Update: deploying Hugo-generated websites on personal GitHub Pages
Feb 26, 2017
3 minute read

In my previous post I explained the workflow I use to update this website. It has never been particularly stable, and the process seemed far more complicated than it needed to be.

This week I attempted to update the theme of this website (sidenote: thanks Alexis Tacnet for your awesome theme and cooperation!). To pull in the theme’s files, I use git submodules. Apparently, this completely break git’s subtrees. I had enough of trying to maintain this complicated setup, so I started looking around for better ways.

Fortunately, Hugo’s “Hosting on GitHub” tutorial has been updated to include instructions on deploying via a gh-pages branch. The instructions are easily modified to work with the setup that personal pages require! If you want to know how it works, read that tutorial; what follows below are my updated setup.sh and deploy.sh scripts.

You can find the updated structure and setup in use in this website’s repository. If any of the above is unclear, feel free to send me an email and I’ll try my best to help you.


This script will delete an existing master branch and an existing public/ directory. Make sure any files you want to keep are backed up!

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# This script does the required work to set up your personal GitHub Pages
# repository for deployment using Hugo. Run this script only once -- when the
# setup has been done, run the `deploy.sh` script to deploy changes and update
# your website. See
# https://hjdskes.github.io/blog/update-deploying-hugo-on-personal-github-pages/
# for more information.

# Name of the branch containing the Hugo source files.

msg() {
    printf "\033[1;32m :: %s\n\033[0m" "$1"

msg "Adding the \`public\` folder to .gitignore"
echo "public" >> .gitignore

msg "Deleting the \`master\` branch"
git branch -D master
git push origin --delete master

msg "Creating an empty, orphaned \`master\` branch"
git checkout --orphan master
git reset --hard
git commit --allow-empty -m "Initial commit on master branch"
git push origin master
git checkout $SOURCE

msg "Adding the master branch into the \`public\` folder"
rm -rf public
git worktree add -B master public origin/master


#!/usr/bin/env bash

# This script allows you to easily and quickly generate and deploy your website
# using Hugo to your personal GitHub Pages repository. This script requires a
# certain configuration, run the `setup.sh` script to configure this. See
# https://hjdskes.github.io/blog/update-deploying-hugo-on-personal-github-pages/
# for more information.

# Set the English locale for the `date` command.
export LC_TIME=en_US.UTF-8

# The commit message.
MESSAGE="Site rebuild $(date)"

msg() {
    printf "\033[1;32m :: %s\n\033[0m" "$1"

if [[ $(git status -s) ]]; then
    msg "The working directory is dirty, please commit or stash any pending changes"
    exit 1;

msg "Removing the old website"
pushd public
git rm -rf *

msg "Building the website"

msg "Pushing the updated \`public\` folder to the \`master\` branch"
pushd public
git add *
git commit -m "$MESSAGE"
git push origin master