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23/11 — 2019
21.18 cm   1.5 min

Static Sites With Bash

After going through a bunch of static site generators (pelican, hugo, vite), I decided to roll my own. If you are more of the ‘show me the code’ kinda guy, here you go.

Text formatting

I chose to write in markdown, and convert to html with lowdown.

Directory structure

I host my site on GitHub pages, so docs/ has to be the entry point. Markdown formatted posts go into posts/, get converted into html, and end up in docs/index.html, something like this:

posts=$(ls -t ./posts)     # chronological order!
for f in $posts; do
    file="./posts/"$f      # `ls` mangled our file paths
    echo "generating post $file"

    html=$(lowdown "$file")
    echo -e "html" >> docs/index.html


Most static site generators recommend dropping image assets into the site source itself. That does have it’s merits, but I prefer hosting images separately:

# strip file extension

# generate a random file name
id=$( cat /dev/urandom | tr -dc 'a-zA-Z0-9' | fold -w 2 | head -n 1 )

# copy to my file host
scp -P 443 "$1" emerald:files/"$id" 
echo "https://u.peppe.rs/$id"


generate.sh brings the above bits and pieces together (with some extra cruft to avoid javascript). It uses sed to produce nice titles from the file names (removes underscores, title-case), and date(1) to add the date to each post listing!


I'm Akshay, programmer and pixel-artist.

I write open-source stuff to pass time. I also design fonts: scientifica, curie.

Send me a mail at [email protected] or a message at [email protected].

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