ideal solution but I thought it was worth a shot anyway). The files however, all are assigned to me (webpigeon) and the web server runs as http-data. The way round this appears quite simple it seems: give www-data write access to the files. If you are thinking, “this guy should now run chmod 777 -R ~/public_html” or something like that, then i’m sorry, no prizes for you (notice: I actually did this, i’m a moron).

Actually, thats what I did initally when I was playing with the permissions trying to get it to work. Kirrus pointed out that it was a really bad idea and surgested that I assign the files to the www-data group, now why didn’t I think of that. So I booted up my ssh client, and sudo chown webpigeon:www-data the appreate files. Checked the installer. Still not working. I went back to ssh, this is the moment when a lightbulb went on above my head, I changed the permissions to chmod 775 and all is well.

So basiclly, what I did was:

  • Disabled the FTP layer,
  • Changed the files to belong to the www-data group
  • Changed file permissions to be group writable
  • wrote a blog post about it

And now we have shiny new forums to play with as a result.

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