Is this how The Ghost Backup function is supposed to work?

I don’t know where else to put this, I don’t know if this is a bug or intended behaviour.

I am extremely disappointed in the Ghost Backup function.

An attempt earlier today to upgrade Ghost v5.42 to the latest stable version, caused a chain reaction where the Ghost CLI and Ghost App had a failure which forced me to uninstall the app. I did my due diligence and I ran ghost backup. I saw the the file, I back upped the file locally.

After several hours struggling with nodejs versions, ghost cli breaking in the middle of the migration leaving my database unrecoverable, forcing several reinstalls of everything from NodeJS to a broken systemctl service. I was finally able to recover to an empty ghost blog. I followed the instructions to import the data using ghost import cli function.

To my surprise, it did not import my email subscribers. It did not import any of my settings, or my mailgun settings. No matter, I understand that might be sensitive data. So I just went through my settings and altered it to my personal defaults.

I dragged across the email subscriber excel file into the import subscribers.

And there it was.

15 users.

Ghost backup’s function only saved the 15 most recent of my ~70 total users.

I know 70 users is nothing to most of you, but I spent the last three years building up that very small amount of users. It was not much but I was very proud of it. When I sent out email I would see a few early subscribers would always read it every week, a few would interact with the thumbs up, and thumbs down.

And Yes I understand that in production you never assume that things like backups work, and I did not have a rolling backup. the Ghost uninstall wiped all the previous backups, since backups were saved next to the main app.

I understand that at the end of the day this falls on me, to have been manually backing up.

I unfortunately assumed that a ghost backup function would backup the entire of the ghostblog as it was at that time.

I don’t know if this is how the ghost backup function is supposed to work or not. But if it is, a warning could be placed in the installation page or the How to backup your self-hosted Ghost install - Ghost Developers
so that users know that a manual backup of your members is necessary, regardless of whether or not you use the cli.

I would like to end this by saying, I am very grateful for Ghost and I know the developers have put in alot of work and sometimes things just happen. I have enjoyed using it these past few years. I will probably return to the blog once I take the time to deal with this.

Thank you to the community and to the developers for continuing to maintain Ghost.

Oh no, so sorry to hear that this happened to you!

Is it possible you can recover the missing users through your mailgun account?

(I’m assuming they aren’t paying users, or else you’d have them in Stripe still…?)

That sucks. Sorry to hear. ghost backup should export all your members. If you open the CSV file, do you only see 15 members?

@Cathy_Sarisky’s idea is also quite good, to see if you can recover those emails from your email provider by looking at the last newsletter you sent out…

Thanks for understanding.

I was able to recover some emails from my own email when ghost sent out notifications, but not all, it was just the last 20 or so I was able to recover.

I am on the free tier for mailgun, and it seemed to have cleared since I last sent out.

I cannot have stripe active due to not being in a country that Stripe supports.

I did open the csv file and check, it really only did have 15 lines of data. Not sure why that was.


@Void_Zero Did you get any resolution to this? I’m using the latest Ghost CLI and Ghost version and I’m facing the same issue. Ghost backup is exporting only 15 out of 65 subscribers.

As a workaround, from the admin panel, go to Members and click the gear to expose the export button. I just checked, and that correctly exports my 28 members (on Ghost pro, so 5.53 or whatever version we’re on this morning). It sounds like the bug is specific to the CLI and does not impact the admin panel.

While that works, it cannot be automated :( ghost backup can be automated to run on a schedule. It looks like one of the recent updates changed the way the members API functions.

Good Morning :wave: :coffee:

A fix was just published.

Should be able to run npm install -g ghost-cli@latest to update to the latest CLI containing the fix.

Let me know if you run into any further issues. :blush:


Just tried it & it’s working!

Thanks a ton, Ron!

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Ah, so there was a cli issue.

Well I am happy it has been solved now.

@ ronaldlangeveld Thanks for the fix! Much appreciated.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to sorting it out.