Nathan Brinks

Software development, and other stuff some people find interesting

Getting Started With Octopress

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I just recently started using Octopress to manage this blog, so I think it makes sense that my first post is about Octopress itself.

Several years ago I deployed a Drupal website but have since decided Drupal provided much more than I was looking for. Since Octopress doesn’t require a database the added benefit of migrating to Octopress means I can drop my paid hosting plan and instead deploy this website to GitHub Pages.

Now, to the point.

For the most part I was able to follow the setup instructions available at also provides instructions and tools to deploy to GitHub Pages.

One thing that wasn’t completely clear at first was how to get changes made to the configuration to take effect on the public facing website. Basically, the commands I was missing…

rake generate
rake deploy

Essentially, rake generate builds the public files and rake deploy pushes the changes to the master branch, which is then served up to vistors navigating your website. The repository where this website is hosted can be found on my GitHub account.

Another incredibly useful command,

rake preview

Running this task starts a web server on your localhost. The web server is accessible by navigating to http://localhost:4000. A handy feature of the preview task is the ability to automatically regenerate the public files as you make changes to the code base. I have been using this feature exclusively while editing .../octopress/sass/custom/_colors.scss and creating this blog post.