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I have WordPress installed on my box and every time I want to upgrade any of my plugins I hit "upgrade automatically", and it prompts me for hostname, username and password to update the plugin through FTP, but on my other instance running (not the same server) it doesn't, it just updates.

Where/what do I need to change on my first instance so it doesn't ask and just updates my plugins by hitting "upgrade automatically"?

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The automatic update function falls back to the FTP method when the web server user doesn't have write access to the Wordpress files. This is pretty common in share hosting setups and I have the same issue with my own installation.

You'd need to figure out which user the web server is running as and grant that write access to the files, however I've been led to believe this is a Bad Thing for web server security and haven't gone down that route myself.

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ok, my apache runs under daemon userid, what directory it needs to be able to access? – alexus Sep 8 '09 at 21:19
The directory containing all the wordpress files. – mcd Sep 9 '09 at 0:29
i tried even doing chmod -R 777 wordpress and yet that still didn't work for me – alexus Sep 10 '09 at 14:40
you do not want to chmod -R 777! that makes all files executable in the subdirectories! a chmod -R uog+rw should be sufficient. And the plugins live in $WPROOT/wp-content/plugins – warren Sep 24 '09 at 3:47
up vote 0 down vote accepted

This document covers exactly everything that one needs to know in order to get it going: Updating WordPress « WordPress Codex

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