Solution: Couldn’t extract WordPress archive error

Since last few days, EasyEngine users are facing an issue creating a WordPress site on Ubuntu systems. The error thrown by WP-CLI (which EE uses internally to download WordPress Core) looks something like:

Error: Couldn't extract WordPress archive. unable to decompress gzipped phar archive "/tmp/wp_59cb76c85c61c.tar.gz" to temporary file


As the issue itself is not related to EasyEngine, we haven’t released an update from EasyEngine.

But there are multiple workarounds to fix this on your end.

The nightly build of WP-CLI is working correctly. You can update WP-CLI using:

sudo wp --allow-root cli update --nightly

Now you should be able to download WordPress successfully using Easy Engine.

#2. Force WP-CLI to download WordPress 4.8.1

Please run following commands in once to create a config.yml file that will override the WP-CLI defaults.

cat <<EOF > ~/.wp-cli/config.yml
core download:
  version: 4.8.1

Now, you can create a WordPress site using EasyEngine commands.

It is recommended you update WordPress sites to the latest version. You can do it manually via the admin dashboard, or, you can use WP-CLI to update the site using:

sudo wp core update --allow-root


One of the causes of the error was assumed to be due to faulty gzip compression of WordPress’ en_US locale, which later came out to be false.

Another one was that something went possibly wrong with WP-CLI’s Extractor class which uses PharData() to extract the zip and, as observed by Daniel Bachhuber, the error was indeed indirectly caused by PharData which had its dependency on a Debian PHP patch.

For time being, above workarounds will get the job done. If you need further help, please use EasyEngine forum.

1 response to “Solution: Couldn’t extract WordPress archive error”

  1. This is great. we have already fixed it discussing at community.
    Mostly people started blaming EasyEngine the day WP V4.8.2 was released, without knowing the exact WP locale issues.
    and its nice to post a blog about this issue.

    Cheers EasyEngine Team.