Nurkholis Madjid

Installing Ghost on Mac

Ghost logo.Ghost logo.

Ghost is a new blogging platform. In fact, it’s still in version 0.4.2 when this post is published. Yes, zero point something, not even one yet. If you like exploring new things, I recommend you to give Ghost a try. It’s released under MIT license, which means everyone is free to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, or even sell it.

I have installed Ghost on my Mac because I wanted to create my own theme. Installing the platform and creating its theme are not rocket science that mere mortal like me can do it. Now, I’d like to share how to install Ghost on Mac.1

Installing Node.js

Ghost is built on node.js, so first thing you need to do is install node.js if you haven’t.2 Go to the download page to download the Macintosh Installer package. Open Finder. Go to your Downloads folder in your Finder. Run the downloaded package (node-vX.XX.XX.pkg). Install node.js at any directory you want (but make sure that the location is in your $PATH. Done.

Alternatively, if you prefer to install node.js via terminal with command line,3 here are the steps (in this example I install node.js in ~/Applications folder).

$ cd ~/Applications
$ curl -O
$ tar -zxvf node-latest.tar.gz
$ cd node-vX.XX.XX
$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

In English:

Download the latest stable version of node.js to ~/Applications directory or any location you want, unzip the downloaded package, and then install it. Done.

Installing Ghost

Installing Ghost is quite simple. Just download the package from its website. Unzip the package and place it anywhere you want (in this example I put it in ~/Applications/ghost). And then install it.

$ mkdir -p ~/Applications/ghost
$ cd ~/Applications/ghost
$ curl -OL
$ unzip
$ npm install --production
$ cp config.example.js config.js

The installation is actually finished here, but before starting Ghost, you need to configure something. Open Finder. Go to the Ghost installation directory (~/Applications/ghost). Find config.js file. Edit config.js with any text editor you like. Replace all url: '' with url: ''. And now Ghost is ready to be started.

$ npm start --production

> ghost@0.4.2 start /Users/nmadjid/Downloads/ghost
> node index

Ghost is running... 
Your blog is now available on 
Ctrl+C to shut down

Open your browser, go to Boom, Ghost blog is running on your Mac.

Ghost screenshot.Ghost screenshot.

Running Ghost in background

Starting Ghost with npm start requires the terminal where you run the command to be always open. If you close the terminal, then Ghost will stop running. To prevent Ghost from stopping, you can use forever to run Ghost in background. Of course you need to install forever first if you haven’t.

$ sudo npm install forever -g
$ NODE_ENV=production forever start index.js

By starting Ghost with forever, now you can close the terminal without making Ghost stop running.4 That’s it. Ghost is running nicely on your Mac. Go to with your browser for signing up an account in your new Ghost blog. When you’ve signed in, you can start writing posts or change some settings. Happy Ghosting!


Update 27 August 2014

The blog is now built on Jekyll.

Update 01 October 2016:

I have moved the blog to Blot. Surprise, surprise!

  1. Mine runs OS X 10.9 Mavericks

  2. Node.js is kind of application platform. It’s not necessary to know what node.js is for you to install Ghost, I’m no expert either. However, if you’re interested you can learn more about it at

  3. Just because it looks cool, right?

  4. To stop Ghost just type forever stop index.js.

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Any comments, I'm @_nmadjid on Twitter and Instagram.