Jekyll is a simple, blogaware static page-generator written in Ruby. In this blogpost I will discuss how to use Jekyll to blog directly from a Github repository. The advantages are obvious: we don’t need to host the blog on a paid webhoster, we don’t need to administrate a database, we can use a beautiful markup parser like markdown to write and format blogposts and pushes are automatically published to the personal Github user page


To get started we need Ruby and RubyGems (Ruby’s package manager) installed.

sudo apt-get install ruby1.9 rubygems1.9

Now we can install Jekyll via RubyGems.

gem install jekyll

We then create a Github repository, that follows following format: (this automatically makes the blog available on

jekyll new 

Now we create a git repository locally and add the remote repository from Github as origin.

git init 
git remote add origin

As a next step we look into the basic configuration of our blog to adapt them according to our needs. The configuration is located in the file _config.yml in the project’s root directory.

nano _config.yml

To locally generate the static pages and preview the blog we run Jekyll’s built-in webserver in the project’s directory. The –draft options additionally enables preview for your drafts.

jekyll serve --draft

We can navigate to http://localhost:4000 to preview the webpage locally. If everything looks fine, we commit the changes and push the blog to Github.

git add . 
git commit -a -m "Initial Commit"
git push -u origin master

After a few minutes of processing (the first time usually takes up to 15 minutes), the blog is available on

The first Post

To write the first blogpost, we create a new file in the _drafts directory. The file ending .md enables the markdown markup parser. To tell Jekyll, that the file should be parsed as a blogpost, we have to add a special YAML block at the beginning of the file. To understand, how these variables can be used for customizing the blog, read the Jekyll documentation.

layout: post
title:  "Blogging with Jekyll from Github"
date:   2014-07-15 17:30:00
categories: github
tags: github jekyll markdown

Now we can start using markdown to write and format our blogpost. Once we have finished the draft and we want to publish the post, we add the date in front of the filename and move the file to the _posts directory.

We commit the changes and push the blogpost to Github.

git add _posts/
git commit -a -m "Added post blogging with jekyll"
git push

That’s all we have to do, to setup a blog on Github and write a first post.

Further Reading

If you want to use Jekyll for documentations of your Github projects (project pages), it has to be run on the gh-pages branch. Additional Information can be found on the Github Documentation.

There is an interesting project called Jekyll Bootstrap that combines the easy scaffolding of Jekyll blogs, adds Twitter Bootstrap and facilitates theming. The project can be found here.