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Run jekyll in a Docker container without installing jekyll on your host system.

This is mainly intended for trying out GitHub Pages locally before committing them.

How To Serve Existing GitHub Pages

If you already have your GitHub Pages checked out in a local directory ~/my-proj, do the following:

  1. Run the docker image with your GitHub Pages
    mapped to /home/jekyll/doc-root

     docker run -v ~/my-proj:/home/jekyll/doc-root -t -i fstab/jekyll

    or, if you are using boot2docker

     docker run -v ~/my-proj:/home/jekyll/doc-root -p 4000:4000 -t -i fstab/jekyll
  2. Go to the doc-root directory

     cd /home/jekyll/doc-root
  3. Update jekyll.

    If you have a Gemfile in your GitHub Pages, run

     sudo bundle update

    If you don't use Gemfile, run

     sudo gem update github-pages
  4. Serve your project

     jekyll serve --host= --force_polling

You can access the jekyll pages on the docker container's IP address, port 4000, or on boot2docker's IP address, port 4000.

Make it a Single Command

The commands above are a lot to type. Fortunately, all of them can be put in a single line:

docker run -v ~/my-proj:/home/jekyll/doc-root -p 4000:4000 -t -i fstab/jekyll bash -c 'cd /home/jekyll/doc-root; sudo bundle update; jekyll serve --host= --force_polling'

If you are using the bash shell, you can create an alias for that line like this:

alias jekyll="docker run -v ~/my-proj:/home/jekyll/doc-root -p 4000:4000 -t -i fstab/jekyll bash -c 'cd /home/jekyll/doc-root; sudo bundle update; jekyll serve --host= --force_polling'"

Now, the whole thing can be run as


How To Create New GitHub Pages

  1. Start the Docker container and go to /home/jekyll/doc-root as described above.

  2. Generate a new jekyll site

     jekyll new ~/doc-root
  3. Create a file called Gemfile with the following content:

     source ''
     gem 'github-pages'
  4. Update

     sudo bundle update
  5. Add the following line to the end of the generated _config.yml to stop Jekyll including the Gemfile in it’s site.

     exclude: ['Gemfile','Gemfile.lock']
  6. Serve your project, as described above

Building the Docker Image from Source

  1. Make sure Docker is installed.

  2. Clone fstab/docker-jekyll from GitHub.

     git clone
  3. Build the docker image

     cd docker-jekyll
     docker build -t="fstab/jekyll" .
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