ptnega's technical blog

How to set up locally using Jekyll

on January 11, 2015

In this post, I’ll show you how to set up locally using Jekyll. This post is for this Google Code-in 2014 task from FOSSASIA:

So, these are what you need to run this site locally on your machine:

1. Jekyll data files of the site. You can find it in its github repository.

2. Jekyll, of course πŸ™‚

Let’s start!

1. How to get Jekyll data files of the site?

There are two ways to get the repository on your computer.

a. You can download a zip file contains all the files you need:

Screenshot from 2015-01-11 11:49:14

Extract the zip file and you will have the data you need.

b. You can also clone the repository from github:

You can fork the repo or not. It’s optional. To fork the repo, click the button on the top-right corner of the page:

Screenshot from 2015-01-11 11:49:14

Here, I didn’t fork the repo to my account.I cloned it directly from fossasia using this command:

git clone

Screenshot from 2015-01-11 11:39:07

It will be easy to sync my local repo on the machine with the one from fossasia. If you clone the forked one, use this command instead:

git clone

To get updates from the owner of the repo, follow the instruction here:Β

Use this command to get into your workspace:


You had your data files. Let’s setup Jekyll!

2. How to setup Jekyll?

To have Jekyll installed on your machine, you need some requirements:

– Ruby >= 1.9.2 (IΒ encountered problem with Ruby’s version and found this requirement. I haven’t read the instruction very much, just installed Jekyll my myself)

– Rubygems, you had “gem” when you installed Ruby πŸ˜€

– NodeJS, or another JavaScript runtime (for CoffeeScript support)

Last but not least: Linux, or Mac OS X. I’m using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Here’s how I installed Jekyll:

a. Installing ruby and get ‘gem’

The first time I read the task, I made a mistake, silly mistake. I “installed Jekyll using apt-get” (You know, “sudo apt-get install jekyll”, can’t help laughing at myself). In this task, Jekyll can’tΒ be installed using that command. You should install Jekyll using rubygems. So, firstly, I installed ruby using this command:

sudo apt-get install ruby1.9.3

Screenshot from 2015-01-10 23:35:28

Actually, I had installed jekyll before working on this task. So I had to remove all the requirements, and uninstall jekyll to get those screenshots πŸ˜€ Absent-minded… As I said, I had problem with ruby when install Jekyll using ‘gem’. You need ruby with version >= 1.9.2 to go through the installation. I’m sorry for not having the screenshot of that error here.

I don’t know if other users meet this problem. You can leave comment here to make this problem clear πŸ˜€

I check my ruby version using this command:

ruby -v

Screenshot from 2015-01-10 23:35:41

Ah, now I have ruby1.9.3 installed πŸ˜€ both ‘gem’ and ruby πŸ˜€

Let’s get to the next step.

b. Installing JavaScript Runtime

I use NodeJS as JavaScript runtime. A very familiar command to us:

sudo apt-get install nodejs

Screenshot from 2015-01-10 23:36:39

I had no trouble in installing nodejs.

Now I had all the requirements. The final step to install jekyll, is “using gem to install Jekyll” πŸ˜€

The first time I use gem to install Jekyll, I met this message:

ERROR: While executing gem … (Gem::FilePermissionError)
You don’t have write permissions into the /var/lib/gems/1.9.1 directory.

Screenshot from 2015-01-11 13:02:19

It’s because I didn’t run this command as root. So add “sudo” to the beginning of the command to solve this problem πŸ™‚

Another look at that error. As I said before, I met problem with ruby version but don’t have screenshot here. I found it’s strange that the command requires permissions forΒ /var/lib/gems/1.9.1 directory, but I get error for not having ruby1.9.3 (!?) I think I need some more comments from other users.

This time I run the command without geting any errors:

Screenshot from 2015-01-10 23:53:01

Now you had Jekyll installed on your computer πŸ™‚

How I run locally on my machine?

– Go into the folder you cloned or extracted in the 1st step.

– Simply run this command:

jekyll serve

Screenshot from 2015-01-11 13:28:47

Then I opened my browser: localhost:4000. Here the result:

Screenshot from 2015-01-10 23:55:14

Screenshot from 2015-01-10 23:55:21

Screenshot from 2015-01-10 23:55:28

Screenshot from 2015-01-10 23:55:43

Screenshot from 2015-01-10 23:55:52


I was so excited then… Because the biggest problem I faced through the installation, is the speed of Internet. I’m from Vietnam, and the AAG (Asia-America Gateway) cable, which is the main cable of our region, has broken since 5/1/2015. It’s being fixed, and hasn’t done yet. I had to keep my machine on for a long time just to install the requirements, or download something, or just google something. Every activity takes time because of slow Internet 😦

I also met difficulties about “dependencies” while using apt-get. But it didn’t last long. I just used some familiar command such as: “sudo apt-get -f install”, …

Sometimes, when I had to wait during the installation, I played the guitar. It’s interesting and relaxing. You may want to try πŸ˜€

Moving to Jekyll has advantages. These are what I think:

– It’s simple to run the website with HTML files.

– No database, just static parts loaded. So, more security.

– Easier to contribute to the website. You can make changes on your own repo, run for a test, and ask the owner of the site for changes.

– Using markdown, so easy to change things.

Hope you enjoy my “experience”. Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

And… sorry for my bad English.

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