Learning Something New: Jekyll

This post is about how I set up this Github hosted site using Jekyll on Windows 10. Jekyll is not officially supported on Windows, but it’s totally possible to get it to work. I’m writing this up because I could not find one single place that explained how to start from ground level.

The Plan

  1. Use Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) for development.
  2. Use the Tale theme developed by Chester How.
  3. Support local preview with Jekyll.


If you haven’t already, enable WSL from a Powershell with administrator privileges.

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux


Fork the Tale theme to a repo named your_username.github.io.

Then clone it locally.

Install Ruby v2.6.5

I needed a newer version of Ruby, v2.6.5, than I could readily get from Ubuntu Apt.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:brightbox/ruby-ng
sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install ruby2.6 ruby2.6-dev

Install bundler gem for the user. I am deliberately installing to the user, because I don’t like the idea of installing a bunch of gems to the system. However this means that we have to use some additional commandline arguments in subsequent steps.

gem install --user-install bundler 

Add local gem executables to PATH

echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.gem/ruby/2.6.0/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc
exec $SHELL


Jekyll does the work of creating the site. How it works with GitHub is explained in more detail in Setting up a GitHub Pages site with Jekyll.

Go to the directory where you cloned the website repo.

Modify Gemfile file to look like this:

source "https://rubygems.org"
gem 'github-pages', group: :jekyll_plugins

Install required packages, including Jekyll.

bundle install --path ~/.gem

Ready to rock

Run the local Jekyll preview.

bundle exec jekyll serve

You should be able to connect to and see your website.


Stage and commit your changes. Push to GitHub, and your website will be available in a few minutes.


If you want to render equations, you need MathJax. Follow the instructions in this blog entry: Adding MathJax to a GitHub Pages Jekyll Blog