Installing Jekyll on Debian

Written on March 9, 2016

If you are developing a website in Ruby, you may use Jekyll. If you’re like me, you’re using Jekyll on a local host, but that local host isn’t administrated. So you have to build everything yourself. That’s fine. That’s why Debian is maintained. Using Debian actually is a good way to create a sandbox for local development without needing to install heavy-duty development tools on your personal computer.

Running Jekyll on a local host allows you to detect errors quicker, stop sending endless commits to your git or server, and build pages much quicker. The challenge is that there aren’t many guides on how to this. And Ruby sends some questioning errors: when I first tried this, Ruby told me that I needed to install a ruby-dev package that was already installed. I needed several other packages that it didn’t tell me about. You will learn what these packages are in the following tutorial.

First you should download Debian testing.

You can find FTP here. Then create a VirtualBox. This can be done a number of ways. I recommend simply installing virtualbox package from the non-free respos; however, you can simply go to the page and install it yourself from here. There should be a Debian and other Linux-based packages. If you are Windows or Mac user, you can grab the .exe or whatever from the website above.

Second you should install Debian on a VirtualBox.

There are a few ways to do this. VirtualBox now supports a feature to boot from a local ISO file. When you download Debian, you can install it from the ISO file when you boot your virtual operating system. To boot, you probably need to create a virtual machine slot. This isn’t the technical term, but you can easily do this by hitting the “new” button prominently displayed on the VirtualBox Manager. This is the menu you see when you launch the application.

Install Ruby after installing the virtual operating system.

Open a terminal. Log into root. You do this typing:


Then type these commands:

apt-get install ruby ruby-dev make gcc nodejs

gem install jekyll

gem install jekyll-sitemap

gem install jekyll-feed

Running Jekyll on your local host

To run the server, all you need to do is type this command:

jekyll serve

Take me home.

Check out the archive.