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Nobody Owner of File, Delete from Server

by Brandon Welch
Web Designer/Developer & Web Expert
Connect with me: | Facebook | LinkedIn

Wordpress Orlando Web DesignRecently I was working with a mobile WordPress theme, where the plugin actually installed some themes itself on the server. This was an automated function of the plugin, and could not be controlled.

The Problem That Was Created

The files were set to “nobody” as the owner, therefore, I could not delete them. This could probably happen to any plugin that perhaps has a bug in it.

How To Fix This:

1. Change permissions on the parent folder of the file you want to delete to 777. (Do this via FTP, or SSH)
2. Create a file called remove.php.
3. Stick this code in the file: (This will get everything with the word “mobile_pack” in the file name.

system("rm -Rf mobile_pack*");

4. Save the file, upload and go to the file location in your browser.

That’s it! This same method should work regardless of what you need to remove, not just on WordPress websites.

Update: 8/17/2012
Mobile themes for WordPress are fading away. Responsive design is taking over. However, this tutorial should still address any similar problems.