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Local setup instructions

This document will guide you through setting up the local development environment for the theme-files repo.


Please install Ruby (preferrably 3.x) and Node.js (preferrably 16.x) before you proceed.


There is an abstraction of theme files from the content files. This means that theme’s code is stored in a different repository than the content’s repository. This is done so as to avoid authors having to deal with messy theme code and developers having to deal with content.

A quick thought would lead to a solution using git submodules. But since jekyll requires all the relevant paths both for theme and content to be in the root folder, we can’t use git submodules even if the content is symlinked.

Using the dev script

To tackle this issue in the easiest way possible, we created a script that can handle merging the content of the main repository with that of theme files repository behind the scenes, inside a hidden folder.

To build and run the theme code locally, execute the script in your terminal:


The first build would take a few minutes. Once done, you can preview the site at localhost:4000. Subsequent builds should be faster.

If any problem persists, try providing the correct permissions to the bash script by running:

chmod +x

Now you should be able to run the ./ command.


As of now, the content of the script is as follows:


# move out of the .content folder once script is closed
function cleanup() {
  cd ..

trap "cleanup" 2

if [ ! -d ".content" ]
  echo "No cached '.content' directory found. Fetching the latest data..."
  git clone .content -q

rsync -r --exclude '.content' . .content/
cd .content

if [ ! -d "node_modules" ]
  echo "Installing node dependencies..."
  npm i --silent

if [ ! -d "vendor" ]
  echo "Installing gem dependencies..."
  bundle config set --local path 'vendor'
  bundle install --quiet

bundle exec jekyll serve

The script works by:

  • Creating a .content hidden folder and cloning the main repository inside it, if it doesn’t already exist.
  • Moving the content of the theme from the current folder inside the .content folder to move the local changes to the hidden folder.
  • Move inside the .content folder and install dependencies if local cache (inside vender/ and node_modules/) doesn’t exist.
  • Finally serve the static site by running bundler exec jekyll serve.
  • The cleanup() function is responsible for moving out of the .content folder once the script is closed, as there is a cd .content step in the script which needs to be undone.

[Deprecated] Using Dockerfile

This is the old method that was used to run local env for the theme code.

Although it doesn’t require you to install Ruby and Node.js as a pre-requisite, it is no longer recommended because of high resource usage for relatively simple task.

If you are still willing to understand the build process, here’s the old Dockerfile used to run the containers.

You may paste the file at the root of the folder and use these commands to run the container:

docker build -t genics-theme .
docker run -p 4000:4000 genics-theme

The container bsically installs required software, clones and merges the main repository with the content from the local theme code and executes the bundle exec jekyll serve command while exposing the port 4000.

You will still be able to access the built site from localhost:4000.