Deploy a Ghost Blog on Fly.io

Mar 04, 2022

Fly.io is yet another Platform as a Service, you can think of it as a serverless and multi-regional Heroku.

It also offers a generous free plan:

  • Up to 3GB of persistent volumes per organization
  • Run 3 shared-cpu-1x VMs with 256MB RAM (the lowest) full time
  • 160GB bandwidth per month

In practice, this is more than enough for hosting a low traffic Ghost blog.

To get started, you need to install Fly's command line tool first, then create an account and login with the CLI:

flyctl auth login

Create a new folder for this project:

mkdir my-blog
cd my-blog

Then create a fly.toml with the following contents:

app = "ghost-blog"
kill_signal = "SIGINT"
kill_timeout = 5
processes = []
[build]
  image = "ghost:4-alpine"
[mounts]
  source="ghost-blog"
  destination="/var/lib/ghost/content"
[env]
  url="https://ghost-blog.fly.dev"
[experimental]
  allowed_public_ports = []
  auto_rollback = true
[[services]]
  http_checks = []
  internal_port = 2368
  processes = ["app"]
  protocol = "tcp"
  script_checks = []
  [services.concurrency]
    hard_limit = 25
    soft_limit = 20
    type = "connections"
  [[services.ports]]
    handlers = ["http"]
    port = 80
  [[services.ports]]
    handlers = ["tls", "http"]
    port = 443
  [[services.tcp_checks]]
    grace_period = "1s"
    interval = "15s"
    restart_limit = 0
    timeout = "2s"

Be sure to replace ghost-blog with a custom app name, try to make it unique because it's also used as the subdomain.

After that you need to create a persistent volume to store Ghost contents such as images, themes and the SQLite database:

fly volumes create ghost-blog --size 1

The [mounts] source section defines the name of the persistent volume you wanna bind this app to, here I have set it to ghost-blog, the one created by the above command.

Now everything is ready, you can run fly deploy to deploy this website. When it's successfully deployed, you can visit ghost-blog.fly.dev/ghost (or your custom app name) to create an admin user.

To add a custom domain to your blog, go to your Fly dashboard:

fly dashboard

Make sure to update the url in fly.toml to your custom domain and re-deploy it.