Cassidy’s Blog

Developing a GitHub Pages/Jekyll Site on Fedora Silverblue

Documenting for my own purposes—but hopefully it's helpful!

3 min read

For the past decade, I’ve used Ubuntu or Ubuntu-based distributions like elementary OS. As such, I’ve gotten used to or put up with certain workflows, like how to hack on the many, many Jekyll-based and GitHub-hosted sites I operate or contribute to.

Well, for various reasons, I’ve jump on board the Fedora Silverblue train lately, and it’s time to re-learn some things—it’s hard to say if it’s better or worse, but it is different. Here’s what I’ve learned and how I get up and running on Fedora (specifically, Silverblue) today:

Toolbx is your friend!

First, you’re going to want to get used to Toolbx. Toolbx is a way to run “containers” on Fedora (and other OSes)—think of it like Docker but for your own playground on your desktop. It’s especially useful if you’re rocking a futuristic image-based OS like Fedora Silverblue or Endless OS!

Toolbox animation

Toolbx animation by Jakub Steiner, MIT-licensed

With Toolbx, your development environment runs sandboxed and layered atop your base OS. Anything that happens in your container generally stays separate from that underlying OS, meaning you’re less likely to break your production OS, and less likely to break your development environment. Tidy.

To get started, ensure Toolbx (toolbox) is installed (it is by default on both Fedora Silverblue and Endless OS), then just run:

toolbox enter

If you don’t already have a container set up, it’ll help you set one up that matches your host OS; in my case, Fedora 36.

One-time Ruby Setup

Once you’re in your container (you can tell by the prompt including @toolbox instead of your base OS hostname), install the handful of dependencies you’ll need for the underlying Ruby-based tools:

sudo dnf install ruby ruby-devel openssl-devel @development-tools gcc-c++

Install the Ruby bundler tool to manage Ruby packages:

sudo gem install bundler

Next, you’ll want to tell bundler to use a local path instead of trying to use a root-owned path:

bundle config set --local path 'vendor/bundle'

Then install the Ruby dependencies (assuming your project has a Gemfile):

bundle install

Depending on your preferences, you may want to add vendor/ to your .gitignore file to prevent committing it to your repository.

Running Jekyll

Now all you need to do is tell bundler to run Jekyll. Here are the flags I typically use, to make multi-device development plus future-looking blog posts easier to work with:

bundle exec jekyll serve --host --future

…then you can navigate to http://localhost:4000 or your local IP address to view your site!


Thanks to Fedora Magazine’s How to Publish Your Content Using GitHub Pages and Jekyll as well as this Ask Fedora question for pointing me in the right direction. Hopefully this post adds to the collective knowledge and helps someone—even just me!—in the future.