Yet another blogging experiment…

Org-Octopress Notes

I’ve been trying to sort-out the details of what is required to be able to maintain a GitHub pages site via Octopress / org-octopress from multiple computers. The slight complicating factor is that the location of the git repository for the site is different on the two computers that I am using.

The main laptop is my MacBook Pro. The new, secondary, laptop is an ASUS C200 with 4GB RAM and a 32GB SSD. Here are the repository locations on the two machines:

Machine Org-Octopress Git Repository Location
MacBook Pro /Users/gordy/Documents/Personal/gordyt.github.io
ASUS C200 /media/removable/gordy/Documents/g/gordyt.github.io

On the ASUS I have a symlink in my $HOME directory the the Documents folder on the external drive. The external drive is a 16 CB SD card.


Org-octopress has a setting called org-octopress-setup-file that points to your blog-specific information. It references this file when it exports your org-mode source file to the HTML file it that Jekyll uses to generate your GitHub pages site.

When you create a new post, Org-octopress fills in a skeleton org-mode file that you use to write in to compose your blog post. When it does this it fills in the path for a setting at the top:

#+SETUPFILE: <path-to-setupfile>

For this to work nicely, it is helpful to store your setup file a place that you can reference with a nice relative path on all the machines involved. In my case I used this:


If I were maintaining multiple sites I would give the setup file for each site a unique name.

Keep your Repositories Straight!

The scripts that set-up your site structure handles everything for you. However, if you clone your existing site onto a new machine, you must make sure that the following conditions are satisfied. In what follows site-root is the path to the main git repository on your local machine where the site is being maintained.

  • <site-root> is a git repository with the following remotes:
    octopress   git://github.com/imathis/octopress.git (fetch)
    octopress   git://github.com/imathis/octopress.git (push)
    origin  <your-github-repository-path> (fetch)
    origin  <your-github-repository-path> (push)
  • It has the source branch checked-out
  • <site-root>/_deploy is a sub-directory that is maintained by Jekyll. It is also a git repository with the following remotes:
    origin  <your-github-repository-path> (fetch)
    origin  <your-github-repository-path> (push)
  • It has the master branch checked-out.
  • This _deploy directory is in the main repos .gitignore file.

So, when you want to set-up a secondary machine where you can maintain your site, you must manually checkout a copy of the repo into the _deploy sub-directory and make sure the master branch is checked-out.

One other note about this: If you get an error from Jekyll when it tries to deploy your site when it tries to push master -> master, you need to go into the _deploy sub-directory and do something like this:

git fetch origin
git rebase origin master
git push origin master