WordPress versus FreeBSD

I recently migrated my web site to a new FreeBSD install, configured so I could use ZFS boot environments. This upgrade crossed FreeBSD versions (10.0->10.1), filesystems (UFS -> ZFS), and PHP versions (5.5 -> 5.6).

And my WordPress pointy-clicky upgrades stopped working. Every time I ran an upgrade, the web gui hung with:

Updating Plugin Honketyblatt (1/1)

The web site would site there, forever. Enabling WP debugging gave me no error messages.

If I had the job of running WordPress sites, I would have an automatic tool that processed the upgrades for me. It’s not, so I don’t.

I use the FreeBSD WordPress package to get all of the dependencies, but manage my actual WordPress sites in a separate directory. It turns out that the FreeBSD WordPress package doesn’t list all of the modules that you need for a self-maintaining WordPress install. My old server had a few packages that the new one didn’t.

If you want to use WordPress’ self-updating features, be sure to install the following packages in addition to the FreeBSD-recommended defaults.

php56-tokenizer
php56-zlib
php56-zip

I installed these packages, and everything started working.

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