Installing Ghost CMS on CentOS 8

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Ghost is an open source blogging platform that helps you easily create a professional-looking online blog. Ghost is a robust content management system (CMS) with a Markdown editor, an easy-to-use user interface, and beautiful themes. It is easy to install and update with Ghost-CLI.

In This Guide

In this guide, you’ll set up, deploy, and secure a Ghost v3.5.1 blog on a Linode running CentOS 8, using NGINX, MariaDB, Node.js, NPM, and Ghost-CLI. For installation instructions for other distributions, click here.


This guide is written for a non-root user. Commands that require elevated privileges are prefixed with sudo. If you’re not familiar with the sudo command, consult our Users and Groups guide.

Replace each instance of in this guide with your site’s domain name.

Before you Begin

  1. This guide assumes that you’ve followed the steps in our Getting Started and Securing Your Server guides and have created a new user for Ghost with elevated sudo privileges. The example username used in this guide is ghostexample.

  2. Ensure that you have a valid domain name and properly configured DNS records for your domain.

  3. Ensure that your system is up to date:

     sudo yum update
  4. Set your system to SELinux permissive mode:

    sudo setenforce 0
    sudo sed -i 's/^SELINUX=.*/SELINUX=permissive/g' /etc/selinux/config
  5. Add EPEL repository:

     sudo dnf -y install epel-release

Install Prerequisites

Install and Configure MariaDB

  1. Download and install MariaDB:

     sudo dnf module install mariadb
  2. Set MySQL to start on reboot:

    sudo systemctl enable --now mariadb
  3. Secure the MySQL installation:


You will be given the choice to change the MariaDB root password, remove anonymous user accounts, disable root logins outside of localhost, and remove test databases. It is recommended that you answer yes to these options. You can read more about the script in the MariaDB Knowledge Base.

Install Node.js and NPM

Ghost is built on Node.js and follows Node’s Long Term Support (LTS) plan. Ghost only supports LTS versions of Node.js.

Download and install Node.js:

sudo dnf -y install @nodejs
sudo npm install pm2 -g

Install and Configure NGINX

NGINX will be used as a reverse proxy for your Ghost application:

  1. Install NGINX:

    sudo dnf install @nginx
  2. Navigate to the /etc/nginx/ directory which will contain your configuration files:

    cd /etc/nginx/
  3. Create new directories for your Ghost configuration files:

    sudo mkdir sites-available
    sudo mkdir sites-enabled
  4. Create a configuration file for Ghost at /etc/nginx/sites-available/ghost, replace with your site’s domain:

    File: /etc/nginx/sites-available/ghost
    server {
        listen 80 default_server;
        listen [::]:80 default_server;
        root /var/www/ghost;
        location / {
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-For $proxy_add_x_forwarded_for;
            proxy_set_header X-Forwarded-Proto $scheme;
            proxy_set_header X-Real-IP $remote_addr;
            proxy_set_header Host $host;
        client_max_body_size 50m;
  5. Create a symlink from sites-available to sites-enabled:

    sudo ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/ghost /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ghost
  6. Update the http block in your NGINX config /etc/nginx/nginx.conf file by adding an include for the configuration file you just made, a directive for server_names_hash_bucket_size, and comment out the entire server block:

    File: /etc/nginx/nginx.conf
    http {
        # Load modular configuration files from the /etc/nginx/conf.d directory.
        # See
        # for more information.
        include /etc/nginx/conf.d/*.conf;
        include /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/*;
        server_names_hash_bucket_size 64;
    # server {
    #    listen  80 default_server {
    #        ...
    #    }
  7. Open the firewall for traffic:

    sudo firewall-cmd --zone=public --permanent --add-service=http
    sudo firewall-cmd --zone=public --permanent --add-service=https
    sudo firewall-cmd --reload
  8. You can test your NGINX configuration with this command:

    sudo nginx -t
  9. Start the service with the following commands:

    sudo systemctl enable nginx
    sudo systemctl start nginx
  10. Verify that it’s running:

    sudo systemctl status nginx

Install and Configure Ghost

Install Ghost-CLI

Ghost-CLI is a command line interface (CLI) tool that makes installing and updating Ghost easy. For CentOS, it will set up the database and initialize Ghost as a systemd service.

