Really smooth Windows 10 Theme development set-up

A big thank you to all who shared their theme development setup, here’s what I got which is working really well on Widows 10, with the help of Linux/Ubuntu. This is for when you are self-hosting Ghost and have Shell/SSH access and have a Ghost site up and running on your VPS.

Install Ubuntu on Windows 10

One-command install of Ubuntu on Windows 10. Amazing stuff. Then install NodeJS (18.x.x) & Ghost-CLI & Ghost in Ubuntu. Create a subdirectory in /home for your local dev, ex localghost, and run ghost install local in this directory ie /home/user/localghost

Important: Go to your fresh local ghost install at localhost:2368 and create an admin user.
Done! Now stop ghost with ghost stop

Pull your existing Site content to local

Create a zip/tar archive of the full Ghost directory on your production Ghost on the VPS.
Download to your windows machine and extract to c:\code\ghost or similar

Also export your site contents from Ghost Admin - Labs - Export

Replace the /content in “Ghost on Ubuntu” with Win10 /content

Remove the Ubuntu-ghost /content directory rm -rf /home/user/localghost/content
All windows drives are mounted under /mnt so link the windows dir
ln -s /mnt/c/code/ghost/content /home/[ubunutuser]/localghost/content

Start ghost with ghost start
Ubuntu Ghost now reads content from Windows c:\code\ghost\content folder - wahoo.

Import your Production content json file in Ghost Admin - Labs - Import on local dev ghost

Put the theme under Git version control

Install Git Desktop for Windows (truly a gift to mankind…) and create a repository in existing folder c:\code\ghost\content\themes\mytheme and create & push this new repository to GitHub.

Create a Github Action to deploy the theme on Push

Get the admin API key from your production Ghost install and follow instructions at

Edit theme in VS Code

Open the c:\code\ghost\content\themes\mytheme in VS Code, add Handlebars and Ghost (!) helpers.
Edit theme files

Push changed files

Create a Commit in Git Desktop and push to GitHub. This triggers the Action and deploys your theme to production. 60 seconds later the theme is live on you production Ghost. So smooth it’s unreal.

Have fun!

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