Posts Getting Started

Getting Started


Follow the Jekyll Docs to complete the installation of Ruby, RubyGems, Jekyll and Bundler.


There are two ways to get the theme:

  • Install from RubyGems - Easy to update, isolate irrelevant project files so you can focus on writing.
  • Fork on GitHub - Convenient for custom development, but difficult to update, only suitable for web developers.

Installing the Theme Gem

Add this line to your Jekyll site’s Gemfile:

gem "jekyll-theme-chirpy"

And add this line to your Jekyll site’s _config.yml:

theme: jekyll-theme-chirpy

And then execute:

$ bundle

Finally, copy the required files from the theme’s gem (for detailed files, see starter project) to your Jekyll site.

Hint: To locate the installed theme’s gem, execute:

$ bundle info --path jekyll-theme-chirpy

Or you can use the starter template to create a Jekyll site to save time copying files from the theme’s gem. We have prepared everything for you there!

Fork on GitHub

Fork Chirpy on GitHub and then clone your fork to local. (Please note that the default branch code is in development. If you want the blog to be stable, please switch to the latest tag and start writing.)

Install gem dependencies by:

$ bundle

And then execute:

$ bash tools/

Note: If you don’t plan to deploy your site on GitHub Pages, append parameter option --no-gh at the end of the above command.

What it does is:

  1. Remove some files or directories from your repository:
    • .travis.yml
    • files under _posts
    • folder docs
  2. If you use the --no-gh option, the directory .github will be deleted. Otherwise, setup the GitHub Action workflow by removing the extension .hook of .github/workflows/pages-deploy.yml.hook, and then remove the other files and directories in the folder .github.

  3. Automatically create a commit to save the changes.



Update the variables of _config.yml as needed. Some of them are typical options:

  • url
  • avatar
  • timezone
  • lang

Running Local Server

You may want to preview the site contents before publishing, so just run it by:

$ bundle exec jekyll s

Or run the site on Docker with the following command:

$ docker run -it --rm \
    --volume="$PWD:/srv/jekyll" \
    -p 4000:4000 jekyll/jekyll \
    jekyll serve

Open a browser and visit to http://localhost:4000.


Before the deployment begins, checkout the file _config.yml and make sure the url is configured correctly. Furthermore, if you prefer the project site and don’t use a custom domain, or you want to visit your website with a base URL on a web server other than GitHub Pages, remember to change the baseurl to your project name that starting with a slash, e.g, /project-name.

Now you can choose ONE of the following methods to deploy your Jekyll site.

Deploy on GitHub Pages

For security reasons, GitHub Pages build runs on safe mode, which restricts us from using plugins to generate additional page files. Therefore, we can use GitHub Actions to build the site, store the built site files on a new branch, and use that branch as the source of the GH Pages service.

Quickly check the files needed for GitHub Actions build:

  • Ensure your Jekyll site has the file .github/workflows/pages-deploy.yml. Otherwise, create a new one and fill in the contents of the workflow file, and the value of the on.push.branches should be the same as your repo’s default branch name.
  • Ensure your Jekyll site has file tools/ and tools/ Otherwise, copy them from this repo to your Jekyll site.

And then rename your repository to <GH-USERNAME> on GitHub.

Now publish your Jekyll site by:

  1. Push any commit to remote to trigger the GitHub Actions workflow. Once the build is complete and successful, a new remote branch named gh-pages will appear to store the built site files.

  2. Browse to your repo’s landing page on GitHub and select the branch gh-pages as the publishing source through SettingsOptionsGitHub Pages:


  3. Visit your website at the address indicated by GitHub.

Deploy on Other Platforms

On platforms other than GitHub, we cannot enjoy the convenience of GitHub Actions. Therefore, we should build the site locally (or on some other 3rd-party CI platform) and then put the site files on the server.

Go to the root of the source project, build your site by:

$ JEKYLL_ENV=production bundle exec jekyll b

Or build the site with Docker by:

$ docker run -it --rm \
    --env JEKYLL_ENV=production \
    --volume="$PWD:/srv/jekyll" \
    jekyll/jekyll \
    jekyll build

Unless you specified the output path, the generated site files will be placed in folder _site of the project’s root directory. Now you should upload those files to your web server.

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