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Jekyll is "a simple, blog aware, static site generator. It takes a template directory (representing the raw form of a website), runs it through Textile or Markdown and Liquid converters, and spits out a complete, static website suitable for serving with Apache or your favorite web server. This is also the engine behind GitHub Pages, which you can use to host your project’s page or blog right here from GitHub." [1]

Werner announced the release of Jekyll on his website on November 17, 2008.


Jekyll can be installed in Arch Linux with the RubyGems package manager or using the applicable packages in the Arch User Repository. Both methods require the Ruby package in [extra] to be installed.

RubyGems (Recommended)

Note: RubyGems 1.8 and above are displaying numerous uncritical warnings.

The best way to install Jekyll is with RubyGems, a package manager for the Ruby programming language. RubyGems is installed alongside the Ruby package, which is located in the extra repository.

# pacman -S ruby ruby-docs

Jekyll can then be installed for all users on the machine using the gem command as root. Alternative installation methods are available on the Ruby page.

Before installing Jekyll make sure to update RubyGems.

# gem update --system

Then install Jekyll using the gem command.

# gem install jekyll

Arch User Repository (Alternate)

Alternately, ruby-jekyllAUR can be installed from the Arch User Repository.

Select a Markup Language

There are numerous different markup languages that are used to define text-to-HTML conversion tools. Jekyll has two defaults; Textile and Markdown. Implementations of both are required as dependencies of Jekyll.


Textile is a markup language used by Jekyll.

Note: RedCloth, a module for using the Textile markup language in Ruby, fails to install with gcc 4.6.0 (see: RedCloth Ticket 215 and 219). It is recommended that you install the current stable version 4.2.2 by gem install RedCloth --version 4.2.2.


Markdown is a markup language and text-to-HTML conversion tool developed in Perl by John Gruber. A Perl and a Python implementation of Markdown can be found in [community], while numerous other implementations are available in the AUR. The default implementation of Markdown in Jekyll is Maruku.

Additionally, it has been implemented in C as Discount by David Parsons and a Ruby extension was written by Ryan Tomayko as RDiscount. You can install RDiscount with Rubygems as root or through the AUR.

# gem install rdiscount -s

Then add the following line to your _config.yml.

markdown: rdiscount

If you are unfamiliar with Markdown, Gruber's website presents an excellent introduction. Additionally, you can try out Markdown using Gruber's online conversion tool.


A default Jekyll directory tree looks like the following, where "." denotes the root directory of your Jeykll generated website.

|-- _config.yml
|-- _layouts
|   |-- default.html
|   `-- post.html
|-- _posts
|   |-- 2010-02-13-early-userspace-in-arch-linux.textile
|   `-- 2011-05-29-arch-linux-usb-install-and-rescue-media.textile
|-- _site
`-- index.html

A default file structure is available from Daniel McGraw's Jekyll-Base page on GitHub.

Note: McGraw has also setup a more extensive default file structure on GitHub.

The _config.yml file stores configuration data. It includes numerous configuration settings, which may also be called as flags. Full explanation and a default configuration can be found on GitHub.

Once you have configured your _config.yml to your liking you need to create the files that will be processed by Jekyll to generate the website.


Next you need to create templates that Jekyll can process. These templates make use of the Liquid templating system to input data. For a full explanation check GitHub.

Additionally, each file besides /_layouts/layout.html requires a YAML Front Matter heading.

Create Index Layout

This is a basic template for your index.html, which is used to render your website's index page.

layout: layout
title: Jekyll Base

<div class="content">
  <div class="related">
      {% for post in site.posts %}
	<span>{{ | date: "%B %e, %Y" }}</span> <a href="{{ post.url }}">{{ post.title }}</a>
      {% endfor %}

Create General Website Layout

This is a basic template for your website's general layout. It will be referenced in the YAML Front Matter blocks of each file (see: Creating a Post).


    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
    <meta name="author" content="Your Name" />
    <title>{{ page.title }}</title>
      <h1><a href="/">Jekyll Base</a></h1>
      {{ content }}

Create Post Layout

This is a basic template for each of your posts. Again, this will be referenced in the YAML Front Matter blocks of each file (see: Creating a Post).

layout: layout
title: sample title

<div class="content">
  <div id="post">
    <h1>{{ post.title }}</h1>
    {{ content }}

Creating a Post

The content of each blog post will be contained within a file inside of the _posts directorys. To use the default naming convention each file should be saved with the year, month, date, post title and end with the *.md or *.textile depending on the markup language used (e.g. 2010-02-13-early-userspace-in-arch-linux.textile). The date defined in the filename will be used as the published date in the post. Additionally, the filename will be used to generate the permalink (i.e. /categories/year/month/day/title.html). To use an alternate permalink style or create your own review the explanation on GitHub.


To generate a static HTML website based on your Textile or Markdown documents run jekyll. To simultaneously test the generated HTML website run Jekyll with the --server flag.

$ jekyll serve

or if you want jekyll to watch for file changes

$ jekyll serve --watch

It is recommended to define server options in your _config.yml. The default will start a server on port 4000, which can be accessed in your web browser at localhost:4000.

See also



Websites created with Jekyll can be found on GitHub.