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Ghost is a powerful open source publishing and blog platform based on nodejs. It’s well designed and easy to use. The ghost platform is written in JavaScript and uses node.js as a runtime environment. The first Ghost version released in 2013 under the MIT license..

Traefik is modern HTTP reverse proxy and load balancer for microservices. Traefik makes all microservices deployment easy, integrated with existing infrastructure components such as Docker, Swarm Mode, Kubernetes, Amazon ECS, Rancher, Etcd, Consul etc.

In this tutorial, we will show step-by-step how to install and configure Ghost as a Docker container. We will install and configure Ghost under the latest Docker CE version, use the MySQL as a database and use the Traefik as a Reverse Proxy.


  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • Root privileges

What we will do

  1. Install Docker CE on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  2. Setup Docker for Non-root User
  3. Install Docker Compose
  4. Configure Ghost Stack
  • Create a Custom Network
  • Create a Project Directory
  • Create and Configure MySQL Container
  • Create and Configure Traefik Reverse Proxy
  • Create and Configure Ghost Container
  • Deploy Ghost with MySQL and Traefik
  • Testing
  • Step 1 – Install Docker CE on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

    The first step we will do in this tutorial is to install the latest docker-ce version of the system. The docker-ce version can be installed from the official docker repository.

    Add the docker key and docker-ce repository.

    curl -fsSL | sudo apt-key add –
    sudo add-apt-repository
       “deb [arch=amd64]
       $(lsb_release -cs)

    The command will automatically update all repositories on the system.

    Now install docker using the apt command below.

    sudo apt install docker-ce -y

    After the installation is complete, start the docker service and enable it to launch every time at system startup.

    systemctl start docker
    systemctl enable docker

    The latest docker-ce version has been installed on the Ubuntu 18.04 system.

    Installing Docker CE

    Step 2 – Setup Docker for Non-root User

    In this guide, all container microservices will be run under the normal/non-root user. So we need to configure the user to be able to run the Docker container and run the sudo command for root privileges.

    Create a new user named ‘hakase’ and create the password.

    useradd -m -s /bin/bash hakase
    passwd hakase

    Now assign the ‘hakase’ user to the ‘sudo’ and ‘docker’ groups.

    usermod -a -G root hakase
    usermod -a -G docker hakase

    And restart the docker service.

    systemctl restart docker

    The ‘hakase’ can now run the docker container and run the sudo command for root privileges.

    Setup Docker for Non-root User

    Login as user ‘hakase’ and run the docker hello-world container.

    su – hakase
    docker run -it hello-world

    And following is the result.

    Test docker as non-root user

    Step 3 – Install Docker Compose

    In this tutorial, we will install the docker compose 1.21 from a binary file on Github repository.

    Download the docker-compose binary to the ‘/usr/local/bin’ directory.

    sudo curl -L$(uname -s)-$(uname -m) -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

    And make the ‘docker-compose’ file executable by changing the file permission.

    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose

    The docker compose has been installed – check it using the command below.

    docker-compose version
    docker version

    Install Docker Compose

    Docker-compose 1.21 with Docker-ce 1.18 has been installed.

    Step 4 – Configure Ghost Stack

    In this step, we will configure the docker and create a new docker-compose file for the ghost installation.

    We will create a new docker custom network and create a new docker-compose yml file that contains three main services, including MySQL database, Traefik reverse proxy, and Ghost blog itself.

    Create a Custom Network

    Show the available docker network using docker network command below.

    docker network ls

    Create a new custom docker network for the traefik reverse proxy named ‘traefiknet’.

    docker network create traefiknet

    Now check again the available network on the docker system.

    docker network ls

    Create a Custom Network

    The custom network for Treafik named ‘traefiknet’ has been created.

    Create a Project Directory

    After creating the docker custom network, we will create a new project directory named ‘ghost’ and create a new docker-compose.yml file.

    Login to the ‘hakase’ user.

    su – hakase

    Create a new ‘ghost’ directory and change the working directory to it.

    mkdir ghost/
    cd ghost/

    And create a new docker-compose file.

    touch docker-compose.yml

    Create and Configure MySQL Service

    MySQL is the first service we want to create, and we want to create the MySQL container with configurations below.

    • We will be using the MySQL 5.7 docker image.
    • Mount the MySQL data directory to the local docker host directory.
    • Running the MySQL service on the local internal network.
    • Configure MySQL user and password.
      • MySQL root password: mypassword
      • Database for the ghost named ‘ghostdb’ with user ‘ghost’ and password is ‘ghostdbpass’
    • The MySQL container will be named as ‘mysql’.

    Inside the ‘ghost’ directory, create a new directory named ‘data’ and edit the ‘docker-compose.yml’ file.

    mkdir -p data/
    vim docker-compose.yml

    Paste the configuration below.

    version: '3.3'
        image: mysql:5.7
        restart: always
          - ./data:/var/lib/mysql
          - "traefik.enable=false"
          - internal
          MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD: mypassword
          MYSQL_USER: ghost
          MYSQL_PASSWORD: ghostdbpass
          MYSQL_DATABASE: ghostdb
        container_name: mysql

    Save and exit.

    Create and Configure Traefik Reverse Proxy

    After creating the MySQL service, we will create and configure the traefik reverse proxy container.

    Before editing the ‘docker-compose.yml’ script, we need to create a new traefik configuration named ‘traefik.toml’.

    vim traefik.toml

    Paste traefik rule configuration below.

