The Ghost platform makes it all but impossible to add new users if you don't have a mail server configured.
In this post, I will show you how to work around this and add new users without needing to send an email.


  • SELECT and UPDATE permissions on the database backing Ghost. If you set Ghost up yourself, you will have this.

Part 1 - Invite User

  1. Log into your Ghost blog.
  2. Go to the "Staff" section.
  3. Click "Invite People".
  4. Insert a dummy email and the role you'd like the user to have, then click "Send invitation now".
    Note: You'll probably see an error after you've submitted the invitation. You can safely ignore this.

Part 2 - Getting the Invitation

  1. Connect to a shell on the server hosting your Ghost site.
  2. Run the following command: mysql -u <user> -p
    And then enter the password.
  3. Ghost's database is most likely named ghost_prod, but run the following command to make sure: SHOW DATABASES;
  4. Run the following command to tell MySQL that you're operating on the Ghost database: USE ghost_prod;. Replace ghost_prod with the name of your Ghost database if it differs.
  5. You need to tell Ghost that the invitation has been sent, otherwise the invitation will remain invalid: UPDATE invites SET status='sent';
  6. Now run SELECT email,token FROM invites;. The invitation token is the important part. You want all of it except for the = (or == in some cases) at the end.
  7. Replacing <token> with the token from the output of the last command and <your-blog-address> with your site's address (e.g., send the following URL to the user:

I always welcome feedback on my posts, please contact me if you have any. I'm also happy to answer any related questions if I know the answer.