Install Ghost-CLI:

sudo npm install -g ghost-cli@latest

Install Ghost

Install Ghost using the Ghost-CLI tool.

  1. Create the document root directory:

     sudo mkdir -p /var/www/ghost
    Installing Ghost in the /root or /home/{user} folder won’t work and results in a broken setup. Only use /var/www/{folder} because it has the correct permissions.
  2. Change ownership of the /var/www/ghost directory to the non-root user with sudo privileges that you created. In this example, ghostexample is our username:

     sudo chown ghostexample:ghostexample /var/www/ghost
     sudo chmod 775 /var/www/ghost
  3. Navigate to the Ghost root directory:

     cd /var/www/ghost
  4. Ensure that the directory is empty to avoid file conflicts:

    ls -a
  5. Install Ghost in production mode:

     ghost install

    By default Ghost looks for Ubuntu and will display this warning if it detects a different operating system.

    System checks failed with message: 'Linux version is not Ubuntu 16 or 18'
    Some features of Ghost-CLI may not work without additional configuration.
    For local installs we recommend using `ghost install local` instead.

    It will ask you if you would like to continue anyway, answer yes.

    The installer also gets a little confused at our installing MariaDB instead of MySQL. It appears to error with a note that it is skipping MySQL and asks if you want to continue anyway, answer yes.

  6. Answer each question as prompted. For more information about each question, visit the Ghost documentation:

    ? Enter your blog URL:
    ? Enter your MySQL hostname: localhost
    ? Enter your MySQL username: root
    ? Enter your MySQL password: thePasswordYouEnteredForRoot
    ? Enter your Ghost database name: exampleGhost
    Configuring Ghost
    Setting up instance
    + sudo useradd --system --user-group ghost
    + sudo chown -R ghost:ghost /var/www/ghost/content
    Setting up "ghost" system user
    ? Do you wish to set up "ghost" mysql user? yes
    Nginx is not installed. Skipping Nginx setup.
    i Setting up Nginx [ skipped ]
    Nginx setup task was skipped, skipping SSL setup
    i Setting up SSL [ skipped ]
    ? Do you wish to set up Systemd? yes
    Creating systemd service file at /var/www/ghost/system/files/ghost_example-com.service
    + sudo ln -sf /var/www/ghost/system/files/ghost_example-com.service /lib/systemd/system/ghost_example-com.service
    + sudo systemctl daemon-reload
    Setting up Systemd
    + sudo systemctl is-active ghost_example-com
    ? Do you want to start Ghost? yes
    + sudo systemctl start ghost_example-com
    + sudo systemctl is-enabled ghost_example-com
    + sudo systemctl enable ghost_example-com --quiet
    Starting Ghost
  7. After installation is complete, run ghost ls to view running Ghost processes:

     ghost ls

In the future when a newer version of Ghost is released, run ghost update from the /var/www/ghost directory to update to the newest version.

Complete the Setup

To complete the setup process, navigate to the Ghost configuration page by appending /ghost to the end of your blog’s URL or IP. This example uses

  1. On the welcome screen, click Create your account:

  2. Enter your email, create a user, password, and blog title:

    Create Your Account Screen

  3. Invite additional members to your team. If you’d prefer to skip this step, click I’ll do this later, take me to my blog! at the bottom of the page.

    Invite Your Team Screen

  4. Navigate the Ghost admin area to create your first post, change your site’s theme, or configure additional settings:


  1. Troubleshoot the system for any potential issues when installing or updating Ghost:

     ghost doctor
  2. Get help about Ghost:

     ghost --help

More Information

You may wish to consult the following resources for additional information on this topic. While these are provided in the hope that they will be useful, please note that we cannot vouch for the accuracy or timeliness of externally hosted materials.

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