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Meet Jekyll - The Static Site Generator

Meet Jekyll - The Static Site Generator

Jekyll is a static site generator that transforms your plain text into beautiful static web sites and blogs. It can be use for a documentation site, a blog, an event site, or really any web site you like. It’s fast, secure, easy, and open source. It’s also the same site generator I use to maintain my open source documentation. Today, we’ll be installing and configuring Jekyll using the Chirpy theme. We configure the site, create some pages with markdown, automatically build it with a GitHub action and even host it for FREE on GitHub pages. If you don’t want to host in the cloud, show how to host it on your own server or even in Docker.

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Be sure to ⭐ the jekyll repo and the Chrirpy theme repo

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Install Dependencies

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sudo apt update
sudo apt install ruby-full build-essential zlib1g-dev git

To avoid installing RubyGems packages as the root user:

If you are using bash (usually the default for most)

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echo '# Install Ruby Gems to ~/gems' >> ~/.bashrc
echo 'export GEM_HOME="$HOME/gems"' >> ~/.bashrc
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/gems/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

If you are using zsh (you know if you are)

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echo '# Install Ruby Gems to ~/gems' >> ~/.zshrc
echo 'export GEM_HOME="$HOME/gems"' >> ~/.zshrc
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/gems/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.zshrc
source ~/.zshrc

Install Jekyll bundler

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gem install jekyll bundler

Creating a site based on Chirpy Starter

Visit https://github.com/cotes2020/jekyll-theme-chirpy#quick-start

After creating a site based on the template, clone your repo

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git clone [email protected]<YOUR-USER-NAME>/<YOUR-REPO-NAME>.git

then install your dependencies

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cd repo-name
bundle

After making changes to your site, commit and push then up to git

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git add .
git commit -m "made some changes"
git push

Jekyll Commands

serving your site

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bundle exec jekyll s

Building your site in production mode

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JEKYLL_ENV=production bundle exec jekyll b

This will output the production site to _site

Building Site in CI

This site already works with GitHub actions, just push it up and check the actions Tab.,

For GitLab you can see the pipeline I built for my own docs site here

Building with Docker

Create a Dockerfile with the following

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FROM nginx:stable-alpine
COPY _site /usr/share/nginx/html

Build site in production mode

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JEKYLL_ENV=production bundle exec jekyll b

Then build your image:

docker build .

Creating a Post

Naming Conventions

Jekyll uses a naming convention for pages and posts

Create a file in _posts with the format

YEAR-MONTH-DAY-title.md

For example:

2022-05-23-homelab-docs.md
2022-05-34-hardware-specs.md

Jekyll can delay posts which have the date/time set for a point in the future determined by the “front matter” section at the top of your post file. Check the date & time as well as time zone if you don’t see a post appear shortly after re-build.

Local Linking of Files

Image from asset:

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... which is shown in the screenshot below:
![A screenshot](/assets/screenshot.jpg)

Linking to a file

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... you can [download the PDF](/assets/diagram.pdf) here.

See more post formatting rules on the Jekyll site

Markdown Examples

If you need some help with markdown, check out the markdown cheat sheet

I have lots of examples in my documentation site repo. Just click on the Raw button to see the code behind the page.

For more neat syntax for the Chirpy theme check their demo page on making posts https://chirpy.cotes.page/posts/write-a-new-post/

See reference repo for files

⚙️ See all the hardware I recommend at https://l.technotim.live/gear

🚀 Don’t forget to check out the 🚀Launchpad repo with all of the quick start source files

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.