We first covered open source blogging platform Ghost following the launch of its very successful Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign in May. The free software is billed as the first blogging platform to put writers before developers, and is managed by non-profit organization the Ghost Foundation, a move designed to make the software impossible for large corporations to buy out. On Monday, Ghost announced that after five months in development, the software has been opened up to the public to download.

Though Ghost plans to launch a hosted blog service, the software is initially available as a download to those wishing to host a blog on their own server space. Among the touted benefits of the software are clean blog designs, a simple back end for managing content, and support for Markdown for generating HTML posts from simple, easy-to-type formatting.

Ghost's entry editing screen (left) works besides a preview pane (right), and gives a good idea of the benefits of Markdown support

The Ghost Foundation says that, once the hosted version launches, all profits will be be put back into software development, with the hopes of growing "a sustainable open source business model." The project's three full-time staff were assisted by 17 contributors to the project from around the globe.

The software and installation instructions are available on GitHub.

Source: Ghost