To get ready for this workshop, please create a free GitHub account if you do not have one already. Basic familiarity with the GitHub web interface and Git will be helpful. If you have time, check out GitHub’s Hello World guide and Try Git.
Local Jekyll Setup [optional]
The workshop will introduce several ways to create gh-pages without using Jekyll locally. However, if you would like to do development with Jekyll on your laptop, it is necessary to install Git, Ruby, and Jekyll.
Git is a free, distributed version control system. GitHub is a Git repository hosting service, a place to store and sync your work in the cloud–your Jekyll and GitHub Pages projects will be under Git version control, so you need the software on your machine.
- Windows: install Git for Windows using the default options. This will give you Git, Git Bash, and Git GUI. Git Bash is a great terminal that lets you use UNIX style commands on Windows.
- Mac: check if Git is already installed by opening terminal and typing
git --version. If you do not have it, download the official Mac installer.
- Linux: install from your distribution’s software center or package manager (for Ubuntu
sudo apt install git).
If you are interested in using a visual GUI application integrated with GitHub, Windows and Mac users should also install GitHub Desktop using the default options. You can install GitHub Desktop in addition to other versions of Git.
There are other GUI apps available for managing and visualizing Git repositories, including Linux options.
Ruby is a fairly young and developing programming language with some unique features. To use Jekyll, you do not need to know anything about Ruby, but if you are curious, check out Ruby in 20 minutes. Frustratingly, different versions have many dependency and incompatibility problems. Because of these issues, many use Ruby Managers, such as RVM, to switch between versions. However, if you are just interested in working with Jekyll, using an installer for your OS should be sufficient.
- Windows: Use RubyInstaller for Windows.
- First, download the suggested stable version (Ruby 2.4.X (x64)+) and double click to install. Use the install defaults, but make sure “Add Ruby executables to your PATH” is checked. On the final step, ensure the box to start the MSYS2 DevKit is checked.
- Second, the installer will open a terminal window with options to install MSYS2 DevKit components. Choose option 3, “MSYS2 and MINGW development toolchain”, or simply press ENTER to install all the necessary dependencies. (This installer can be restarted by typing
ridk installinto a command prompt)
- Note: versions 2.3.X and older require a separate DevKit. From the download page, get the Development Kit for the Ruby version you installed. Double click the DevKit file to extract, saving it to a permanent location, such as
C:\rubyDevKit. Then open the directory in a terminal and run the commands
ruby dk.rb initand
ruby dk.rb install.
- Mac: Use Homebrew,
brew install ruby
- Linux: Even though the version will not be the most up-to-date, use your distro’s repositories. For example on Ubuntu,
sudo apt install ruby-full. Make sure your version is > 2.0. You will also need the build tools Make and GCC, on Ubuntu get them with
sudo apt install build-essential.
Note: Jekyll does not officially support Windows, however it is cross platform (they just don’t officially write windows documentation or check for bugs). There is a Jekyll on Windows page, but it is out of date and inaccurate.
Jekyll is a Gem, a software package installed via Ruby’s management system called RubyGems (similar to Python’s Pip).
Open a terminal and type:
gem install jekyll bundler
Note: Linux users may need to
This will take a minute as Gem installs all the dependencies and builds extensions.
On Windows, if
gemreturns an error about secure connections, it may be necessary to update to a newer version of RubyGems as some versions have out of date SSL certificates. Manually install the newer version by downloading the RubyGems zip package. Unzip the package, then run
ruby setup.rbin the directory.
When working with code you should have a good text editor. Windows notepad does not handle UTF-8 encoding or UNIX line endings that are standard for most cross platform applications. For basic editing, Windows Notepad++, Mac TextEdit, or Linux Gedit are sufficient. However, a more complete code editor will be helpful for managing Jekyll projects.
Open-source cross platform suggestions: