Posts Getting Started

Getting Started


Fork Chirpy on GitHub, rename the repository to (where USERNAME is your GitHub username), and then open terminal and clone the fork to local by:

$ git clone -b master --single-branch

Setting up the local envrionment

If you would like to run or build the project on your local machine, please follow the Jekyll Docs to complete the installation of Ruby, RubyGems and Bundler.

Before running or building for the first time, please complete the installation of the Jekyll plugins. Go to the root directory of project and run:

$ bundle install

bundle will automatically install all the dependencies specified by Gemfile.

In order to generate some extra files (categories, tags and last modified list), we need to use some tool scripts. And they require dependency package yq to be installed. What’s more, if your machine is running Debian or macOS, you also need to install GNU coreutils.

  • on Debian:

    $ sudo apt-get install coreutils
  • on macOS:

    $ brew install coreutils

Setting up Docker environment (optional)

If you’re a loyal fan of Docker or just too lazy to install the packages mentioned in Setting up the local envrionment, please make sure you have Docker Engine installed and running, and then get Docker image jekyll/jekyll from Docker Hub by the following command:

$ docker pull jekyll/jekyll:latest


Running Chirpy requires some extra files, which cannot be generated by Jekyll native commands, so please strictly follow the methods mentioned below to run or deploy your website.


Go to the root directory of the project and start initialization:

$ bash tools/

Note: If you not intend to deploy it 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 extension .hook of .github/workflows/pages-deploy.yml.hook, and then remove the other files and directories in folder .github.

  3. Automatically create a commit to save the changes.


Generally, go to _config.yml and configure the variables as needed. Some of them are typical options:

  • url
  • avatar
  • timezone
  • theme_mode

Run Locally

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

$ bash tools/

Then open a browser and visit to http://localhost:4000.

Few days later, you may find that the file changes does not refresh in real time by using Don’t worry, the advanced option -r (or --realtime) will solve this problem, but it requires fswatch to be installed on your machine.

Run on Docker

Run the site on Docker with the following command:

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

Please note that on Docker containers, you’ll lose the real-time refresh feature.


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. For example, /project.

Assuming you have already gone through the initialization, you can now choose ONE of the following methods to deploy your website.

Deploy on GitHub Pages

For security reasons, GitHub Pages build runs on safe mode, which restricts us from using tool scripts 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 Pages service.

  1. Push any commit to origin/master 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 repository on GitHub and choose the branch gh-pages as the publishing source throught SettingsOptionsGitHub Pages: gh-pages-sources

  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:

$ bash tools/

Note: The output path can be specified with the option -d.

Or, build the site with Docker by:

$ docker run --rm -it \
    --volume="$PWD:/srv/jekyll" \
    jekyll/jekyll \
    bash tools/ --docker

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.