Fixing 502 Errors After Ghost Upgrade on Digital Ocean

Last night I upgraded my blog to the latest version of ghost with the help of Digital Ocean's tutorial.

Upgrading Ghost (updated as of Ghost 0.4)

  • First you'll need to find out the URL of the latest Ghost version. It should be something like
  • Once you've got the URL for the latest version, in your Droplet console type cd /var/www/ to change directory to where the Ghost codebase lives.
  • Next, type wget
  • Remove the old core directory by typing rm -rf ghost/core
  • Unzip the archive with unzip -uo -d ghost
  • Make sure all of the files have the right permissions with chown -R ghost:ghost ghost/*
  • Change into your Ghost directory with cd ghost, then run npm install --production to get any new dependencies
  • Finally, restart Ghost so that the changes take effect using service ghost restart

From the terminal this seemed to work as expected; however, when I tried to access the site via the browser I was served with a 502 Error from nginx.

502 Error for

First things first, check your error logs for nginx.

Open to /var/log/nginx/error.log and scroll to the bottom of the file, you should one or more errors.

Likely causes

  • When you updated and ran npm install --production something failed
  • You forgot to update your nginx configuration to point to the blog
  • You updated the nginx configuration but not the ghost configuration for your domain name settings


First thing to check is that your dependencies have installed correctly during the update.

  1. open the console and cd /var/www/ghost
  2. run npm start --production
  3. watch for dependency errors

You will probably see something like run 'npm install sqlite3 --save' and an error stating that npm couldn't find one or more dependencies. Run the commands as instructed and then try and start npm again, rinse and repeat until you've cleared the dependency errors.

Next check that your nginx configurations are correct. Open /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/ghost and /etc/nginx/sites-available/ghost and check that your server_name is correct. The server_name config will be inside the server block.

server {  

Last you need to validate your ghost url configuration. Open /var/www/ghost/config.js and look for the production config block. Inside the production block you will see the url attribute, this should match your domain name. e.g.

production: {  
  url: ''

Once you've validated all of your configs you can restart ghost by running service ghost restart

Joe Woodward

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