Since May of 2014 I have been playing on and off with the blogging platform Ghost. It has been an on again off again affair, and I have never left WordPress for it, but rather use it as a test bed for exploring how Reclaim might host applications outside the LAMP stack—an ongoing theme for us over the last 3 or 4 years. So, I have been marking my progress with running Ghost both here on the bava as well as on my Ghost blog. I talked about the idea of this as the Next Generation Sandbox, experimented with getting Ghost running on AWS using Bitnami, feeble terminal work, setting up key pairs in AWS, moving to Reclaim’s container-based setup for a kind of multi-site Ghost, setting up mail for Ghost, and most recently using Cloudron to setup Ghost.
Seven posts over three years about (and on) Ghost is not that much in the end (running out of punny titles), but reading over them whiling writing this I realized there’s a lot of learning wrapped up in trying to figure out AWS, Bitnami images, command line, Docker containers, and Cloudron. All stuff I have been trying to focus on more an more, so this side site in many ways lives up to its subtitle: “Letters from the Cloud.” And I came back to it recently because while I blogged about setting up Ghost through Cloudron back in September, my Ghost instance on Reclaim had been terminated when we decided to no longer offer it through Reclaim Hosting. Given my Ghost blogging had been dormant for a while, I totally forgot I was hosting it through Reclaim and it vanished. Luckily I blogged everything on Ghost through the bava, so nothing was lost, and I had backups of all images, etc. So, I used the occasion of things finally slowing down at Reclaim Hosting and my being under the weather to finally get BavaGhost back online, and now it is!
This is the Cloudron console where I login and you can see the various web applications installed. Right now this is a shared account for Reclaim with a few tests (you can see Tim’s blog there), but the idea would be this would be what an individual user at Reclaim might see if they wanted an app beyond LAMP. In the upper right-hand corner is the App Store icon, you click there at you get access to numerous apps that Cloudron have setup custom Docker containers for that run versions of the various web apps.
So, I clicked on Ghost and defined the location (subdomain):
After that, I have the option to choose an external domain from the field’s right-hand drop-down menu where I can define a different domain I want to point this to.
It tells me how to setup the CNAME, which I did (but imagine we could automate this through Reclaim for folks).
When I did setup it up I need to repair the instance given I had not changed the CNAME before setting it up.
But once I did, Ghost was setup.
This was dead simple compared to the endless time and energy I spent back in 2014 and again in 2016. Literally a click and a CNAME pointer and Ghost is setup, what’s more I can chose daily backups through Cloudron and they also have configured sending email and SSL certs for the application out of the gate. So all I had to do was add /ghost to the end of my URL and I was in business. This does point to how much more viable web infrastructure built on top of this stuff is becoming, and Cloudron is an option we could roll out to folks for Ghost, Mattermost, Discourse, Etherpad, etc. and it can be dead simple for them to set them up.
As for Ghost, I had to do another manual copy and paste of my existing seven posts from the bava to Ghost, but the process was quite enjoyable because I could all but copy and paste my posts in.Ghost is a Markdown editor, but it seems to read pre-existing HTML better than it did even a year ago.