I’ve been running WordPress on a VPS for a few years now. Because I didn’t have an FTPd installed I ran updates manually as I assumed this was the only way in for the WordPress auto-update function.
Turns out WordPress supports updating via SSH – you just need to have the libraries installed for PHP. To enable auto-update using SSH on Debian-like systems follow the instructions below.
Install the SSH2 extension for PHP:
sudo apt-get install libssh2-1-dev libssh2-php
Restart your web server:
sudo service apache2 restart
Next time you log in to your WordPress admin panel you’ll be able to update WordPress and any installed plugins with a couple of button clicks. Handy!