A blogging framework for hackers.

Blogging Basics

Octopress offers some rake tasks to create post and pages preloaded with metadata and according to Jekyll's naming conventions. It also generates a global and a category based feed for your posts (You can find them in atom.xml and blog/categories/<category>/atom.xml).

If you are using zsh in the command line, then please add alias rake=noglob rake to your zsh config to prevent the zsh: no matches found error that occurs when running these rake tasks.

Blog Posts

Blog posts must be stored in the source/_posts directory and named according to Jekyll's naming conventions: YYYY-MM-DD-post-title.markdown. The name of the file will be used as the url slug, and the date helps with file distinction and determines the sorting order for post loops.

Octopress provides a rake task to create new blog posts with the right naming conventions, with sensible yaml metadata.


rake new_post["title"]

new_post expects a naturally written title and strips out undesirable url characters when creating the filename. The default file extension for new posts is markdown but you can configure that in the Rakefile.

Note: some command line interpreters, e.g. zsh, have a special meaning for [ and ] so you have to escape them or temporary switch to bash.


rake new_post["Zombie Ninjas Attack: A survivor's retrospective"]
# Creates source/_posts/2011-07-03-zombie-ninjas-attack-a-survivors-retrospective.markdown

The filename will determine your url. With the default permalink settings the url would be something like http://site.com/blog/2011/07/03/zombie-ninjas-attack-a-survivors-retrospective/index.html.

Open a post in a text editor and you'll see a block of yaml front matter which tells Jekyll how to processes posts and pages.

layout: post
title: "Zombie Ninjas Attack: A survivor's retrospective"
date: 2011-07-03 5:59
comments: true

Here you can turn comments off or add categories to your post. If you are working on a multi-author blog, you can add author: Your Name to the metadata for proper attribution on a post. If you are working on a draft, you can add published: false to prevent it from being posted when you generate your blog. If you want to publish a linklog style post (blog entries point to external urls), simply add an external-url to your post.

You can add a single category or multiple categories like this.

# One category
categories: Sass
# Multiple categories example 1
categories: [CSS3, Sass, Media Queries]
# Multiple categories example 2
- CSS3
- Sass
- Media Queries

New Pages

You can add pages anywhere in your blog source directory and they'll be parsed by Jekyll. The URL will correspond directly to the filepath, so about.markdown will become site.com/about.html. If you prefer the URL site.com/about/ you'll want to create the page as about/index.markdown. Octopress has a rake task for creating new pages easily.

rake new_page[super-awesome]
# creates /source/super-awesome/index.markdown
rake new_page[super-awesome/page.html]
# creates /source/super-awesome/page.html

Like with the new post task, the default file extension is markdown but you can configure that in the Rakefile. A freshly generated page might look like this.

layout: page
title: "Super Awesome"
date: 2011-07-03 5:59
comments: true
sharing: true
footer: true

The title is derived from the filename so you'll likely want to change that. This is very similar to the post yaml except it doesn't include categories, and you can toggle sharing and comments or remove the footer altogether. If you don't want to show a date on your page, just remove it from the yaml.


The page and post content will be rendered by whichever markup engine you have specified in the site configuration file. Additionally, you can use any of the liquid template features that are described in the Jekyll docs.

Inserting a <!-- more --> comment into your post will prevent the post content below this mark from being displayed on the index page for the blog posts, a "Continue →" button links to the full post.

Generate & Preview

rake generate # Generates posts and pages into the public directory
rake watch # Watches source/ and sass/ for changes and regenerates
rake preview # Watches, and mounts a webserver at http://localhost:4000

If you want to work on posts without publishing them, you can add a published: false to your post's YAML header. You can preview these posts with rake preview on your local server, but they won't get published by rake generate.

Using the rake preview server is nice, but If you're a POW user, you can set up your Octopress site like this.

cd ~/.pow
ln -s /path/to/octopress octopress
cd -

Now that you're setup with POW, you'll just run rake watch and load up http://octopress.dev instead.

Also see Sharing Code Snippets and Blogging with Plugins