Too long, didn’t read? I reinstalled Ghost and copied across the content and configuration file. It worked.
I get a bit into the weeds here, and there isn’t much of a satisfying conclusion, but I’m documenting the process in the hopes that parts of it might help someone. A few Ghost blogs I run for people on a FreeBSD virtual server failed last night, and were only serving their content via local caches.
I tried restarting one of them in its FreeBSD jail:
$ ghost start example-blog Process manager 'systemd' will not run on this system, defaulting to 'local' [..]
That’s true, FreeBSD doesn’t use systemd. But then I got systemd-related errors anyway, which made no sense:
✖ Checking systemd unit file ✖ Checking systemd node version One or more errors occurred. 1) SystemError Message: Unable to load or parse systemd unit file 2) SystemError Message: Unable to determine node version in use by systemd Help: Ensure 'ExecStart' exists in /lib/systemd/system/ghost_ghost-local.service and uses a valid Node version Debug Information: OS: FreeBSD, v12.2 Node Version: v14.17.0 Ghost Version: 4.8.4 Ghost-CLI Version: 1.17.3 Environment: production Command: 'ghost start local'
$ ghost log --error Process manager 'systemd' will not run on this system, defaulting to 'local' [2021-04-22 16:22:17] ERROR NAME: InternalServerError CODE: SHARP_INSTALLATION MESSAGE: Sharp wasn't installed
Okay, let’s install it then:
$ npm install sharp
Bingo, the most recent version requires an external library on BSD and Solaris:
npm ERR! code 1 npm ERR! path /var/ghost/node_modules/sharp npm ERR! command failed [..] npm ERR! sharp: Please see https://sharp.pixelplumbing.com/install for required dependencies npm ERR! sharp: Installation error: BSD/SunOS systems require manual installation of libvips >= 8.10.6
I searched the ports system and found it, courtesy of danilo@. I installed:
$ sudo pkg search vips ==> vips-8.10.6_1 Free image processing system # sudo pkg install -y graphics/vips [..] Number of packages to be installed: 101 The process will require 768 MiB more space. 140 MiB to be downloaded.
Holy dependencies Batman. Good thing I’m running this in a FreeBSD jail so I’m keeping this all local to the ghost install, and not clobbering system versions of things.
Now I could try installing sharp again:
$ npm install sharp added 32 packages, changed 1 package, and audited 158 packages in 6s
That looked promising. Alas, the same Ghost error from the start of this post.
I tried rebuilding in the Ghost directory:
$ npm rebuild npm ERR! code 1 npm ERR! path /var/ghost/node_modules/sharp npm ERR! command failed npm ERR! command sh -c (node install/libvips && node install/dll-copy && prebuild-install) || (node install/can-compile && node-gyp rebuild && node install/dll-copy) npm ERR! sharp: Detected globally-installed libvips v8.10.6 npm ERR! sharp: Building from source via node-gyp npm ERR! gyp info it worked if it ends with ok npm ERR! gyp info using firstname.lastname@example.org npm ERR! gyp info using email@example.com | freebsd | x64 npm ERR! gyp ERR! configure error npm ERR! gyp ERR! stack Error: Command failed: /usr/local/bin/python3.8 -c import sys; print "%s.%s.%s" % sys.version_info[:3]; npm ERR! gyp ERR! stack File "<string>", line 1 npm ERR! gyp ERR! stack import sys; print "%s.%s.%s" % sys.version_info[:3]; npm ERR! gyp ERR! stack ^ npm ERR! gyp ERR! stack SyntaxError: invalid syntax
This forum post suggested removing the Sharp directory, then try building again:
$ cd /var/ghost/node_modules $ mv sharp sharp-backup $ npm install sharp
Same error as above.
At this stage I just wanted to get back to my Sunday breakfast. I mulled rolling back to yesterday’s automatic ZFS snapshot, but in the end I installed a new version of Ghost, and copied across the config:
$ mv /var/ghost /var/ghost-borked $ mkdir /var/ghost $ cd /var/ghost $ ghost install $ rm -rf /var/ghost/content $ cp /var/ghost-borked/config.production.json /var/ghost/ $ cp -R /var/ghost-borked/content /var/ghost/content
It worked. Either npm or Ruben borked a bunch of dependencies. I could get back to my breakfast, and a partner in crime could get back to her writing.
Things I learned today:
OpenZFS is a lifesaver. Had stuff really gone belly-up, I could have rolled back to an earlier snapshot and troubleshooted on my own time.
The fact you can rebuild an entire Ghost install in a few commands, and import the config and content from another install is awesome.
Ghost is way faster and easier for end users, but its dependency tree is so much more brittle than WordPress. I’ve been running the latter for people since 2005 without equivalent errors, save for that one adventure with PHP’s MySQL package in 2010-ish.
I need to skill up on node and npm package management more than I thought.