    #Traefik Global Configuration
    debug = false
    checkNewVersion = true
    logLevel = "ERROR"
    #Define the EntryPoint for HTTP and HTTPS
    defaultEntryPoints = ["https","http"]
    #Define the HTTP port 80 and
    #HTTPS port 443 EntryPoint
    #Enable automatically redirect HTTP to HTTPS
    address = ":80"
    entryPoint = "https"
    address = ":443"
    #Enable Traefik Dashboard on port 8080
    #with basic authentication method
    #hakase and password
        users = [
    dashboard = true
    #Enable retry sending a request if the network error
    #Define Docker Backend Configuration
    endpoint = "unix:///var/run/docker.sock"
    domain = ""
    watch = true
    exposedbydefault = false
    #Letsencrypt Registration
    #Define the Letsencrypt ACME HTTP challenge
    email = "[email protected]"
    storage = "acme.json"
    entryPoint = "https"
    OnHostRule = true
      entryPoint = "http"

    Save and exit.

    Now we need to create a new file for the SSL Letsencrypt configuration ‘acme.json’. It’s used to store all letsencrypt generate a log.

    Create the blank ‘acme.json’ file and change the permission to 600.

    touch acme.json
    chmod 600 acme.json

    Next, we will edit the ‘docker-compose.yml’ script and add the traefik service configuration.

    • We will be using the latest traefik docker image.
    • The container will be named as ‘traefik’
    • It’s used the custom network ‘traefiknet’, and expose the HTTP and HTTPS ports.
    • Mount the docker sock file and the traefik configuration ‘traefik.toml’ and ‘acme.json’
    • We defined the traefik dashboard URL and backend through the docker labels.

    Edit the ‘docker-compose.yml’.

    vim docker-compose.yml

    Paste the traefik service configuration below.

        image: traefik:latest
        command: --docker
          - 80:80
          - 443:443
          - "traefik.enable=true"
          - "traefik.backend=dashboard"
          - ""
          - "traefik.port=8080"
          - traefiknet
          - /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock
          - ./traefik.toml:/traefik.toml
          - ./acme.json:/acme.json
        container_name: traefik
        restart: always

    Save and exit.

    Create and Configure Ghost Service

    After configuring the traefik reverse proxy, we will create the main ghost service configuration.

    Configuration details that we want to create.

    • We will be using the ghost v1 and the small docker alpine version.
    • We will mount the ghost content directory to the local directory named ‘blog’.
    • The ghost service will be running on the default port with the domain name ‘’, the configuration through docker labels.
    • The ghost service will be using two docker networks, internal and traefiknet.
    • We’re configuring the MySQL database details from the mysql container configuration.
    • And the ghost will be started when the traefik and MySQL container is up and running.

    Create a new directory named ‘blog’ and edit the ‘docker-compose.yml’ file.

    mkdir -p blog/
    vim docker-compose.yml

    Paste the configuration below.

        image: ghost:1-alpine
        restart: always
          - 2368
          - ./blog:/var/lib/ghost/content
          - "traefik.enabled=true"
          - "traefik.backend=ghost"
          - ""
          - ""
          - "traefik.port=2368"
          - internal
          - traefiknet
          database__client: mysql
          database__connection__host: mysql
          database__connection__user: ghost
          database__connection__password: ghostdbpass
          database__connection__database: ghostdb
        container_name: ghost
          - mysql
          - traefik

    networks: traefiknet: external: true internal: external: false

    Save and exit.

    Create and Configure Ghost Service

    And now we got all directory and configuration as shown below.


    config files

    Step 5 – Deploy Ghost with MySQL and Traefik

    To build and run all our ghost stack service, we can use the command below.

    docker-compose up -d

    Deploy Ghost with MySQL and Traefik

    When it’s complete, check all running services.

    docker-compose ps

    And the following is the result.

    docker-compose ps

    If you have an error, check the container log using commands below.

    docker-compose logs mysql
    docker-compose logs traefik
    docker-compose logs ghost

    check the container log

    The ghost stack with MySQL and the Traefik reverse proxy is up and running.

    Step 6 – Testing

    Open the Traefik dashboard with its URL, mine is

    Log in with the user and password on the ‘traefik.toml’ file.

    Login to Traefik

    And following is the Traefik dashboard.

    Traefik dashboard

    For the Ghost installation, type the ghost URL on the address bar, mine is

    And you will get the ghost home page.

    Ghost Blog running on Docker

    Now visit the admin page to set up and configure a new admin user. My URL is:

    Click the green button to create a new admin user.

    Ghost installer

    Type detail user, password, email, and click again the green button.

    Create admin login

    For inviting a new member or user, click the ‘I will do this later..’ link.

    Invite users

    Now you will get the Ghost Dashboard.

    Ghost Dashboard

    And after creating the sample post, the following is the result.

    Ghost glog running in Docker container

    Ghost blog installation with MySQL database and Traefik Reverse Proxy on the Docker environment has been completed successfully.


    About Muhammad Arul

    Muhammad Arul is a freelance system administrator and technical writer. He is working with Linux Environments for more than 5 years, an Open Source enthusiast and highly motivated on Linux installation and troubleshooting. Mostly working with RedHat/CentOS Linux and Ubuntu/Debian, Nginx and Apache web server, Proxmox, Zimbra Administration, and Website Optimization. Currently learning about OpenStack and Container Technology.