Octopress is a blogging framework that doesn’t use MySQL or PHP, and allows for quick, focused writing. It brings coders and hackers back to their roots. The benefits of Octopress are numerous, but you are encouraged to go to its website and learn more.
The goal of this post is to allow anyone with a minimal programming background to set up and maintain an blog. This website is run on an Ubuntu 11.10 VPS, so this guide will for Ubuntu installations. I opted to go with the all in one approach, everything that generates the website is located on the server.
There are 4 parts to this guide.
- Installing RVM and Ruby
- Installing Octopress
- Configuring Apache
- How to start blogging
Installing RVM and Ruby
RVM is the Ruby Version Manager. I have found that RVM is easier to install than rbenv, but others might disagree.
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This next command will install all of the dependencies of Ruby.
Replacing “user” with your UNIX login name will allow the user to edit the files in
Next, now that you have RVM installed, we can go ahead and install Ruby and set version 1.9.3 as the default version. (switch 1.9.3 with the current version if changed). The following command will take 15-20 minutes, so don’t be afraid if it takes a while to finish.
The last command there should show
ruby 1.9.3p125 or something similar.
If at anytime during the next few steps RVM asks if you would like to trust the .rvmc file, you can safely say “yes”
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This final step to get Octopress to install. This will build the files that are located in
/source/ and publish them into the
I am going to assume that Apache is already working, meaning that if you typed in
localhost into the browser of your server, or by typing in the IP of your VPS, you should see a “It Works” page.
The first and only step is to change what directory Apache looks in to display the webpage. I am going to create a new webpage configuration with the name
mysite. You may name it how you like and change out the name when applicable.
Now you have to open the new configuration file with your favorite editor. I am going to use vim
I put comments above the two lines that need to be changed. You need to change
/var/www to the path of the Octopress public folder, which is most likely
/home/user/octopress/public, where “user” is your UNIX username.
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The final thing to do is to restart Apache so that the changes show up
There! Now if you go to the address of your webpage, you should see a generic Octopress page. If you don’t, leave a comment and we will see what we can do.
How to start blogging
To insert a new post, type:
This will create a new file in the directory
/source/_posts/"date and name of post". You will need to edit this file using the Markdown syntax. It is quite simple to understand and learn.
Each time you create a new post, you can use the following command to update the webpage and push any changes to the public folder.
If you want to learn more about how to manage posts and create pages, please visit the Octopress page Blogging Basics.