How enable ftp to localhost wordpress site?

Bill Cole macportsusers-20171215 at
Sat Aug 1 23:49:34 UTC 2020

On 1 Aug 2020, at 17:29, Murray Eisenberg wrote:

> I have no plugins directory in my wordpress directory or its 
> subdirectories.

Sorry about that, the plugins directory is at [WordPress 

> Clearly wordpress WANTS the user to use ftp or, presumably 
> equivalently for its purposes, sftp.

Doing a little research, I found that the reason WP sometimes asks for 
ftp credentials is that it can't directly write to the plugins 
directory. That usually means that it also can't write to any of 
wp-content/, which is a problem that will break WP once you start using 
it. The simplest fix, if your webserver is running as _www (default for 
MacPorts' apache2) and you have WP installed at 

    chmod -R _www:admin  

> How do I set that up strictly locally, i.e., server running wordpress 
> is localhost; files to be transmitted are on the same local Mac 
> housing localhost.

It MAY also work if you enable "Remote login" in System 
Preferences->Sharing, which enables the built-in SSH daemon. You can 
then *maybe* give WP the name and password of a macOS user with admin 

>> On 1 Aug2020, at 8:00 AM, macports-users-request at 
>> wrote:
>> From: "Bill Cole" <macportsusers-20171215 at 
>> <mailto:macportsusers-20171215 at>>
>> To: "MacPorts Users" <macports-users at 
>> <mailto:macports-users at>>
>> Subject: Re: How enable ftp to localhost wordpress site?
>> Message-ID:
>> On 31 Jul 2020, at 20:28, Murray Eisenberg wrote:
>>> I?ve installed the MacPorts version of apache2 and have a working
>>> localhost wordpress site running under apache2.
>>> How to I enable ftp with this, so that I can ftp into the wordpress
>>> site? (This is so I can install WordPress plugins.)
>> If it's running on 'localhost' then you don't need FTP, you can just
>> copy the plugins' files to the WordPress tree
>> (/opt/local/www/apache2/html/ or a subdirectory of that, depending on
>> how you installed WordPress) directly. You may need to adjust 
>> ownership
>> and/or permissions on that directory or use 'sudo cp' in a Terminal
>> session to do the copying. WP plugins typically install in their own
>> subdirectory trees under the 'plugins' subdirectory of the WordPress
>> root.
>>> Is there some particular MacPorts port I need to add? and then what 
>>> do
>>> I need to do so it?s available from within the wordpress site?
>>> (WordPress docs don?t deal with this! they just say to use ftp to
>>> install the plugins.)
>> Which is unfortunate, because FTP is a mess security-wise. While one 
>> CAN
>> make it reasonably safe, doing so narrows the range of clients that 
>> work
>> with any particular secure setup. If you end up with a WordPress site
>> running on a remote system where you need a file transfer facility, 
>> you
>> are better off using SFTP, which provides a FTP-like client interface
>> without the backend that has been evolving organically since the 
>> `70s.
>> SFTP is a subsystem of OpenSSH, so nearly any modern
>> Unix/Linux/BSD/MacOS server that allows remote login supports SFTP by
>> default.
>> Bill Cole
> ---
> Murray Eisenberg			murrayeisenberg at
> 503 King Farm Blvd #101	Home (240)-246-7240
> Rockville, MD 20850-6667	Mobile (413)-427-5334

Bill Cole
bill at or billcole at
(AKA @grumpybozo and many * addresses)
Not For Hire (currently)

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