Automating my Jekyll updates

May 10, 2016

Like most other people I know, I don't like doing stuff by hand. So when I had to rebuild and reupload this website twice two days ago because of some small errors, I got cranky. There are a lot of nice docker images that serve Jekyll sites, like jekyll/jekyll, but none of them seemed to be run on ARM. So no Raspberry PI :(.

This was a nice opportunity to build a nice Docker container, which resulted in boyvanduuren/jekyll-arm. Armbuild/debian was used as a base for this image. I tried out Alpine first but ran into some issues compiling runit. As it was about 0400am at that time I didn't want to solve that problem and switched to debian.

Anyway, there are three things you need to use the jekyll-arm image:

  • an ARM machine (tested on an RPI2b)
  • an SSL certificate for the domain
  • a compiled Jekyll site in a git repository

    When the container starts it'll pull the repository, start serving its _site directory with nginx, and check for updates every 5 minutes.

If you want to try it yourself:

docker pull boyvanduuren/jekyll-arm
docker run -d   \
    -e GIT_URL= \
    -e GIT_BRANCH=live \
    -e \
    -v /etc/ssl/private/:/etc/ssl/private/ \
    -p 80:80 \
    -p 443:443 \

Replace the environment variables by your own, of course.

There are a few things I might add in the future, like toggling SSL on/off, but for my use-case that's not really important.

So that was a fun little project. Learned a bit about Docker. Future plans might involve a pipeline using shippable or codeship. Shippable looks better because you can provide your own build hosts, which might be required if I want to build ARM images.

"Why all this for a small Jekyll site?", you might think. Well.. because why not?