In addition to supporting regular HTML content, GitHub Pages support Jekyll, a simple, blog-aware static site generator. Jekyll makes it easy to create site-wide headers and footers without having to copy them across every page. It also offers some other advanced templating features.
Every GitHub Page is run through Jekyll when you push content to a specially named branch within your repository. For User Pages, use the
master branch in your
username.github.io repository. For Project Pages, use the
gh-pages branch in your project's repository. Because a normal HTML site is also a valid Jekyll site, you don't have to do anything special to keep your standard HTML files unchanged. Jekyll has thorough documentation that covers its features and usage. Simply start committing Jekyll formatted files and you'll be using Jekyll in no time.
We highly recommend installing Jekyll on your computer to preview your site and help diagnose troubled builds before publishing your site on GitHub Pages.
To ensure your computer most closely matches the GitHub Pages settings, you can use the GitHub Pages Gem. To install Jekyll, you'll need a few things:
Ruby - Jekyll requires the Ruby language. If you have a Mac, you've most likely already got Ruby. If you open up the Terminal application, and run the command
ruby --versionyou can confirm this. Your Ruby version should be at least
2.0.0. If you've got that, you're all set. Skip to step #2. Otherwise, follow these instructions to install Ruby.
Bundler - Bundler is a package manager that makes versioning Ruby software like Jekyll a lot easier if you're going to be building GitHub Pages sites locally. If you don't already have Bundler installed, you can install it by running the command
gem install bundler.
Jekyll - The main event. You'll want to create a file in your site's repository called
Gemfileand add the line
gem 'github-pages'. After that, simply run the command,
bundle installand you're good to go. If you decided to skip step #2, you can still install Jekyll with the command
gem install github-pages, but you may run into trouble down the line. Here’s an example of a
Gemfileyou can use (placed in the root directory of your repository):
source 'https://rubygems.org' gem 'github-pages'
To run Jekyll in a way that matches the GitHub Pages build server, run Jekyll with Bundler. Use the command
bundle exec jekyll serve in the root of your repository (after switching to the
gh-pages branch for project repositories), and your site should be available at
http://localhost:4000. For a full list of Jekyll commands, see the Jekyll documentation.
Jekyll is an active open source project, and is updated frequently. As the GitHub Pages server is updated, the software on your computer may become out of date, resulting in your site appearing different locally from how it looks when published on GitHub. To keep Jekyll up to date, you can run the command
bundle update (or if you opted out of step 2, run
gem update github-pages).
You can configure most Jekyll settings by creating a
The following defaults are set by GitHub, which you are free to override in your
highlighter: pygments github: [Repository metadata]
For the content of the repository metadata object, see repository metadata on GitHub Pages.
We override the following
_config.yml values, which you are unable to configure:
safe: true lsi: false source: your top-level directory
Keep in mind that if you change the
source setting, your pages may not build correctly. GitHub Pages only considers source files in the top-level directory of a repository.
Jekyll requires that Markdown files have front-matter defined at the top of every file. Front-matter is just a set of metadata, delineated by three dashes:
--- title: This is my title layout: post --- Here is my page.
If you like, you can choose to omit front-matter from your file, but you'll still need to make the triple-dashes:
--- --- Here is my page.
If your file is within the _posts directory, you can omit the dashes entirely.
For more information, check out the Jekyll docs.
If your Jekyll site is not rendering properly after you push it to GitHub, it's useful to run Jekyll locally so you can see any parsing errors.
To ensure your local development environment is using the same version of Jekyll and its dependencies as GitHub Pages, you can periodically run the command
gem update github-pages (or
bundle update github-pages if using Bundler) once Jekyll is installed. For more information, see the GitHub Pages Gem repository.
If your page isn't building after you push to GitHub, see "Troubleshooting GitHub Pages build failures".
If you are having issues with your Jekyll Pages, make sure you are not using categories that are named the same as another project, as this could cause path conflicts. For example: if you have a blog post named 'resume' in your User Page repository and a project named 'resume' with a
gh-pages branch, they will conflict with each other.
You can completely opt out of Jekyll processing by creating a file named
.nojekyll in the root of your Page repository and pushing that file to GitHub. This should only be necessary if your site uses directories that begin with an underscore, as Jekyll sees these as special directories and does not copy them to the final destination.
If there's a feature you wish that Jekyll had, feel free to fork it and send a pull request. We're happy to accept user contributions.