Ghost is a open source blogging platform written in JavaScript and distributed under the MIT License, designed to simplify the process of online publishing for individual bloggers as well as online publications.

The concept of the Ghost platform was first floated publicly in November 2012 in a blog post by project founder John O’Nolan, which generated enough response to justify coding a prototype version with collaborator Hannah Wolfe.


For this guide you should be familiar with the basic concepts of


We’re using Node.js in the stable version 12:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace tools version use node 12
Using 'Node.js' version: '12'
Selected node version 12
The new configuration is adapted immediately. Patch updates will be applied automatically.
[eliza@dolittle ~]$

You’ll need your MySQL credentials. Get them with my_print_defaults:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ my_print_defaults client
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Your blog URL needs to be setup:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace web domain list
[isabell@stardust ~]$


Install ghost-cli, knex-migrator and yarn

Use npm to install ghost-cli and knex-migrator globally. In order to avoid issues and bugs with Ghost, we need to also install the package manager yarn to use for further updates.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ npm i -g ghost-cli knex-migrator yarn
+ ghost-cli@1.9.1
+ knex-migrator@3.2.3
+ yarn@1.22.4
added 690 packages in 31.543s
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Install Ghost

Create a ghost directory in your home, cd to it and then run the installer. Since the installer expects to be run with root privileges, we need to adjust some settings:

  • --no-stack: Disables the system stack check during setup. Since we’re a shared hosting provider, the stack is maintained by us.
  • --no-setup-linux-user: Skips creating a linux user. You can’t do that without root privileges.
  • --no-setup-systemd, --no-start, --no-enable: Skips creation of a systemd unit file. We’ll use supervisord later instead.
  • --no-setup-nginx: Skips webserver configuration. We’ll use a web backend later instead.
  • --no-setup-mysql: Skips setup of MySQL. You can’t do that without root privileges.

You will need to enter the following information:

  • y or yes to just continue after the reputed MySQL error (everything is fine here, ghost does just look at the wrong places)
  • your blog URL: The URL for your blog. Since we don’t allow HTTP, use HTTPS. For example:
  • your MySQL hostname, username and password: the hostname is localhost and you should know your MySQL credentials by now. If you don’t, start reading again at the top.
  • your Ghost database name: we suggest you use a additional database. For example: isabell_ghost
[isabell@stardust ~]$ mkdir ~/ghost
[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd ~/ghost
[isabell@stardust ghost]$ ghost install --no-stack --no-setup-linux-user --no-setup-systemd --no-setup-nginx --no-setup-mysql --no-start --no-enable
✔ Checking system Node.js version
✔ Checking logged in user
✔ Checking current folder permissions
ℹ Checking system compatibility [skipped]
Local MySQL install was not found or is stopped. You can ignore this if you are using a remote MySQL host.
Alternatively you could:
a) install/start MySQL locally
b) run `ghost install --db=sqlite3` to use sqlite
c) run `ghost install local` to get a development install using sqlite3.
? Continue anyway? Yes
MySQL check skipped
ℹ Checking for a MySQL installation [skipped]
✔ Checking memory availability
✔ Checking memory availability
✔ Checking for latest Ghost version
✔ Setting up install directory
✔ Downloading and installing Ghost v3.2.0
✔ Finishing install process
? Enter your blog URL:
? Enter your MySQL hostname: localhost
? Enter your MySQL username: isabell
? Enter your MySQL password: [hidden]
? Enter your Ghost database name: isabell_ghost
✔ Configuring Ghost
✔ Setting up instance
ℹ Setting up SSL [skipped]

Ghost uses direct mail by default. To set up an alternative email method read our docs at


Ghost was installed successfully! To complete setup of your publication, visit:


Change network interface

You need to adjust your ~/ghost/config.production.json to use the right network interface. Find the following block and change host to

  "url": "",
  "server": {
    "port": 2368,
    "host": ""

Configure web server


Ghost is running on port 2368.

To make the application accessible from the outside, configure a web backend:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ uberspace web backend set / --http --port <port>
Set backend for / to port <port>; please make sure something is listening!
You can always check the status of your backend using "uberspace web backend list".
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Setup daemon

Create ~/etc/services.d/ghost.ini with the following content:

command=env NODE_ENV=production /bin/node current/index.js

After creating the configuration, tell supervisord to refresh its configuration and start the service:

[isabell@stardust ~]$ supervisorctl reread
SERVICE: available
[isabell@stardust ~]$ supervisorctl update
SERVICE: added process group
[isabell@stardust ~]$ supervisorctl status
SERVICE                            RUNNING   pid 26020, uptime 0:03:14
[isabell@stardust ~]$

If it’s not in state RUNNING, check your configuration.

