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The main trouble you’re likely to have doing local Jekyll builds on Windows is Ruby. The main issue with Ruby is the install directory and updating the PATH. The instructions below should get you past both these issues.

Ruby

  1. Download the installer for the latest 2.6.x Ruby+Devkit from rubyinstaller.org.

  2. Run the installer and accept the license agreement.

  3. Make sure to install Ruby in the root of C:\ (If you install it in C:\Program Files\ it will error—Ruby does not like the space in the directory name). Then select all the options as shown below:

  4. Check the box to install MSYS2.

  5. When the command prompt opens, press enter to select all and start the install:

  6. Choose all defaults through the install wizard.

  7. Your terminal will take a few minutes to install some utilities. Wait for it to finish.

  8. Once you see something similar to the above, press ENTER to exit the terminal.

Check that everything installed by typing ruby -v in your terminal. If the terminal command did not return a version number, something did not install correctly.

Bundler

Install bundler for gem management. See Gems, Gemfiles, and Bundler if you’re not sure what this does.

  gem install bundler

Git

Git is not required for Jekyll to work, but if you’re building stuff, you probably want version control. Here’s how to do it on Windows.

  1. Go to gitforwindows.org and download the latest version.

  2. Select the install location:

  3. At a minimum, you should select Git LFS and associate .git* and .sh files. The other options are up to you and where/how you intend to use git.

  4. Change your default editor to Nano.

  5. Change your path environment to “Use Git and optional UNIX tools from the Windows Command Prompt”. This will update your local path variables.

  6. Leave HTTPS transport backend set to “Use the OpenSSL library.”

  7. Leave the line endings to “Checkout Windows-style, commit Unix-style.”

  8. Change the terminal emulator to “Use Windows’ default console window.”

  9. Extra options are up to you, but you probably want to select “Enable file system caching” and “Enable Git Credential Manager”:

Check that everything installed by typing git --version in your terminal. If the terminal command did not return a version number, something did not install correctly.

A note on GitHub Desktop: Github decided to stop installing git outside of its app. It’s siloed in a way that makes it unavailable in the terminal. If you want to use their desktop client, you can, but if you want to use git anywhere outside their client, you’ll need to follow the directions above.

Node

Node is not needed for Jekyll but some of those snazzy npm dev tools you’ll read about on the web require it.

  1. Downloaded the current LTS from nodejs.org choosing the 32-bit or 64-bit .msi installer depending on your computer arcitecture.
  2. Choose all default options during install (make sure it installs all the things locally).
  3. Make sure everything installed correctly by typing node -v and npm -v in your terminal.

If the above terminal commands did not return version numbers, something did not install correctly.