As part of an upcoming docker tooling series we start with Jekyll, a static website generator used for blogs and websites. Jekyll is also supported by Github pages, so check it out if you’re not familiar with it.

Docker containers are ideal if you need an environment to compile sources without installing the actual compiler on your machine. Especially interesting in case of ruby since setting up a proper ruby environment is hard (and annoying).

Jekyll is a ruby based website generator which takes some sources (Markdown for example) and compiles them to html.

Jekyll container

To install your jekyll container, there’s nothing else to do than to pull grahamc/jekyll.

docker pull grahamc/jekyll

Create an alias

To work with this container it’s much more comfortable if you create a proper alias.


alias jekyll='docker run -it --rm --name jekyll -v "$PWD:/src" --user="$(id -u):$(id -g)" -p grahamc/jekyll'

And you need to source this file:

source ./alias.source
. ./alias.source

After that, you have jekyll ready as if it’s installed on you machine using the command jekyll. Ok, i guess there are some limitations which shouldn’t bother you too much.

First let me explain what it does.

It binds the docker command to the alias jekyll which means you can execute jekyll serve and it really executes docker run ... grahamc/jekyll serve.

Since jekyll compiles sources, you need to map the sources via volume to docker: -v "$PWD:/src" mounts your current working directory to the containers /src, the working directory of jekyll.

You also want jekyll to work with your users UID and GID, otherwise you end up with directories owned by root. --user="$(id -u):$(id -g)"

It also exposes jekylls default port 4000 to your machine.

Create a new site

jekyll new dockersite

Jekyll will generate a new directory called dockersite inside your current working directory.

Build and serve your new site

cd dockersite
jekyll serve --host

Now have a look at your site was compiled an is served. Remember to use the host flag because jekyll by default binds to localhost, which is the containers localhost and not yours.


You now have a containerized jekyll installation ready without cumbering ruby artifacts on your system.

If you run into trouble, docker might not be able to remove the container and therefor return an error on the next start. Simply remove it first

docker kill jekyll
docker rm jekyll