Variations on Updating WordPress

The folks have updated WordPress again and I have been evaluating different methods of upgrading. The standard method works but I have been wanting to streamline the process for remote hosts.

For my locally hosted blog I used the Updating WordPress with Subversion method. This is pretty slick! I had previously checked out a copy of WordPress using Subversion and integrated the wp-content and a couple other files into the working copy. All I had to do this morning was to crank up TortoiseSVN on the checked out directory, change its tag to 2.3, and let Subversion do the rest. When I logged in as Admin, it updated the database. I did get some database errors about duplicate entries into wp_terms and wp_term_taxonomy but I do not think these errors are critical since this is the blog I use to test changes with. Its pretty funky!

Yesterday I got carried away again and did a little research on using Subversion on remote hosts. I found that some host providers provide it but most do not it. My host provider,, does not provide Subversion support directly but I found a post on a forum that described a method I could use to install it.  I kind of followed their instructions. It is working as a client and here are my instructions.

  1. Log in using SSH. I used PuTTy.
  2. Create a bin directory.
  3. Edit the .bashrc file to add the path statement to the bin directory.
  4. Create a source directory and then change to this directory.
  5. Use wget to download the tar version of both the Subversion package and the dependencies package.
  6. Untar both packages.
  7. Run configure, make, and then make install. You should have several executables in the bin directory. 
  8. Make sure that subversion works by typing in “svn –version”.

Here is the command line version:

mkdir ~/bin
# Use your favorite editor to edit the .bashrc file and add the path statement to the bin directory
mkdir ~/src
# get the subversion and dependencies tarballs
cd ~/src
tar -xzf subversion-1.4.5.tar.gz 
tar -xzf subversion-deps-1.4.5.tar.gz 

# Build it
cd subversion-1.4.3
./configure --prefix=$HOME --without-berkeley-db --with-zlib --with-ssl
make install

# check it works!  
svn --version

I am now able to check out a copy of WordPress and update it on my website. I am not sure this is much better than the WPAU plugin I used recently. I will probably continue to play with both methods. I am still working at setting up a repository on bluehost. I do not mind using the Subversion client to update the WordPress files but I would like my bluehost account to be a server for the wp-content files since I would like version control on my theme files. It would be nice if the folks at bluehost decided to directly support Subversion, too.

4 thoughts on “Variations on Updating WordPress”

  1. Thanks for posting this!

    However, I got this error when building it:

    checking build system type… Invalid configuration `without-berkeley-db’: machine `without-berkeley’ not recognized
    configure: error: /bin/sh build/config.sub without-berkeley-db failed

    Any ideas?

    Also, your build it description references 1.4.3 instead of 1.4.5.

    Thank you,

  2. Did you use two dashes before without-berkeley-db? When I originally wrote this post WP changes two dashs to a longer dash when it displays the post. This longer dash can easily be confused with a single dash. I recently changed this entry to use the sourcecode highlighter plugin and it correctly displays the two dashes.

  3. Thanks, Bill. That’s exactly what I had missed. The only glitch now is the error I get building it with make:

    /usr/lib/ could not read symbols: File in wrong format
    collect2: ld returned 1 exit status
    make: *** [subversion/libsvn_subr/libsvn_subr-1.1a] Error 1

    I’ll have to dig a little bit to find out what that means…

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