June 2007

Download packages and wordpress plugins with wget and SSH [solved]

If you’re a typical web designer, when you install web packages like phpBB or wordpress or plugins like bad behavior or spam karma, you probably go to the web page that hosts the file, download it to your computer, unzip it, FTP to your host, and upload the directory to install the package.

Well, if your host has SSH access, there’s an easier way:

Go to the webpage of the file you want to download and right click and copy the link instead of downloading it.

Get putty and connect to your host via SSH on port 22, using your FTP login and password.

cd to the directory you want to download the file to (such as cd public_html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/).

Type in this command:

wget [URL]

Where [URL] is the link to the downloaded file. For instance:

wget http://mnm.uib.es/gallir/wp-content/wp-cache-2-1-1.zip

You can right click to paste in putty, so just type wget, hit space and then right click and hit enter.
Voila! Now you’ve downloaded the package right to your host. It’s way faster too.

Wget also works great for anonymous FTP files, just paste in the URL in the same way.

After you’re done downloading, to unzip a .zip file you just type:

unzip [nameoffile.zip]

To gunzip and untar a .tar.gz file you can type:

tar -xvzf [nameoffile.tar.gz]

Voila! Then follow the instructions to continue installing your package (such as logging into wordpress, clicking on plugins and activating your plugin).

Is the directory named something different than you want? Just use mv:

mv [nameofdirectory] [newnamefordirectory]

Does the unzipped directory have an unwanted subdirectory? cd into the directory/subdirectory and then move everything down a level:

cd [directory]/[unwantedsubdirectory]/

mv * ..

This is a no brainer for your typical linux guru, but a great trick for your average web developer!

Problems with Firefox [solved]

I’ve had a variety of problems with version of Firefox on a variety of computers, such as having no browser window open but if you try to launch Firefox it says “Firefox is already running but is not yet running”, meaning I have to use explorer or reboot the computer until it decides to respond.
Another problem I saw once was firefox’s popup blocker blocked a bunch of popups that I wanted to allow, and made a queue of them in the yellow bar, but even if I clicked “allow from…” or clicked on the individual windows, they wouldn’t come up. Restarting firefox though fixed that problem.
But the problem I’ve seen on multiple computers (not localized to one environment) is this: You enter in an address and hit enter and nothing happens. You click on the green “go” button and nothing happens. You switch windows or open a new window and enter an address and hit enter and nothing happens! Firefox is responsive to windows but not to the address bar.
I have mixed feelings about the way firefox forced updates on you – I’m sure you can turn this off, but it’s a little scary having the software download updates and update itself almost automatically. A little DNS spoofing and I think it would be pretty easy to trick firefox into installing malware. Also I like to wait a few days for people to talk about releases and if they’re buggy or not before installing them — in this case, the forced update seems pretty buggy.

Siamese below remarks on how to turn off automatic updates. Yet ironically they fixed the problems I was having above with Firefox