Blogging with Jekyll on Github pages is simple and free. You can write your posts in markdown, version and deploy it with git, and you can run a Jeykll server locally to test your changes before you make them live. This is great if you already have and know how to use these tools.
I have a Windows machine and don’t do any development or use tools which require Gems. Jekyll requires quite a few dependencies to be installed, which is a bit of an exuberance if Jekyll is the only reason you would use them. Luckily, there’s
an app a container image for that.
Here’s how to get Jekyll running in docker.
Get the official Jekyll images from Docker Hub
C:\Users\Jack> docker pull jekyll/jekyll
Create a new Jekyll site
You will want to clone your github pages repository, and create a site there.
C:\Users\Jack> git clone <the github pages repo uri>
The Jekyll docker page says how to run it, with the volume mapping to the directory where your site will live.
C:\Users\Jack> cd jack.github.io C:\Users\Jack\jack.github.io> docker run --rm -v C:\Users\Jack\jack.github.io:/srv/jekyll jekyll new .
Build and run locally
Now we have our default site, we can build and run it.
C:\Users\Jack\jack.github.io> docker run --rm -v C:\Users\Jack\jack.github.io:/srv/jekyll jekyll build C:\Users\Jack\jack.github.io> docker run --rm -v C:\Users\Jack\jack.github.io:/srv/jekyll jekyll server
Note that you only need to
serve since that first builds your site.
Because these commands are so long, it’s handy to put them into a batch file. Here’s my convenient serve.cmd which I place in the site’s root directory:
docker run --rm -v %cd%:/srv/jekyll -p 4000:4000 jekyll/jekyll jekyll serve --watch --force_polling --drafts
%cd% outputs the current path, which in this case would be
--watch means that Jekyll will detect changes to the _config.yml file, posts and (probably) other files in the site’s directory, but on windows, Jekyll requires
--force_polling as well to work properly.
--drafts means that any posts in a _drafts directory will be served as though they were in the _post
And that’s it! If you’d like to learn more about the finer points of blogging with Jekyll, I can recommend Tony Ho’s article here.