A new space

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Posted at: 2020-08-29 01:30 CEST
Length: 448 words (3 minutes)
Tags: [ web code ]

Where to start?

There was the question of what I was going to use for my new site and progress log. In the past I had always built my own, hand-coding HTML or - eventually - build my own CMS system in PHP - because that's what I enjoy doing, building systems, not necessarily using them (I'm not very good at producing content).

I have dabbled in Wordpress, but find it rather clunky and annoying, so I kept looking for something nicer to work with.

Some time ago, I watched a video by Bryan Lunduke, where he mentioned using a system called hugo for his blog, and it being entirely devoid of Javascript (and as such fairly accessible to older browsers). This seemed interesting, so I looked it up and started messing about with it. The result, you can see right here. I think I'm even using the same theme (with some colour changes) he used before he rebuilt his site again. I mean, it looks decent enough.


To begin with, articles, posts, whatever you want to call them, are typed in a simple language called Markdown. Add some metadata to the start of the file (see example from this very post), and it's ready to be processed by hugo.

title: A new website
date: 2020-08-29T12:00:00+02:00
draft: true
# Where to start?
There was the question of...

So that's how to write something, but how do I use it?

Unlike many CMSes, hugo isn't run on the server (could be, but generally isn't), instead it's installed on the workstation. I run Arch Linux on my main machine, so I install it as such:

$ sudo pacman install hugo

Then I set up a base directory for my site:

$ hugo new site MySite

After that I initialise the directory as a git repository and fetch a theme to use.

$ cd MySite
$ git init
$ git submodule add https://github.com/vaga/hugo-theme-m10c.git themes/m10c

Edit the config file to personalise a bit:

baseURL = "http://www.ops-area.net/"
languageCode = "en-gb"
title = "Adventures in code and servers."
theme = "m10c"

  author = "Maighstir"
  description = "Hobbyist coder and sysadmin"

  darkestColor = "#7d968a"
  darkColor = "#cfcfcf"
  lightColor = "#000d1e"
  lightestColor = "#0c0c0c"
  primaryColor = "#000"

Now I'm ready to start publishing by placing markdown documents in the content folder (or rather a subfolder, say, "content/blog"). running "hugo" from the base folder, and uploading the contents of the output folder (by default "public") to the web host. I just use a shell script that runs hugo and then rsync to publish everything.

#!/usr/bin/env bash
pushd src
rsync -avz --delete build/ www.ops-area.net:~/sites/blog/

And here I am. Apparently. Hello 👋.

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