Octopress is an obsessively designed toolkit for writing and deploying Jekyll blogs. Pretty sweet, huh?

Programming language: Ruby
License: MIT License
Latest version: v3.1.0

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Octopress is an obsessively designed toolkit for writing and deploying Jekyll blogs. Pretty sweet, huh?

Gem Version Build Status


Install Octopress manually:

$ gem install octopress

Or if you use Bundler, add this line to your Gemfile:

gem 'octopress', '~> 3.0'

And then run:

$ bundle

New to bundler? Run gem install bundler then create a file named Gemfile in your site's root directory with the following content:

source 'https://rubygems.org'

gem 'octopress', '~> 3.0'

Run bundle to install the gems specified in your Gemfile.


Octopress reads its configurations from _config.yml. Here's what the configuration looks like by default.

# Default extension for new posts and pages
post_ext: markdown
page_ext: html

# Default templates for posts and pages
# Found in _templates/
post_layout: post
page_layout: page

# Format titles with titlecase?
titlecase: true

# Change default template file (in _templates/)
post_template: post
page_template: page
draft_template: draft

Octopress CLI Commands

Here are the subcommands for Octopress.

init <PATH>         # Adds Octopress scaffolding to your site
new <PATH>          # Like `jekyll new` + `octopress init`
new post <TITLE>    # Add a new post to your site
new page <PATH>     # Add a new page to your site
new draft <TITLE>   # Add a new draft post to your site
publish <POST>      # Publish a draft from _drafts to _posts
unpublish <POST>    # Search for a post and convert it into a draft
isolate [POST]      # Stash all posts but the one you're working on for a faster build
integrate           # Restores all posts, doing the opposite of the isolate command
deploy              # deploy your site via S3, Rsync, or to GitHub pages.

Run octopress --help to list sub commands and octopress <subcommand> --help to learn more about any subcommand and see its options.


$ octopress init <PATH> [options]

This will copy Octopress's scaffolding into the specified directory. Use the --force option to overwrite existing files. The scaffolding is pretty simple:


New Post

This automates the creation of a new post.

$ octopress new post "My Title"

This will create a new file at _posts/YYYY-MM-DD-my-title.markdown with the following YAML front-matter already added.

layout: post
title: "My Title"
date: YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS-00:00

Command options

Option Description
--template PATH Use a template from
--date DATE The date for the post. Should be parseable by Time#parse
--slug SLUG Slug for the new post.
--dir DIR Create post at _posts/DIR/.
--force Overwrite existing file.

New Page

Creating a new page is easy, you can use the default file name extension (.html), pass a specific extension, or end with a / to create an index.html document.

$ octopress new page some-page           # ./some-page.html
$ octopress new page about.md            # ./about.md
$ octopress new page docs/               # ./docs/index.html

If you are working with collections, you might add a page like this:

$ octopress new page _legal/terms        # ./_legal/terms.html

After the page is created, Octopress will tell you how to configure this new collection.

Command options

Option Description
--template PATH Use a template from
--title TITLE The title of the new page
--date DATE The date for the page. Should be parseable by Time#parse
--force Overwrite existing file.

Note: The default page template doesn't expect a date. If you want to add dates to your pages, consider adding date: {{ date }} to the default template _templates/page, or create a new template to use for dated pages. Otherwise, you will have the --date option to add a date to a page.

New Draft

This will create a new post in your _drafts directory.

$ octopress new draft "My Title"
Option Description
--template PATH Use a template from
--date DATE The date for the draft. Should be parseable by Time#parse (defaults to Time.now)
--slug SLUG The slug for the new post.
--force Overwrite existing file.

Publish a draft

Use the publish command to publish a draft to the _posts folder. This will also rename the file with the proper date format.

$ octopress publish _drafts/some-cool-post.md
$ octopress publish cool

In the first example, a draft is published using the path. The publish command can also search for a post by filename. The second command would work the same as the first. If other drafts match your search, you will be prompted to select them from a menu. This is often much faster than typing out the full path.

Option Description
--date DATE The date for the post. Should be parseable by Time#parse
--slug SLUG Change the slug for the new post.
--dir DIR Create post at _posts/DIR/.
--force Overwrite existing file.

When publishing a draft, the new post will use the draft's date. Pass the option --date now to the publish command to set the new post date from your system clock. As usual, you can pass any compatible date string as well.

Unpublish a post

Use the unpublish command to move a post to the _drafts directory, renaming the file according to the drafts convention.

$ octopress unpublish _posts/2015-01-10-some-post.md
$ octopress unpublish some post

Just like the publish command, you can either pass a path or a search string to match the file name. If more than one match is found, you will be prompted to select from a menu of posts.

Templates for Posts and pages

Octopress post and page templates look like this.

layout: {{ layout }}
title: {{ title }}

Dates get automatically added to a template for posts, and for pages if a --date option is set.

You can add to the YAML front matter, add content below and even use liquid tags and filters from your site's plugins. There are a handful of local variables you can use when working with templates.

Variable Description
date The date (if set) or Time.now.iso8601
title The title of the page (if set)
slug The title in slug form
ymd The date string, YYYY-MM-DD format
year The date's year
month The date's month, MM
day The date's day, DD

By default Octopress has templates for pages, posts and drafts. You can change them or create new ones for different types of content. To create linkposts template, add a file at _templates/linkpost, such as:

title: {{ title }}
external-url: {{ url }}

Then you can use it with a new post like this:

$ octopress new post "Some title" --template linkpost
$ octopress new post "Some title" -tm _templates/linkpost

In the second example, I'm passing the full template file path. This way I can use my shell's tab to auto-complete feature.

