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GUIDE

Install Ghost Blog on Google Cloud

This tutorial will cover how to install the Ghost blogging platform on an Ubuntu Google Cloud Instance with Nginx and a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. Ghost is an amazing open-source blogging software coded in Node.js.  Ghost allowing you to create modern blogs and integrates with a large about of third-party services with a click of a button.  Ghost is extremely easy to use and very, very, very fast compared to other blog systems such as WordPress.  With the latest 3.x release Ghost native features even includes the abilty to turn part or all of you site into a subscription or membership service.

For a full list of features visit Ghost.org

Create a Compute Engine Instance

Login to your Google Cloud Console and go to Compute Engine.

Click on “Create Instance” at the top:

Deploy compute Engine instance

Name the instance.  I am naming my instance “ghost-blog”.  Then go down to “Change” under Boot Disk.

 

Change instance to Ubuntu

Change the OS to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and increasing the storage to 15GB.  After you make the changes click “Select”.

Google Cloud Ubuntu

Make sure you select “Allow HTTP” and “Allow HTTPS” then click “Create”

Allow http and https

[For your refrence] gcloud command line to this instance as described in this tutorial:

 gcloud beta compute --project=XXXXXX-XXXX instances create ghost-blog --zone=us-central1-c --machine-type=e2-medium --subnet=default --network-tier=PREMIUM --maintenance-policy=MIGRATE [email protected].com --scopes=https://www.googleapis.com/auth/devstorage.read_only,https://www.googleapis.com/auth/logging.write,https://www.googleapis.com/auth/monitoring.write,https://www.googleapis.com/auth/servicecontrol,https://www.googleapis.com/auth/service.management.readonly,https://www.googleapis.com/auth/trace.append --tags=http-server,https-server --image=ubuntu-1804-bionic-v20200923 --image-project=ubuntu-os-cloud --boot-disk-size=15GB --boot-disk-type=pd-standard --boot-disk-device-name=ghost-blog --no-shielded-secure-boot --shielded-vtpm --shielded-integrity-monitoring --reservation-affinity=any

Install Ghost Prerequisites

Connect to the terminal of your instance by clicking the “SSH” button.

Connect to your compute instance via ssh

First, we need to add a user for the install of Ghost and its required components.  It is possible to run Ghost with the default account, but it is not recommended.

Create a user to run Ghost:

sudo adduser ghostuser

Add the user to the sudo group:

sudo adduser ghostuser sudo
Ubuntu add sudo user

Now we need to switch to that user:

su - ghostuser
ubuntu change user

As always with a new Compute Instance, we need to update the OS:

sudo apt update;sudo apt upgrade
update Ubuntu

Install Node.js

First we must add the Node.js v10.x repository:

curl -SL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_10.x | sudo -E bash -
node.js repository install

Now we can install Node.js:

sudo apt install nodejs
install node.js

We need to verify the Node.js version:

node -v
Check node.js version

We need to verify the NPM version:

npm -v
check NPM version

Install MariaDB Database Server

Install the MariaDB server using the following command:

sudo apt install mariadb-server mariadb-client
MariaDB Server install

Verify that the MadiaDB server installed properly and is running:

systemctl status mariadb
Verify MariaDB is running

Enable MariaDB to run at boot:

sudo systemctl enable mariadb
mariaDB start on server boot

Now we need to secure our MariaDB server using the MySQL Secure script:

sudo mysql_secure_installation
Secure MySQL Server

You will be prompted for a series of questions, below is our recommended answers.

Set Root Password?  Yes 
New Password:  <somepassword>
Re-enter new password: <comepassword>

Remove anonymous users? Yes
Disallow root login remotely?  Yes
Remove test database and access to it? Yes
Reload privilege tables now?   Yes
secure Mysql questions

Create a database for Ghost

Log in to MariaDB:

sudo mariadb -u root
MariaDB login server

Create a database for Ghost to use.  

Be sure to change “ghost_password” to a strong unique password.

create database ghost;
grant all privileges on ghost.* to [email protected] identified by 'ghost_password';
flush privileges;
exit;
Create Ghost Database

Install Nginx

Install Nginx:

sudo apt install nginx
Install NGINX

Install Nginx:

sudo apt install nginx
Install NGINX

Install Ghost

Install the Ghost-CLI

sudo npm install [email protected] -g
Install Ghost-CLI

We need to create a dirctory for our Ghost blog files:

sudo mkdir -p /var/www/ghost/
Make directory for Ghost Blog

Adjust permission to the directory we just created :

sudo chown ghostuser:ghostuser /var/www/ghost
sudo chmod 775 /var/www/ghost
set directory permissions

Now we can install Ghost into our directory:

cd /var/www/ghost
ghost install
install Ghost Blog in Directory

When prompted enter the following information:

Enter your blog URL: https://yourdomain.com 
Enter your MySQL hostname: localhost
Enter your MySQL username: ghost
Enter your MySQL password: ghost_password
Enter your Ghost database name: ghost
Ghost Blog Setup Questions

When prompted enter the following information:

Enter your blog URL: https://yourdomain.com 
Enter your MySQL hostname: localhost
Enter your MySQL username: ghost
Enter your MySQL password: ghost_password
Enter your Ghost database name: ghost

When prompted “Do you wish to set up Nginx?”, say YES

When prompted “Do you wish to set up SSL?”, say YES

Ghost Blog Setup Questions

When prompted “Do you with to set up Systemd?”, say YES

When prompted “Do you want to start Ghost?”, say YES

Ghost-blog-start

When prompted “Do you with to set up Systemd?”, say YES

When prompted “Do you want to start Ghost?”, say YES

Ghost-blog-start

Setup will continue and start Ghost

ghost blog success

NOTE:  
If you get the error “ER_TOO_LONG_KEY: Specified key was too long; max key length is 767 bytes”

Run the following commands to fix this error:

sudo mysql -u root

SELECT TABLE_NAME, ROW_FORMAT FROM information_schema.TABLES WHERE TABLE_SCHEMA="$DB_NAME" AND ROW_FORMAT != 'DYNAMIC' AND ROW_FORMAT != 'COMPRESSED';
exit;

Ghost is now running on https://yourdomain.com

Ghost install is good

Optional - Configure Nginx for both www. and yourdomain.com

This section is purely optional and possibly unnecessary if you are using a domain name that might not require a “www.” address.

First we need to make a few changes to the Nginx configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/yourdomain.com.conf
edit nginx config file

Add the following lines to the configuration file:

server_name yourdomain.com;
server_name yourdomain.com www.yourdomain.com;
Edit conf file

Now we must remove the current SSL configuration so we can generate new certificates:

sudo rm /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/yourdomain.com-ssl.conf
delete ssl configuration

To generate and install the new Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates we will need to install Certbot:

sudo apt install certbot python3-certbot-nginx

Once Certbot is installed, run the following command to generate SSL certificates for both www.yourdomain.com and yourdomain.com:

sudo certbot --nginx --agree-tos --redirect --hsts --staple-ocsp --email [email protected] -d yourdomain.com,www.yourdomain.com

All that is left is to restart Nginx for the changes to take effect:

sudo systemctl restart nginx
Install NGINX Certbot