Ryan Harrison My blog, portfolio and technology related ramblings

Installing Jekyll using the WSL

Note: As of writing file watching is currently not implemented in the WSL so you won’t be able to use jekyll serve --watch. If you are on an insider preview #14942 you will have access to this feature (request page)

Thanks to the awesomeness that is the WSL Windows Subsystem for Linux, you can now install and use a load of tools on Windows just as you would do under Linux. Previously I used to run Jekyll (running under Ruby) solely through a Unix based environment - creating new blog posts through a system of SSH and SFTP. Ruby development on Windows has never really been that great, but now the whole process has got much easier - run everything locally through the WSL layer.

The first step is to install Ruby. Following the instructions from their site:

1. Install dependencies:

sudo apt-get install git-core curl zlib1g-dev build-essential libssl-dev libreadline-dev libyaml-dev libsqlite3-dev sqlite3 libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev python-software-properties libffi-dev nodejs

2. Install Ruby via rvm:

I had troubles installing Ruby via rbenv, but rvm seems to work just fine.

curl -sSL https://get.rvm.io | bash -s stable
source ~/.rvm/scripts/rvm
rvm install 2.4.0
rvm use 2.4.0 --default
ruby -v

(you will be prompted to enter your password a couple times for apt-get installs of requirements)

3. Install Bundler:

gem install bundler

4. Install the Jekyll Gems:

gem install jekyll
gem install jekyll-sitemap
gem install jekyll-paginate

5. Install the Pygments highlighter

(not needed if you are using the Rouge highlighter) Make sure you have Python and Pip installed first then:

sudo pip install pygments
gem install pygments.rb

6. Confirm the installation

jekyll -v

You should see output like

jekyll 3.3.1

7. Build and serve your site

You can’t use the watch command via file watchers yet (see note at the top), but you can use polling to get near the same effect:

jekyll serve --force_polling --incremental

Jekyll WSL