When creating templates, file name extensions are unnecessary since the files are just plain text anyway.


The isolate command will allow you to stash posts in _posts/_exile where they will be ignored by Jekyll during the build process. Run octopress integrate to restore all exiled posts. This can be helpful if you have a very large site and you want to quickly preview a build for a single post or page.

$ octopress isolate                                # Move all posts
$ octopress isolate _posts/2014-10-11-kittens.md   # Move post at path
$ octopress isolate kittens                        # Move post matching search

In the third example, if multiple posts match the search a prompt will ask you to select a post from a menu.

Deploying your site

The Octopress gem comes with octopress-deploy which allows you to easily deploy your site with Rsync, on S3 or Cloudfront, to GitHub pages, or other Git based deployment hosting platforms.

Once you've built your site (with jekyll build) you can deploy it like this:

$ octopress deploy

This reads a _deploy.yml configuration and deploys your site. Read below to learn how Octopress can generate a deployment configuration file for you.

Note: The _deploy.yml is processed through ERB, which makes it easy to load configurations from environment variables.

Deploy has a few commands you should know.

Commands Description
octopress deploy Deploy your site (based on the _deploy.yml configuration)
octopress deploy init <METHOD> [options] Generate a config file for the deployment method. (git, s3, rsync)
octopress deploy pull [DIR] Pull down your site into a local directory.
octopress deploy add-bucket <NAME> (S3 only) Add a bucket using your configured S3 credentials.

Generate Deployment configuration

Remember to add your configuration to .gitignore to be sure you never commit sensitive information to your repository.

Octopress can generate a deployment configuration file for you using the octopress deploy init command.

$ octopress deploy init s3
$ octopress deploy init rsync
$ octopress deploy init git [email protected]:user/project

This will generate a _deploy.yml file in your current directory which you can edit to add any necessary configuration.

If you like, you can pass configurations as command line options. To see specific options for any method, add the --help flag. For example to see the options for configuring S3:

$ octopress deploy init s3 --help

If you want to publish your site to a staging server, you can create a second configuration. For example, to setup rsync for a staging site, you'd do this.

$ octopress deploy init rsync --config _staging.yml

After modifying the configuration file, you can deploy your site to it like this:

$ octopress deploy --config _staging.yml

Git Deployment Configuration

Only git_url is required. Other options will default as shown below.

Config Description Default
method Deployment method, in this case use 'git'
site_dir Path to static site files _site
git_url Url for remote git repository
git_branch Deployment branch for git repository master
deploy_dir Directory where deployment files are staged .deploy
remote Name of git remote deploy

Rsync Deployment Configuration

Config Description Default
method Deployment method, in this case use 'rsync'
site_dir Path to static site files _site
user ssh user, e.g [email protected]
port ssh port 22
remote_path Remote destination's document root
exclude_from Path to a file containing rsync exclusions
exclude Inline list of rsync exclusions
include_from Path to a file containing rsync inclusions
include Inline list of inclusions to override exclusions
delete Delete files in destination not found in source false

You can rsync to a local directory by configuring remote_path and leaving off user and port.

Amazon S3 Deployment Configuration

To deploy with Amazon S3 you will need to install the aws-sdk-v1 gem.

Important: when using S3, you must add your _deploy.yml to your .gitignore to prevent accidentally sharing account access information.

Config Description Default
method Deployment method, in this case use 's3'
site_dir Path to static site files _site
bucket_name S3 bucket name
access_key_id AWS access key
secret_access_key AWS secret key
distribution_id [optional] AWS CloudFront distribution id
remote_path Directory files should be synced to. /
verbose [optional] Display all file actions during deploy. false
incremental [optional] Incremental deploy (only updated files) false
region [optional] Region for your AWS bucket us-east-1
delete Delete files in remote_path not found in site_dir false
headers Set headers for matched files []

If you choose a bucket which doesn't yet exist, Octopress Deploy will offer to create it for you, and offer to configure it as a static website.

If you configure Octopress to delete files, all files found in the remote_path on S3 bucket will be removed unless they match local site files. If remote_path is a subdirectory, only files in that subdirectory will be evaluated for deletion.

You can also set up your configuration to read your AWS credentials from your environment variables using ERB like this:

access_key_id: <%= ENV['AWS_ACCESS_KEY'] %>
secret_access_key: <%= ENV['AWS_SECRET_KEY'] %>
S3 Headers

You can create an array of header configs to set expiration, content and cache settings for any paths matching the filename.

Header Config Description Default
filename A regex or a substring of the file to match
site_dir An http date or a number of years or days from now
content_type A string which is passed through to the headers
content_encoding A string which is passed through to the headers
cache_control A string which is passed through to the headers

Here is how you might set expiration and cache controls for CSS and Javascript files.

  - filename: '^assets.*\.js$'
    expires: '+3 years'
    cache_control: 'max-age=94608000'
    content_type: 'application/javascript'
  - filename: '^assets.*\.css$'
    expires: '+3 years'
    cache_control: 'max-age=94608000'
    content_type: 'text/css'
AWS config via ENV

If you prefer, you can store AWS access credentials in environment variables instead of a configuration file.

Config ENV var
access_key_id AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID
secret_access_key AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY

Note: configurations in _deploy.yml will override environment variables so be sure to remove those if you decide to use environment variables.

Pull down your site

With the pull command, you can pull your site down into a local directory.

$ octopress deploy pull [DIR]

Mainly you'd do this if you're troubleshooting deployment and you want to see if it's working how you expected.


  1. Fork it ( https://github.com/octopress/octopress/fork )
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request