Finishing installation

Point your browser to your blog URL and Ghost Admin page ( to create a user account.

Changing internal URL to external URL


You should already have set up your additional external URL as described in domains.

Update URL with ghost-cli as followed. Change the URL to your external URL in the highlighted line.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd ~/ghost/
[isabell@stardust ghost]$ ghost config url
[isabell@stardust ghost]$

You now need to readjust your ~/ghost/config.production.json to change the URL for Ghost. Change the URL to your external URL in the respective highlighted line:

  "url": "",
  "server": {
    "port": 2368,
    "host": ""

Kill and restart Ghost (also check the restarted process with second command):

[isabell@stardust ~]$ supervisorctl restart ghost
ghost: stopped
ghost: started
[isabell@stardust ~]$ supervisorctl status
ghost                            RUNNING   pid 26020, uptime 0:00:56
[isabell@stardust ~]$

Now the URLs in your Ghost installation always use your newly configured URL. This is especially seen in the RSS feeds which if this part is not run will always use the URL even though you access your blog via an external domain already. This is due to Ghost using the configured URL as a variable in some templates etc. which is the case for the RSS URLs for example in the main Casper theme.



Check the update feed regularly to stay informed about the newest version.

Download and unzip new version

Check Ghost’s releases for the latest version and copy the link to the archive. Make sure not to use the source code zip. In this example the version is 23.42.1, which of course does not exist. Change the version to the latest one in the highlighted lines.

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd ~/ghost/versions/
[isabell@stardust versions]$ wget
[isabell@stardust versions]$ unzip -d 23.42.1
[isabell@stardust versions]$

Install the required node modules with yarn

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd ~/ghost/versions/23.42.1/content
[isabell@stardust content]$ yarn install --production
Done in 121.15s.
[isabell@stardust content]$

Migrate your database

[isabell@stardust ~]$ cd ~/ghost
[isabell@stardust ~]$ NODE_ENV=production knex-migrator migrate --mgpath ./versions/23.42.1/
[2018-08-22 14:18:21] INFO Creating database backup
[2018-08-22 16:18:23] INFO Finished database migration!

Update via script

As an alternative to this manual process of updating Ghost to a new version you can also use the following script:

#set -v
# created by
PACKAGE_VERSION_OLD=$(sed -nE 's/^\s*"version": "(.*?)",$/\1/p' $GHOSTDIR/current/package.json)
CURRENT_GHOST=$(curl -s | grep tag_name | head -n 1 | cut -d '"' -f 4)
CURRENT_GHOST_DOWNLOAD=$(curl -s | grep browser_download_url | cut -d '"' -f 4)
echo "installed version: $PACKAGE_VERSION_OLD"
echo "available version: $CURRENT_GHOST"
  read -r -p "Do you want to update Ghost $PACKAGE_VERSION_OLD to version $CURRENT_GHOST? [Y/n] " response
  if [[ $response =~ ^([yY]|"")$ ]]
    echo "downloading and unpacking ghost $CURRENT_GHOST ..."
    cd $GHOSTDIR/versions/
    echo "Updating ghost ..."
    cd $GHOSTDIR/versions/$CURRENT_GHOST
    yarn install --production
    echo "Migrating ghost database ..."
    cd $GHOSTDIR
    NODE_ENV=production knex-migrator migrate --mgpath $GHOSTDIR/versions/$CURRENT_GHOST
    ln -sfn $GHOSTDIR/versions/$CURRENT_GHOST $GHOSTDIR/current
    PACKAGE_VERSION=$(sed -nE 's/^\s*"version": "(.*?)",$/\1/p' $GHOSTDIR/current/package.json)
    echo "Ghost $PACKAGE_VERSION_OLD has been updated to version $PACKAGE_VERSION"
    echo "Restarting Ghost. This may take a few seconds ..."
    supervisorctl restart ghost
    supervisorctl status
    echo "If something seems wrong, please check the logs: 'supervisorctl tail ghost'"
    echo "To revert to version $PACKAGE_VERSION_OLD run the following command: 'ln -sfn $GHOSTDIR/versions/$PACKAGE_VERSION_OLD $GHOSTDIR/current' and restart ghost using 'supervisorctl restart ghost'."
  echo "-> Ghost is already up-to-date, no update needed."

Tested with Ghost 4.2.0, Uberspace

Written by: nichtmax <>, Nico Graf <>, Peleke <>, Noah <>, tobimori <>, Patrick Brunck <>