Migrating Ghost

Migrating Ghost

I found the instructions on how to migrate self-hosted Ghost from one host to another quite lacking. It took a lot of tinkering to get it to work properly. And I still don’t quite understand why just picking up an install folder and database dump on one host and dropping it into the new doesn’t work. But I guess this isn’t LAMP-stack PHP-based simplicity.

So. Here goes.


This post is going to assume a lot of knowledge, and doesn’t go into detail about specific steps. More about what steps are required than exactly how to do them. It’s also going to assume that your server is ready for running Ghost – all the prerequisites are there including ghost-cli. This will most likely be taken care of in Step 3 if it isn’t ready for running Ghost, but it’s not going to be covered here.

There will be downtime.

Caveat emptor. YMMV etc.

Step 1 – Export the Ghost data from existing host

Export all members to a CSV.
Export the site details to a JSON – on older installs this is under Settings -> Labs, in the newer ones, it’s under Settings -> Import/Export.
Grab a copy of the config file config.production.json

Step 2 – Update DNS

Point your domain to your new server IP. Don’t forget to do IPv6 too. Wait for propagation to happen. 10 seconds or an hour. Who knows! DNS is magic.

Step 3 – Install Ghost on the new host

This is done with the ghost-cli command ghost install in the directory that you want it to install. Once the installation process is complete, log in to the site, create your user and do all the basics. Delete the default posts and other users.

Step 4 – Migrate images over from the old host to the new

rsync is your friend here. Something like:

rsync -r /var/www/ghostfolder/content/images/ username@host2.example:/var/www/ghostfolder/content/images/

will swiftly move your images over.

Step 5 – Run ghost doctor and fix file permissions

Step 6 – Import members CSV

Step 7 – Import site content JSON

Step 8 – Config file

Add the SMTP settings from config.production.json to your new config file on the new host

Solstice(ish) Swim

Solstice(ish) Swim

I think this is the 3rd year in a row that I’ve dragged friends out to swim in the middle of winter. A celebration of the winter solstice. And end to the darkening. The beginnings of the lightening. Optimism. Encouragement. It’d be nice if the weather started to get better immediately, but at least the days are getting longer.

This year’s swim was a day or two late.

Close enough. Right?

There will be some more photos coming, but I’ve not developed the second roll from the beach visit yet.

It was a stunning day. Hardly any wind at all. The sun had enough bite that I could feel it on my skin. The water was crystal clear and cold. The swell was reasonable, but the waves were smooth and gentle. Lots of time between waves. Couldn’t have asked for a better day for it, really.

The cold water is magic. Makes my mind and body zing. Nick Cave explains it better than I ever will.

Black and white image of two nude men walking on the beach away from the camera towards the ocean.

Photonerd stuff:
Kentmere 400 at box-speed
EF 70-200 f/2.8L
HC-110 1+31 for about 4.5 minutes

Reading Log: At the Mountains of Madness

Reading Log: At the Mountains of Madness

I was much further through this book than I thought. Turns out the last 50% of the book was an analysis of horror fiction using At the Mountains of Madness as an example. It made for a strange experience, though, because I was expecting a lot more to happen.


I expect horror to be “scary”, but this definitely wasn’t. It was, though, very unsettling. It felt very much like the first parts of Alien, where you know things are going to go wrong but you can’t quite imagine just how.

I’ll keep reading Lovecraft things, I think.

Mindful Thoughts.

Mindful Thoughts.

It’s 22:41.

Emma Ruth Rundle’s Engine or Hell Live at Roadburn playing quietly is mixing with the steady whistle of my tinnitus. I can also hear my keyboard as I type away and the quiet whirr of my computer under my desk. The rest of the house is completely quiet.

I can feel my neck muscles. I suspect my posture has been off today. I can feel my chair. I can feel my feet on the ground.

I can smell the flowers on my desk. Brought by Mandi earlier in the week. Grown in her garden. Jonquils. Lavender. Others that I can’t identify.

I can’t see anything outside of my window. It’s too dark. The solstice is a week or so away. I worry about how mild the autumn and winter has been so far.

It’s 22:48.

Nick Cave on Swimming

Nick Cave on Swimming

Turns out that you can send Nick Cave a short message and if you’re lucky, he’ll reply to your question in public. It will get logged in the Red Hand Files archive and it will go out in an email. Very cool.

It also turns out that Nick Cave and I have something in common: we both like swimming at every opportunity, as I found out in the most recent Red Hand Files email.

Have a read of the whole thing. It’s good.

Then get in touch with me, and let’s go swimming in the cold water. Hopefully our walk back from the water to the warmth of wherever we are going resembles Nick’s:

As my friends and I make our way back through the woods, borne on the wings of God’s laughing angels, in the grip of some massive dopamine surge, we understand we are better now. This sense of delight, this shivering joy, will remain with us as we go about our day.