While building this website using Jekyll I found that there were a few places where
I needed to override config variables when the site is running in a development
environment. Some examples of dev only overrides I wanted to do are:
- Skip minifying the SASS output so it’s easily debuggable
- Show all draft posts by default
- Run the server on port 4000, accepting all incoming connections
The best way I found to do this was by having two config files; a base config
used in production (
_config.yml), and an override config used only in
# _config.yml - Base config used in production
# _config_dev.yml - Dev environment configs and overrides
# Accepts connections on port 4000 from any source
# Don't compress SASS output
As you can see, any dev-specific config options just need to go into the
_config_dev.yml file. This can be a Jekyll option you need to override,
or an option for any of your Jekyll plugins.
To launch the Jekyll server in a dev environment I then run the following command
- note that
_config_dev.yml must be specified last so that
its config items override
$ jekyll serve --config "_config.yml,_config_dev.yml"
This command will first load in the normal config, and then the dev
only overrides. To make this even easier to launch I put the command
script/dev file so I can launch it without having to type
out the names of both the config files. You can see an example of this in my
repo for this website.
Since I’m deploying this using GitHub pages I didn’t need to do anything extra to
have this working in production. GitHub pages compiles Jekyll using the
file by default and ignores all other config files, but if your deployment is slightly
different all you’d need to do is exclude the
_config_dev.yml from the
command when doing your Jekyll build, and you should be good to go!