Deploying a Jekyll Blog with Capistrano

23 Jul 2013 · By Casey Scarborough

A large majority of sites built using Jekyll end up being hosted using GitHub Pages. I opted to host this blog myself, and wanted the convenience I've had in the past with Rails applications of deploying with Capistrano . The first thing you'll want to do is be sure that you have the Capistrano gem installed on your system.

gem install capistrano
gem install rvm-capistrano

Afterwards, cd to your blog's directory and initialize the directory using Capistrano's capify command.

cd /path-to/jekyll-blog
capify .

This will generate a file named Capfile and a directory called config with a deploy.rb script inside. The following is a sample deploy.rb script based on the one I used for my blog to deploy the blog to your remote server. Replace the contents of your deploy.rb script with this and edit the values as necessary.

set :rvm_ruby_string, 'default'require "rvm/capistrano"

# Set application name and username on server
set :application, ""
set :user, "username-on-server"

# Set SSH Port and location on the server to deploy to
set :port, 22
set :deploy_to, "/var/www/#{application}"
set :deploy_via, :copy
set :use_sudo, false

# Set git as the SCM and set the repository and branch
set :scm, :git
set :repository, ""
set :branch, "master"

# Set the hostname or IP of the server to deploy to
role :web, "123.456.7.890"
role :app, "123.456.7.890"
role :db,  "123.456.7.890", :primary => true
role :db,  "123.456.7.890"

# Remove the config dir and Capfile, and run jekyll build
after "deploy:create_symlink" do
  run "rm -rf #{release_path}/config #{release_path}/Capfile"
  run "cd #{release_path} && jekyll build"

Afterwards, you can run the typical Capistrano commands from the root of your blog directory to deploy the application. Make sure that you have the jekyll gem installed on your remote server before this step.

cap deploy:setup
cap deploy:check
cap deploy

Your blog should then be deployed to the remote server and jekyll build will be run on your blog to generate the static content.

The last step is to make sure that your Virtual Host configuration for your web server points to the _site directory at the deployed location on your server. Here is a sample nginx configuration for the Virtual Host:

server {
  listen 80;
  root /var/www/;

This way, every time you make a change you can deploy the blog and it will update automatically.

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