Posts Getting Started

Getting Started


Fork Chirpy on GitHub, and clone the fork to local by:

$ git clone [email protected]:<username>/jekyll-theme-chirpy -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.

What’s more, in order to generate some extra files (categories, tags and last modified list), we need to use some tool scripts. If your machine is running Debian or macOS, make sure that GNU coreutils is installed. Otherwise, install by:

  • Debian

    $ sudo apt-get install coreutils
  • macOS

    $ brew install coreutils


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/

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.


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 any 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, a new remote branch called gh-pages will appear, which is used to store the built site files.

  2. Unless you prefer to project sites, rename your repository to <username> on GitHub.

  3. Choose branch gh-pages as the publishing source for your GitHub Pages site.

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

Deploy on Other Platforms

On platforms other than GitHub, e.g. GitLab, we cannot enjoy the convenience of GitHub Actions. However, we have a tool to make up for this shortcoming.

Commit the changes of your repository first, then run the publish script:

$ bash tools/

Please note that the Recent Update list requires the latest git-log date of posts, thus make sure the changes in _posts have been committed before running this command.

It will automatically generates the Latest Modified Date and Categories / Tags page for the posts and submit a commit, then push to origin/master. Its output is similar to the following log:

[INFO] Success to update lastmod for 4 post(s).
[INFO] Succeed! 3 category-pages created.
[INFO] Succeed! 4 tag-pages created.
[INFO] Published successfully!

Lastly, enable the pages service according to the instructions of the platform you choose.

Deploy on Private Server

In the root of the source project, build your site by:

$ bash tools/ -d /path/to/site/

The generated site files will be placed in the root of /path/to/site/. Now you should upload those files to your web server, such as Nginx.

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